Physician and scientist well-being at Stanford Medicine remains a key focus for Stanford Medicine’s institutional and departmental leadership. See some of the progress being made throughout Stanford Medicine below.

Please note that a SUNet ID may be required to access some of the links below.

Organization-level Improvement Efforts

  • Executive-level commitment to well-being at Stanford Medicine Children's Health and Stanford Health Care — Physician well-being and work burden metrics are now regularly reported to SMCH and SHC hospital executive leaders, including measures of EHR inbox burden, work-after-work data based on EHR utilization, and survey measures related to physician well-being and efficiency of practice. These data have catalyzed multiple new initiatives to decrease the massive administrative burden on physicians as well as help operational teams assess opportunities for improvement and track progress.

  • Hospital Improvement Programs — Physician well-being is a primary focus in the SHC Improvement Capabilities Development Program (ICDP) and SMCH Pediatric Physician Wellness Improvement (PPWI) Program.
  • Mitigating Physician Mistreatment — Mistreatment of physicians by patients, family members and visitors remains a prevalent and disturbing problem.  System-level efforts to implement the recommendations of the Healthcare Professional and Staff Mistreatment by Patients, Families, and Visitors Task Force continue. This includes efforts to prevent mistreatment (e.g. increased signage indicating mistreatment will not be tolerated, rollout of a new patient compact for all new patients at SHC), respond to mistreatment events promptly (expansion of the ReSPCT team (formerly SAFTeam) and DART team at SMCH and SHC), secondary prevention (revisal of the patient dismissal process) and regular tracking of mistreatment events by unit to determine where additional support and resources needed. 


  • Stanford WellMD & WellPhD Lactation Council and Initiatives — The newly-formed Lactation Council has launched to implement the recommendations of the WellMD & WellPhD Lactation Task Force to improve support for working physicians who are lactating at SoM, SHC, and SMCH.  The over 100 designated lactation spaces across SoM, SHC, and SMCH have all been evaluated and upgraded with professional grade breast pumps and other new amenities. Several new lactation rooms have been added in select locations. A new tool for locating lactation spaces and communication campaigns focused on increasing awareness and support have been launched, and tailored support and accommodation plans are being developed for each department.

  • SHC-created patient satisfaction assessment — Stanford created its own patient satisfaction assessment questions and evaluation system to replace Press Ganey.

  • Clinician Logged-In Outside Clinic (CLOC) Tool — In collaboration with WellMD & WellPhD, Stanford Medicine CMIOs at SMCH and SHC developed the Clinician Logged in Outside Clinic (CLOC) assessment tool, which tracks the extent to which physicians work after hours in the ambulatory environment. 

  • Free overnight meal program for SHC and SCH residents — To date, over 15,000+ overnight meals have been served to residents and fellows.

  • Ambulatory Transformation Taskforce — The ATT is providing support to physicians at SMCH and SHC during the transition to virtual ambulatory care, including providing free home equipment for clinical faculty working from home.

  • In basket messages — There are currently major initiatives across both hospitals to address the proliferation in basket messages to physicians. This work includes managing patient, staff and system messages, upgrading the in-basket user interface, standardizing team-based in-basket workflows, and “Spring Cleaning” out-of-date messages. We look forward to sharing more about this important initiative in an upcoming spotlight.

  • Efforts to optimize procedural practice environment for clinical teams — Efforts to improve the procedural environment continue. This has included efforts to value physicians time by beginning cases on time, reducing OR turnaround time, enhance accuracy in scheduling to improve predictability of start times for later cases, and increase the consistency of OR team members working together. 

  • Operational plan metrics — Physician well-being is now part of operational plan key metrics for Stanford Medicine, with key wellness metrics established alongside quality & safety and patient experience. 

Department-level Improvement Efforts

  • Improvement Capability Development Program (ICDP) – ICDP is a joint venture between the SHC Quality Department and the Stanford School of Medicine. Through ICDP, each department is empowered to identify, prioritize and implement improvement projects designed to improve the care we deliver and the effectiveness and supportiveness of our practice environment. In collaboration with WellMD & WellPhD, the Well-Being Director works closely with their ICDP Physician Improvement Leader, leveraging the structure, funding, and improvement capabilities provided through the ICDP program in order to improve the practice environment and physician well-being. 

  • Pediatric Physician Wellness Improvement (PPWI) Program – The PPWI was launched in 2021 to optimize the system and practice environment factors to reduce burnout and promote professional fulfillment for Stanford physicians based at SMCH. The program was designed in collaboration with the Quality and Performance Improvement Leadership at SMCH and the WellMD & WellPhD Team to complement improvement efforts taking place at the enterprise with a focus on SMCH-based physicians. PPWI is designed to bring together clinical and administrative leaders and SMCH leaders to work collaboratively to improve physician well-being in targeted pediatric divisions.

  • Scribe pilots – Multiple departments are piloting scribes in improvement projects to reduce the burden of work after work. 
  • Leadership training and executive coaching – Training is being offered by the WellMD & WellPhD Team for Stanford physician leaders on behaviors that foster the well-being of their team and follow-up application coaching. To date, more than 90 front-line leaders (i.e. division chiefs) have participated.

New Resources for Faculty

  • WellConnect  - Stanford WellConnect is a confidential mental health referral and consultation service that facilitates timely access to counseling, stress management and coping skills, wellness coaching (including strategies to mitigate burnout), and mental health services. Open to all benefits-eligible faculty, residents, and fellows.

  • Clinician Coaching – In partnership with WellMD & WellPhD, the Healthy Living program offers individualized coaching sessions for enhancing work-life integration and professional fulfillment. Evidence in Stanford physicians demonstrates improvement in burnout and work-life integration. Participants partner with a nationally-certified coach experienced in working with School of Medicine faculty scientists, faculty physicians, and other clinicians. 

  • WellMD & WellPhD Circles Concierge - Circles Concierge is designed to save physicians and scientists time on personal tasks. In the first 12 months, the program saved over 3,378 hours of time for Stanford Medicine faculty, residents, and fellows, an average of more than 2 hours per request.

  • Physician & scientist support curation and communication - WellMD & WellPhD creates and curates physical, emotional, psychological, and family care support and regularly communicates these resources to physicians, scientists, and leaders across Stanford Medicine. Examples include resources for faculty physiciansfaculty basic scientists, and broad resources.
  • Executive coaching - Executive coaching is offered for clinical and basic science faculty with fees subsidized by WellMD & WellPhD.


Understanding Needs

  • Systematic assessment - WellMD & WellPhD leads a systematic assessment of professional fulfillment, burnout, leadership, and self-care dimensions at the department, division, and training program level and provides analysis and reports with benchmarks to leadership.


Stanford Medicine physicians and scientists can learn more about these and other initiatives on our Progress in Well-being at Stanford page (SUNet ID required).