Stanford Medicine first to receive top AMA honor three times for addressing physician wellness

Stanford Medicine was recognized by the American Medical Association for commitment to improving physician professional fulfillment.

The American Medical Association has granted top-level Joy in Medicine recognition to Stanford Medicine, the only health care organization to have achieved gold-level status three times.

The association annually recognizes health care organizations engaged in system-level change to enhance physicians’ well-being and professional fulfillment. The honor is valid for two years.

“This acknowledgement affirms the substantive work underway at Stanford Medicine,” said Tait Shanafelt, MD, chief wellness officer and the Jeanie and Stew Ritchie Professor. “We are honored by the recognition, but we know that much work remains to create the practice environment to which we aspire. Stanford Medicine is committed to ensuring the well-being of the physician and health care workforce both at Stanford and around the world.”

The AMA began the Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program in 2019 to address occupational distress among physicians. The association evaluates organizations’ efforts to reduce work-related burnout, issuing gold, silver and bronze designations. The first year of the awards, the AMA honored 22 U.S. health care organizations, with two receiving gold-level designation. This year, 10 received the gold designation; 26, silver; and 36, bronze.

In June 2017, Stanford Medicine became the first academic medical center in the nation to appoint a chief wellness officer. It established the WellMD and WellPhD center to build an environment that improves physicians’ and biomedical researchers’ well-being, with the goal of reducing burnout and creating a practice environment that fosters professional fulfillment.

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit

2024 ISSUE 1

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