The Neurology Wellness and Mentorship Program
The Neurology Wellness and Mentorship Program is a longitudinal team-based program for residents, fellows, and faculty. Since its inception in 2017, we have aimed to increase mentorship, support wellbeing, and reduce burnout. Programming includes monthly lunch workshops to increase individual wellbeing and resiliency, as well as program-wide events to build community. Each participant is part of a longitudinal mentorship team, comprised of residents, fellows, and attending mentors. Monthly lunch conferences alternate between wellbeing workshops and team-based sessions. Workshops focus on: nutrition for cognition, optimizing sleep quality, gratitude practice, self-compassion, the mentor/mentee relationship, and navigating difficult conversations. Community wellness events include: team picnics, bowling, holiday gift exchange, 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, will be presented at the International Conference on Physician Health Fall 2018. 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. Resident Wellness Leads in 2018-2019 are Nick Murray MD, Elaine Su MD, Amanda Sandoval Karamian MD, and Shefali Dujari 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
The Department of Neurology at Stanford has been highlighted as a national leader for diversity and inclusion efforts under the direction of Dr. Reena Thomas, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the department. Neurology Today featured Stanford Neurology in their issue on January 10, 2019 with an article entitled, "Meet Neurology's Diversity Leaders." Dr. Frank Longo reflected on the importance of these efforts to the field of Neurology: “As precision health becomes more important, it is critical for our field to better and more deeply engage the overall community to have the greatest impact. We can only do this if neurology in general and our department at Stanford, [specifically], reflect the community with all of its views, nuances, and experiences.”