The Neurology Wellness Program

The Neurology Wellness Program

The Neurology Wellness Program is a longitudinal wellbeing program for residents & fellows with robust participation by faculty.  Since its inception in 2017,  we have aimed to support wellbeing, build community, foster peer support and mentorship, and reduce burnout.  Programming includes monthly lunch workshops to increase individual wellbeing and resiliency, as well as program-wide events to build community.  Monthly lunch conferences alternate between:

  • Sessions focused on checking in and goal setting
  • Excellent speakers hand picked by our resident and fellow Wellness Leads on topics such as nutrition for cognition, optimizing sleep quality, gratitude practice, self-compassion, the mentor/mentee relationship, and navigating difficult conversations, financial wellbeing 
  • Speed Mentorship sessions with attending guest mentors discussing topics such as Work/Life Balance and Finding Your First Job.  

Community wellness events include: picnics, 5/10K run, bowling, holiday gift exchange, ceramic painting, and happy hours.  

The program has been effective in improving wellness and reducing burnout.  These significant changes, reflecting improved interpersonal engagement and peer support, and decreased burnout, were presented through an oral presentation at the International Conference on Physician Health Fall 2018 and a poster session at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Conference Spring 2019. This is the first use of a longitudinal team-based wellness program in academic medicine that has shown significant improvements in trainee and faculty physician burnout.

The program was developed with guidance from the American Academy of Neurology Live Well Lead Well Leadership program and the Stanford WellMD Center by Tresa McGranahan MD/PhD and Rebecca-Miller-Kuhlmann MD.  It is directed by resident leaders, which ensures ongoing alignment with trainee needs.  Fellow Wellness Leads 2019-2020 are Nick Murray MD and Elaine Su MD.  Resident Wellness Leads 2019-2020 are Amanda Sandoval Karamian MD, Shefali Dujari MD, Laura Saucier MD and Sam Spiegel MD with faculty support from Rebecca Miller-Kuhlmann MD and administrative support from Mitzine Wright. 


  • Provide tools for self-care and wellbeing promotion
  • Promote wellbeing as a goal through training and beyond
  • Build community and connectedness within neurology department, spanning training levels


  • Monthly workshops: open to topics relevant to wellbeing
  • Every 4th workshop dedicated to mentorship and spent in teams with attending mentors
  • Off-site events every 1-2 months


Stanford Program Takes 3-Pronged Approach to Burnout: Education, Mentorship, and Community-Building

A mentorship program at Stanford is helping to prevent burnout and promote wellness to neurology residents, fellows, and faculty. Early response from surveys of the participants indicate it may be working.


Off work but still working: Obstacles to decompression

Date: Wed 29 January, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Location: Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, West building auditorium, Palo Alto

Schwartz Rounds are a multidisciplinary forum that encourages us to maintain compassion in our work by taking care of ourselves. Lunch will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Everyone is invited to attend, including those in non-clinical roles.

Continuing education credits will be available for physicians and nursing staff. Staff who are scheduled to work and wish to attend Schwartz Rounds should talk with their manager about potential release time. Staff who are not scheduled to work may attend on a voluntary basis (unpaid). If you’d like to learn more, please visit the Schwartz Center Rounds webpage or contact Julie Collier, PhD, Director of Enterprise Resilience.


January 24

Check in: wellness assessment

February 21

Applying for your first job panel

March 20

Check in: Appreciative Inquiry

April 17

Guest speaker: Kari Leibowitz PhD Stanford Mind and Body Lab: Mindset

May 15

Pet visit from Pet Partner Dogs

June 12

End of year reflections and celebration


January 4

Wellness needs-assessment

February 1

Team-based Session

March 1

Balint groups, resiliency

Lars Osterberg, MD

April 5

Mistreatment/bullying of house staff by patients

Rebecca Smith-Coggins, MD

May 3

Team-based Session

June 7

Pet Therapy Visit

July 12

Check in: ice breakers and goal setting

August 16

Attending panel: theme- work/life balance

Drs Longo, Schwartz, Le, Mijalski, Tsao

September 13

Check in: camaraderie discussions

October 25

Fellowship director and fellow panel: applying for fellowship

Drs. Luke Kipp and Babak Razavi

November 22

Guest speaker: Strategies for when patients bully trainees

December 13

White elephant gift swap


July 13

Team-based Session

August 3

Wellbeing and Self-care

Bruce Feldstein, MD

September 7


Maryam Hamidi, PhD

November 2

Team-based Session

December 7


Mickey Trockel, MD


Resident Bowling February 2020

White Elephant Gift Swap Dec 2019

Resident ceramics night

Resident ceramics night

Resident ceramics night

Resident bowling night