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.


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

Informal ice breaker/lunch

August 16

Attending panel: theme- work/life balance


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 ceramics night

Resident ceramics night

Resident ceramics night

Resident bowling night