Stanford Presence 5

Supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and directed by Donna Zulman, MD, MS, and Abraham Verghese, MD, the Presence 5 team aims to redesign the clinical encounter to foster humanism and meaningful connections between clinicians and patients. Our objective is to inspire a shift in care from institutional procedure to clinical ritual grounded in scientific evidence and humanism, and in doing so enhance patient experience and clinician well-being, and support patient-centered, safe, and effective care. 

What is Presence?

Presence is a purposeful practice of awareness, focus, and attention with the intent to understand and connect with patients.   Brown-Johnson C, et al. BMJ Open, 2019

Publications and News

Practices to foster physician presence and connection with patients in the clinical encounter. Zulman DM, et al. JAMA, 2020

Can Patient-Provider Interpersonal Interventions Achieve the Quadruple Aim of Health Care?: A Systematic Review.  Haverfield MC, et al., Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2020 

Presence: Physician and non-physician insights about the art of human connection in clinical encounter. Brown-Johnson C, et al. BMJ Open, 2019

Transdisciplinary Strategies for Physician Wellness: Qualitative Insights from Diverse Fields. Schwartz R, et al., Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2019 (more at Stanford News)

Stanford Medicine SCOPE: Modern medicine is challenging the ability of doctors to listen to, bond with patients


“There are a few things that are timeless in medicine, unchanged since antiquity, which we can keep front and center as we bring about reform. One is the simple truth that patients want us to be more present. We as physicians want to be more present with the patient, as well, because without that contact, our professional life loses much of its meaning.”

Verghese A, Health Affairs, 2016


Presence 5 Team

Principal Investigators. Donna Zulman, MD, MS & Abraham Verghese, MD

Research Team. Marie Haverfield PhD, Cati Brown-Johnson PhD, Jonathan Shaw MD, MS, Nadia Safaeinili MPH, Dani Zionts MsPH, Meredith Fischer MA, Rachel Schwartz PhD, Aaron Tierney

Presence Center Executive Director. Sonoo Thadaney, MBA

Students. Yuki Bailey MA, Ted Miclau MS, Mariko Kelly, Tess Waxman, Gaby Li, Ally Hinson, Muzz Shittu MS, Derek Chen, Shreyas Bharadwaj MS, Isabella Romero, Gabriella Piccininni



We are always looking for collaborators and students to join our team! If you’re interested in becoming involved, please contact