Faculty Wellbeing

Neurology Department Wellbeing Co-Directors

In our Neurology Wellbeing Department, our primary objective is to promote the wellbeing of our faculty. We take pride in being part of the groundbreaking efforts spearheaded by WellMD at Stanford, aligning with their focus on three key elements: personal resilience, efficiency of practice, and a culture of wellness. Our goal is to nurture an atmosphere in which our faculty members are not only appreciated and supported but also motivated to prioritize their health and overall wellbeing. Through a range of wellness initiatives, social gatherings, recognition programs, and peer support networks, we actively cultivate a sense of community and belonging within our department. By advocating for wellness as a fundamental value, we aspire to establish a workplace in which everyone can prosper and flourish.

Neurology Faculty Wellness Committee

Rebecca Miller-Kuhlmann, MD
Co-Chair Wellness Committee, Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences

Neelam Goyal, MD
Co-Chair Wellness Committee, Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences

The Neurology Wellness Committee, comprised of enthusiastic members deeply committed to wellness, convenes quarterly to provide advisory input on the department’s overall direction regarding wellness-focused initiatives. The Neurology Wellness Committee reports to the WellMD Department Wellbeing Directors Council, as well as to the Department of Neurology Quality Council.

Alissa Anderson

Cynthia Campen MD

Dawn Duane, MD

Shefali Dujari, MD

Carl Gold, MD, MS

Irina Skyler-Scott, MD

Jessica Walter, MD

Fanglin Zhang, MD, PhD

Neurology Wellbeing Initiatives

Excellence Awards

The Faculty Excellence Awards developed of requests to the Wellbeing Committee for increased opportunities to officially recognize and support peer faculty members. All Stanford Neurology Faculty members are eligible. Criteria for nomination include excellence, broadly defined, in any of the department’s three focus areas of research, education, and clinical care.

Camaraderie Groups

The purpose of camaraderie groups is to build community (evidence-based wellbeing support) through eating together and enjoying each other's company!

Camaraderie groups typically include 6-8 faculty colleagues who agree to:

  • Meet six times over the course of twelve months (often over dinner, but can be time/meal/activity of your choosing)
  • Spend 15-20 minutes discussing a preselected topic pertinent to physicians (will be provided a list of potential topics from which to choose)
  • Spend the rest of the time enjoying each other's company

Wellbeing Mini-Grants

Wellbeing Mini-Grants are grants of $500-$5000 that can be used to support wellbeing events.

Past examples of wellbeing events include:

  • Dinner series
  • Wine tasting events
  • Narrative medicine groups
  • Organized playdates for neuro families
  • Hiking groups
  • Group Kayaking
  • Music groups
  • Friday ice-cream socials

NeuroConnect 2024

An initiative for building in-person connections among Neurology faculty. This year’s agenda included:

  • Opportunities for connection, including catered lunches around campus and bingo activity at faculty meeting
  • Professional development, including speed mentoring event
  • Stanford swag

Life Outside Neurology Moment

Monthly series taking place during the first 5 minutes of Grand Rounds, where a faculty member or trainee shares photos from a recent vacation and reflects on the value of detaching from work.

Multi-Division Mixers

Multi-division mixers encourage camaraderie and connection amongst faculty of neighboring divisions. Recent activities supported by faculty wellness funds include a “paint & sip” event and a cooking class.

Wellbeing Improvement Projects

Standardized Protocols for Inbox Coverage During Vacation

With support from a Fiscal Year 2024 WellMD grant and additional funding from the department, the project titled "Establishing Department-Wide Policies and Best Practices to Minimize the Impact of Work on Physician Vacation Time" aims to lessen the negative effects of work on personal relationships, which are known to contribute significantly to physician burnout. The main goal of the project is to create standardized guidelines for vacation coverage that apply to all neurology faculty, comprising over 150 members across 15 diverse divisions. Additionally, the project will develop best practices for managing emails and meetings while faculty members are on vacation. As part of our efforts to promote a culture that encourages detachment during vacation periods, we've introduced a "Life Outside Neurology" segment, where faculty members are encouraged to share vacation photos and reflect on their experiences of detachment from work.

Neelam Goyal MD
Wellbeing Co-Director, Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences

Inbox Message Optimization in Child Neurology

As part of the Pediatric Physician Wellness Improvement initiative the Child Neurology division developed an Epic Inbasket Project aimed at reducing patient advice request burden on providers and improving patient safety.   Prior to our project all patient advice requests coming into Epic Inbasket were going directly from parents to physicians without any form of triage.  Review of the nature of messages being sent found 2/3 of messages were deemed to not be requiring physician level medical decision making.  Delays in responding to messages raised safety concerns and contributed to parental and staff frustration.  After in depth root cause analysis, the division was able restructure its work flows and add a layer of nursing to triage patient advice requests. This substantially reduced the number of messages sent to physicians, and eliminated those messages not requiring physician level medical decision making. This ultimately has helped improve physicians satisfaction and patient safety. This project is ongoing in efforts to continue to improve in these areas.

Documentation Assistance in Ambulatory Neurology

The Department of Neurology has initiated two pilot programs to transform our faculty’s documentation process: (1) an in-person scribe option and (2) the DAX scribe, an AI-driven, asynchronous solution. Our main goal is to determine which approach most benefits our faculty in terms of efficiency and accuracy of documentation and impact on user satisfaction. We also focus on streamlining the onboarding process for new faculty joining the DAX scribe program and improved documentation metrics. The project aims to use scribe services to streamline documentation process, enabling physicians to dedicate less time to charting and more time focusing on patient care.

Email Reduction Task Force

The Email Reduction Task Force was convened in July 2023 as a partnership between faculty and Beth Hoyte, Communications Manager and Sydney Ng, Internal Communications Associate, in response to high email burden consistently reported by faculty. The task force quickly coalesced around a goal of a weekly departmental digest to consolidate 15-30 emails that were previously each sent individually. The task force met several times and adjourned February 2024 following the successful roll out of the weekly neurology digest.