2020 - 2021 Participants

Learn more about them and their strategic initiatives below.

Diana Atashroo, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Atashroo serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Director of the Pelvic Pain Center and Co-Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecology within the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. She joined Stanford in 2019 from Northshore University HealthSystem in Illinois affiliated with the University of Chicago-Pritzker School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and completed her residency training at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA. She completed her fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, AZ.

Her expertise includes minimally invasive surgery, nerve blocks, and evaluation and management of complex pelvic pathologies. Her specific interests include pudendal neuralgia, vulvodynia, pelvic floor muscle spasms, painful intercourse, endometriosis, pelvic congestion syndrome, interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, and peripheral neuropathies.

Dr. Atashroo is committed to furthering the well-being of women and strives to provide her patients with an individualized and comprehensive approach to care. Her research interests include surgical outcomes for minimally invasive techniques and surgical education. She is an active member of AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopist) and on the board of directors for IPPS (International Pelvic Pain Society). She has presented at national meetings on various topics related to endoscopic surgery and pelvic pain.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and all outdoor activities.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: Development of an Interdisciplinary Pelvic Pain Treatment and Education Center at Stanford

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is a complex, multifactorial condition that afflicts many women and poses significant financial and clinical challenges to our healthcare system.  Effective empirically treatments are lacking and understudied. Successful treatment relies heavily upon establishing a trusting, therapeutic relationship between provider and patient, and implementing a biopsychosocial focused treatment model. Unfortunately, care is often fragmented due to inadequacies of knowledge, resources, and tools leading to bidirectional dissatisfaction between patients and providers. Major gaps in the field include screening tools, reproducible criteria for clinical exam findings, and prediction rules to help identify subgroups of patients with CPP most likely to benefit from particular therapies from medical to surgical.  Other deficiencies include a lack of adequate clinical pain or therapeutic neuroscience education (TNE), which is a vital component of pain rehabilitation and healthcare cost savings.  A multidisciplinary CPP center will help provide high quality care, research, and training that will provide value for clinicians and patients. 

Objective: To create the framework for a Pelvic Pain Treatment and Education Center involving key stakeholders within Stanford Hospital (SH) and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH) departments of Gynecology, Pediatrics, Medicine, Gastroenterology, Colorectal, Neurology, Anesthesia, Psychiatry, Integrative Medicine, and Physiotherapy. To find collaborators within the School of Medicine and Education to help develop an effective platform for TNE. 

Challenges: Biopsychosocial approaches to pain management are not profit motivating to implement in the short term compared to procedures/interventions. The challenge will be creating a convenient framework for collaboration with clear and focused goals, and identifying key participants in multiple departments, who see personal long-term value in this model.

Opportunity: Build on the strength at Stanford by creating a center of excellence for the treatment of CPP that is 1. Meaningful and constructive 2. Reduces disparities in clinical practice 3. Improves access to care and education 4. Provides quality improvement and patient safety metrics.  If successful, this model could draw funding, research and technology interest that would provide strides in the field of precision medicine and pain education.

Dan Azagury, MD, FACS

Assistant Professor, Surgery

Chief, Section of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery

Dr. Azagury is a minimally invasive surgeon and a health technology innovator. He serves as the Medical Director for the Stanford Bariatric and Metabolic Interdisciplinary clinic as well as Fellowship Director for Minimally Invasive and Bariatric surgery. Alongside his clinical practice, Dr Azagury holds the role of Director for Education at the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign.

His research focuses on multidisciplinary approaches to improve bariatric surgery outcomes as well as medical device innovation. He teaches innovation in multiple international medical programs across Europe and Asia.

Dr Azagury completed medical school and residency in Switzerland. He then completed both a clinical and a research fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Thriving to innovate, he pursued further training as a Biodesign Innovation Fellow at Stanford University’s Byers Center for Biodesign.

He has published over 80 scientific articles and book chapters and holds three patents. Dr Azagury is fluent in French, Spanish and English and loves living in the Bay Area with his wife and four children.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: 

Obesity is a major nationwide and international healthcare issue and obesity rates in the USA continue to increase. Locally, over 57% of residents of San Mateo county are either overweight or have obesity. Obesity is a complex disease with an impact on practically every aspect of health, from cardiovascular disease, chronic diseases such as diabetes or liver disease to cancer and even severity of COVID. It also disproportionally affects ethnic and racial minorities, and people with a lower socio-economic status.

A disease with such widespread effects needs to be addressed in a similar fashion: with a multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach and Stanford has multiple prominent experts in the field. However, there is currently offers no comprehensive obesity management program at Stanford.

The goal of this initiative is to create a novel way to offer as many patients as possible access to a state-of-the-art obesity management platform. We will aim to create a multidisciplinary obesity management and study group.

This initiative will need to reside on the multiple pillars. We will aim to create a strong and recognizable brand within Stanford. Patient access and education will be critical, with a single and easy point of entry for patients and a streamlined access and patient routing. Create and foster a collaborative structure leveraging all of the local expertise. Rely on a strong emphasis on innovation including patient access (outreach, novel communication and patient education and management), novel therapies and innovative research projects. A robust research platform linked to the clinical platform could leverage the multidisciplinary collaboration to create new research programs and endeavors and allow for easy access to patients for clinical trials with a particular focus on women’s health, health disparities and tailored management options.

Alan Cheng, MD

Associate Professor, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Chief, Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology

Dr. Cheng joined the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Stanford University as a physician-scientist in September 2007. His research has focused on defining the role of Wnt signaling in regulating hair cell progenitors in the developing and damaged inner ear using a combination of genetic, molecular biological, pharmacological, and imaging techniques. In particular, his work has led to the discovery of Wnt-responsive hair cell progenitors in the neonatal mouse cochlea and utricle. His clinical practice based in the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital focuses on otologic diseases including hearing loss in the pediatric population.

In 2016, he established the clinician-scientist training program to train the future generation of surgeon-scientists to study communication disorders. Finally, under his leadership as the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology since 2018, his group now consists of 9 faculty members who provide care for complex diseases of the pediatric ear, nose, and throat regionally and nationally.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: 

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent chronic disorder affecting pediatric patients. Despite the common presenting signs and symptoms, it is a highly heterogeneous disorder warranting diagnosis and treatment by a multidisciplinary team. The major gaps include 1) suboptimal methods to diagnose and monitor disease progression, 2) little coordination across disciplines managing sleep and upper airway (pediatric pulmonology, orthodontics, and otolaryngology), 3) few established clinical pathways to diagnose and treat subtypes of OSA.

This initiative aims to establish a complex sleep disorder center that encompasses 1) a multidisciplinary clinic caring for children with complex sleep disorders, 2) individual clinical pathways with ongoing assessment of patient outcomes, 3) a collaborative research program between adult and pediatric sleep centers. We will build on the existing clinically busy pediatric pulmonary and otolaryngology programs and leverage expertise across adult and pediatric disciplines. To innovate and expand translational research, we will raise funds and recruit new faculty and staff. The overall goal is to build an internationally recognized center of excellence for complex sleep disorders.

John Higgins, MD

Professor, Pathology

Associate Residency Program Director for Anatomic Pathology

Dr. John Higgins is a surgical pathologist with diagnostic expertise in medical renal, liver and gastrointestinal and genitourinary disease. His research interests are also in those areas. He joined the Stanford faculty in 2001. He has been the Associate Residency Program Director for Anatomic Pathology for the past year.

Dr. Higgins was an undergraduate at The Johns Hopkins University and obtained his M.D. from Stanford. He was a medical intern at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose and then returned to Stanford for residency in anatomic pathology. He did a fellowship in immunodiagnosis and then joined the faculty at Stanford. He established the Post-Sophomore Year Fellowship in pathology to provide an in depth exposure to pathology for medical students with an interest in pathology and he has co-directed that program since its inception.

He has published over 100 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. He serves on the Test Development Advisory Committee for the American Board of Pathology. He serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Surgical Pathology.

He lives in Menlo Park with his wife and two high school aged daughters. He is a committed masters swimmer but has re-cultivated his passion for road cycling during the hiatus.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: 

Quality of care is at the heart of medical practice and of medical pedagogy. Quality has become increasingly emphasized in the acreditation process and mechanisms of quality improvement, such as the A3 model, have been developed. Fluency with these methods is necessary for implementing change in medical processes. Yet formal training in quality principles has been scant in our residency program.

A number of resources exist at Stanford for training in quality such as the Realizing Improvement through Team Empowerment (RITE), Clinical Effectiveness Leadership Training (CELT) programs and others. These programs are excellent and are popular, but are not geared toward residents and fellows. These resources could be harnessed to greatly enhance the training of Stanford residents in quality principles.

For my strategic initiative, I propose to develop a quality curriculum for the residents and fellows in the Department of Pathology. This will involve leading a team of trainees, staff and faculty with interest or involvement in quality. The team will identify formal topics that need to be taught as well as methods of teaching these topics such as through lectures and experiential learning. It will also involve seeking guidance and collaboration from quality leaders in other departments and from hospital administration. Alumnae and alumni of the program will begin their work careers fully equipped to work with hospital administration to improve processes in their work environments. Ideally, general principles of quality training established in this program could become a requirement or opportunity for all residents who train at Stanford.

Sohail Z. Husain, MD

Professor, Pediatrics (Gastroenterology)

Chief, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

Dr. Sohail Husain serves as Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Stanford. In 2019, he joined Stanford as Chief, with the vision for Stanford to serve as the preeminent provider of pediatric GI care in the region and to emerge as a global leader in pediatric GI research and education and a destination site for highly recognized programs of excellence.

Sohail likes to be a matchmaker. At Stanford, he wishes to marry science and medicine. Early on in his career, he became entrenched in a quest to decipher the mechanisms underlying disorders of the exocrine pancreas. Sohail’s research investigates three broad areas relating to the exocrine pancreas: (1) The crucial signaling pathways that initiate and transduce pancreatitis; (2) the factors that turn on pancreatic regeneration and recovery after pancreatic injury; and (3) the mechanisms underlying drug-induced pancreatitis. Before moving to Stanford, Sohail served as Director of the Pediatric Exocrine Pancreatic Disorders Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Sohail takes pride in the institutions that trained him. This includes Tufts University, where he earned an MD, New York University, where he did his Pediatric residency, and Yale University, where he trained as a Pediatric GI fellow.

Sohail enjoys hiking, swimming, and jogging. He is actively involved in humanitarian projects with a group called Humanity First USA, including taking disaster relief trips after the 2005 tsunami to Banda Aceh (Indonesia), the 2006 hurricane Katrina to New Orleans, and the 2010 earthquake to Port-au-Prince (Haiti). He was born in India, raised in Brooklyn, and now resides in Mountain View with his wife and two active teenagers.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: Achieving preeminence as a Stanford Pediatric GI Division by marrying science and medicine

Executive summary and statement of goals: I came to Stanford, as Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, to marry science and medicine. Thus, the overarching goals of my Strategic Initiative (SI) are broadly to inspire the Pediatric GI Division to adopt a high functioning culture of mutual respect, that provides a bedrock to promote academic and clinical excellence, and specifically to develop structure, talent, strategy, and operations, with examples to emulate in the Division, that will poise us to sustainably achieve the highest echelons of science and medicine in our field.

Over the next 18 months, my 4 focused development goals are to:

1.    Promote a culture of mutual respect

2.    Establish fiscal stability and accountability, with an emphasis on boosting Pediatric Endoscopic Procedures

3.    Develop stronger partnerships within the Division and with our stakeholders, especially with Hospital leadership

4.    Transform the research enterprise in the Division towards high impact

Aspirations for the Stanford Pediatric GI Division: Pediatric Gastroenterology (GI) is fertile ground for cutting edge research because there are many pressing questions that plague children with GI disorders, including in the realm of pancreatic, intestinal, nutritional, and liver disorders. I came to Stanford as Chief of Pediatric GI in 2019 to marry science and medicine. In my view, a thriving marriage of this type will require several moves. They include developing a high functioning culture of mutual respect, which is necessary to promote excellence in all three missions of clinical, research, and education and to welcome positive change; establishing healthy structured relationships of communications, including with the Hospital, building consensus, wherever feasible, and an outlook for a shared vision; orchestrating healthy operations that promote growth, fiscal accountability, and the establishment of financial reserves; developing within our Division, as well as recruiting from the outside, a cadre of physicians and scientists and staff who are eager to move the needle in our field in the realm of research, by harnessing the wealth of science and technology at Stanford, along with the prime opportunity at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital (LPCH) to care for and study children who suffer from GI disorders. For the Hospital, GI should be a major revenue generator and a flagship service.

I would like to lead by example. My primary professional pursuits are in research and technology development in pancreatic disorders. I would like to leverage those strengths in inspiring our entire Division to broadly make Stanford the most active hotspot for translational science in Pediatric GI on the map. This entails several milestones as a group, including making high impact research findings, garnering both independent senior and collaborative funding, building and nurturing the most effective and collegial research teams, stimulating the pipeline of outstanding physician-scientists, and taking entire sub-fields to greater heights of scientific gravitas and measurable outcomes. Since I can speak to the research mission of the Division with firsthand experience, I would like to exploit my own research aspirations as a means to stimulate that attainment of all arms of the mission within our Division, including clinical and educational excellence.

Broad trajectory: The vision for our Stanford Pediatric GI Division is for Stanford to serve as the preeminent provider of pediatric GI care in the region and to emerge by 2029 as a global leader in pediatric GI research and education and a destination site for highly recognized programs of excellence. The mission for our Division is to be finalized in the next couple months through ongoing deliberations of a special Task Force, called Mission and Metrics. The unreleased statement is that “The mission of Stanford Pediatric Gastroenterology is to heal children with digestive diseases. To accomplish this mission, we provide comprehensive pediatric gastroenterology clinical care to the Bay Area community, and those beyond through global destination programs that are driven by preeminent research, dedication to training the next generation of gastroenterologists, and integrative medical care involving clinicians at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, scientists at Stanford University, and patient families. Together we are changing the lives of children, today.”

Jennifer Lee, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Medicine (Endocrinology)

Jennifer Lee, M.D., Ph.D. is a clinician scientist, Associate Professor of Medicine, and by courtesy, of Epidemiology and Population Health, and Associate Chief of Staff for Research at VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She sees patients in endocrinology clinic and inpatient consultation settings. She has scientific and programmatic interests in molecular and genetic epidemiology, innovative efficient clinical research designs/methods, and translating research discoveries into healthcare operations at the healthcare system level. She leads a national VA research initiative to advance the integration of Electronic Health Record-based observational and interventional research designs. She co-leads several research projects in learning informatics and the genetics of cardiometabolic conditions, in the national VA Million Veteran Program (MVP). She has much experience in longitudinal studies of endocrine aging and estrogen-androgen balance in glycemic dysregulation and cardiovascular disease, and other complex chronic conditions — cardiometabolic diseases, cancers, bone health, and cognitive function. Dr. Lee graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University (joint B.A. & M.A.) and Harvard Medical School, during which she was an NIH-HHMI Scholar. She earned her Ph.D. in epidemiology from Stanford. She completed her medicine residency at Stanford and her endocrinology and women’s health fellowships at UC San Francisco, through the clinical investigator pathway.

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

My SMLA Strategic Initiative focuses on developing a Data Science and Clinical Research Program at VA Palo Alto that collaborates with several strategically aligned Centers and SPECTRUM at Stanford. The VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) is a research flagship nationally in the Veteran Health Administration. Sponsored by VA and non-VA funding sources, VAPAHCS has over 250 research investigators, many of whom are clinician scientists and are either dually appointed or affiliated faculty members at Stanford. These research investigators are embedded in the largest integrated health care system in the U.S. The VA nationally prioritizes making VA health data a national VA resource and enabling precision experimental drugs and innovative clinical trials to Veterans. 

The Data Science and Clinical Research Program at VAPAHCS directly addresses these priorities and will leverage the longest running and one of the largest electronic health data systems. It will provide infrastructure/personnel and facilitate R&D activities (pre-award thru award completion) from bench to bedside for Veterans, with generalizability of findings assessed in broader populations. Our approach will be to stand-up the Program’s staffing and space infrastructure at VAPAHCS to provide data science/predictive analytics using VA electronic health data, augment clinical trials, and bolster an existing clinical research unit support during all phases of research project. This Program will also interface with the VAPAHCS clinical operations leaders to provide data science expertise for healthcare quality assessments and monitoring, where needed. This Program will complement, and partner in key aspects, with the analogous priorities at Stanford School of Medicine (Dean’s Office) for precision medicine, data science, and innovative clinical research. As a first order, a handful of shared priority health topics, such as cardiometabolic diseases and cancers, for data science and clinical research activities by the Program.

John Leppert, MD, MS

Associate Professor, Urology

Director, Urologic Oncology at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Dr. Leppert was born and raised in San Diego, California. He left Southern California to complete his B.A. and M.D. through the combined Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, he began working with Drs. Daniel Peterson and Fred “Rusty” Gage in the Laboratory of Genetics at The Salk Institute, sparking his interest in pursuing a career as a surgeon-scientist.

Dr. Leppert developed a passion for kidney surgery and completed his internship in general surgery and urology residency at UCLA. He remained at UCLA to complete a fellowship in Endourology and Minimally Invasive Surgery. In 2008, Dr. Leppert joined the Stanford University Department of Urology as an Assistant Professor. As a staff surgeon and Director of Urologic Oncology at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) he staffs a multidisciplinary clinic caring for Veterans with complex cancers referred from across the West Coast and performs open, laparoscopic, and robotic cancer surgery.

Dr. Leppert coordinates the Stanford Kidney Cancer Research Program, a forum to encourage multidisciplinary approaches to basic, pre-clinical, translational, and patient-oriented kidney cancer research. The Program is designed to facilitate interactions, as well as to foster the development of new research efforts in the study of kidney cancer and includes a bi-monthly seminar to highlight the work of our growing group of Stanford faculty interested in kidney cancer research. His personal research interests include both translational and health services research. His translational research efforts focus on the discovery of proteomic biomarkers for the diagnosis, prognosis, and selection of therapies for patients with renal cell carcinoma. His health services research helps evaluate the global quality of care for patients with urologic cancers and kidney stone disease, with a particular interest in studying care delivery in the Veterans Health Administration.

Outside of work, Dr. Leppert enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, and playing and performing music.

Strategic Initiative Abstract:

The Stanford Kidney Cancer Research Program was founded in 2010 and has grown into a multi-disciplinary and vibrant community of researchers interested in advancing our understanding of this fatal disease. The purpose of this Strategic Initiative is to transform the Stanford Kidney Cancer Research Program into a world leader addressing this common, yet historically underfunded, fatal cancer.

We propose to develop a comprehensive strategy to support an ambitious and sustainable research program. We will engage with stakeholders across the entire Stanford campus, including current members of the SKRP, the Stanford Cancer Institute, along with basic science and clinical departments in the School of Medicine, to create unifying themes of kidney cancer research. These themes will become the basis of extramural program project level funding applications, designed to foster collaboration and synergy among research groups and further develop shared research infrastructure. We will also coordinate a training grant application that will provide additional funding to develop future leaders in kidney cancer research. For each of these funding applications we will establish connections with program officers at the NCI, kidney cancer foundations, and other funding sources. Finally, we will work with the development office to create a new public facing component of the SKCRP to foster philanthropic support for the Stanford Kidney Cancer Research Program.

Amy Lu, MPH, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor, Anesthesia

Amy Lu is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine and the Vice Chair of Quality, Safety and Performance Improvement.  She is dedicated to and her goal is to building a community of quality and safety improvement minded colleagues in her department. 

Amy also serves as one of the Associate Chief Quality Officers for Stanford Health Care (SHC).  In this role, she focuses on the areas of Clinical Effectiveness and Efficiency, providing oversight guidance to the quality High Value Care team which works to minimize unnecessary clinical variation and reduce inappropriate utilization.  The team focuses on creating and implementing evidence-based multidisciplinary pathways and have implemented a number of pathways in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.  Their work in these areas have demonstrated significant decreases in length of stay, improved readmission rates, decreased costs, and statistically improved clinical outcomes, including reductions in complications. 

Through her pathways work, Dr. Lu has built strong relationships with clinical and operational leaders and also with members of the multidisciplinary clinical teams.  She has mentored a number of junior faculty and residents through QI and pathways initiatives.

For her SMLA project, Amy is planning on using her background in community health settings, master’s in public health, and experience in quality to establish a health equity framework for the medical school and hospital.  She is currently working on creating a health equity committee with clinical and operational leaders that will focus on identifying our vulnerable populations and improving these patients’ clinical outcomes, quality, safety and access to care.

In her spare time, Amy enjoys bicycling, hiking and spending time with her husband and two school-aged boys.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: Creating a Health Equity Platform for Stanford Medicine

My strategic initiative will be to help lead the creation of platform for health equity through the Health Equity Committee for Stanford Medicine. This committee started in 2020, and I co-chair the group with Dr. Bonnie Maldonado (who also serves as my SMLA mentor). The committee has multidisciplinary representation from across Stanford Medicine, including School of Medicine, Stanford Healthcare, Stanford Children’s Hospital, and Valley Care. The mission of the committee is to:

  • Ensure all patients receive equal priority and the highest level of care at Stanford Medicine and Stanford Health Care
  • Support community health improvement through upstream (social determinants of health) and downstream (health condition) interventions
  • Improve health equity metrics in quality and safety for Stanford Medicine patient population. We will accomplish this through examination of inequities and health disparities among all patient demographic factors, including race, gender/sex, income, geographic region, etc.

The committee has four strategic aims, including:

Culture: Changing the culture of Stanford Medicine through cultural competency training, promoting and communicating health equity efforts, creating health equity website

Community: Promoting local community outreach and efforts through engagement, outreach, building trust. Possible examples include community health fairs and partnerships with Federally Qualified Community Centers.

Improving clinical and quality of care: We have started creating a dashboard of health equity metrics. Our analysis will inform and help prioritize improvement initiatives needed to reduce existing disparities in our clinical and quality outcomes. This will also help us benchmark our performance in health equity with other health systems.

Patient recruitment and access: We hope to improve patient recruitment and access through campaigns such as the “We ask because we care" efforts. This will enable us to obtain REAL (race, ethnicity and language) and SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) data

Our goals for the next year include:

  • Identify current state and ongoing analysis of health equity metrics and key patient demographics (e.g. dashboard and website)
  • Engage Stanford Medicine and community leadership on joint initiatives supporting this committee’s overall goal
  • Identify annual initiatives to complete that achieve committee’s mission
  • Provide support for new and ongoing health equity initiatives throughout Stanford Health Care and the School of Medicine.

Heather Moss, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Ophthalmology

Dr. Heather Moss is Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Research in the Stanford Department of Ophthalmology.  She directs an innovative clinical-research program in biomarker discovery at the Spencer Center for Vision Research at Stanford and provides expert neuro-ophthalmic clinical care at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford.

Dr. Moss pursued undergraduate studies in biomedical engineering at the University of Guelph, followed by doctoral studies in medical engineering at Harvard and MIT, seeking to improve human health through application of engineering principles.  Working with patients inspired her to become a physician; after earning her medical degree at Harvard, she completed residency training in Neurology and fellowship training in Neuro-ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania. She spent six years on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago, serving as the Director of Neuro-ophthalmology and starting a neuro-ophthalmology fellowship training program, before joining the Stanford faculty in 2016.

Her clinical expertise includes diagnosis and treatment of optic nerve diseases, eye movement disorders, and neurological pathology affecting visual pathways.  She is a national leader in application of telemedicine to improve access to neuro-ophthalmic care.  Her research lab is developing novel diagnostic approaches to neurological and neuro-ophthalmic diseases through application of innovative electrophysiology, imaging, and mathematical modeling.  She has published over 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals, has authored numerous book chapters, and serves on the editorial board of four journals. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS) and has been elected to leadership roles in both organizations.

Outside of work Dr. Moss enjoys spending time with her two children, exploring northern California, and renovating her 100-year-old house. 

Strategic Initiative Abstract: Establishment of a Clinical Research Unit in the Stanford

Human subjects research is critical to advancing human health, both to establish the efficacy and safety of therapeutics and to improve understanding of disease. In recent years, the rigor of studies has increased, as has the complexity of their regulation.  This trend has necessitated having specialized expertise and skills to successfully design, fund and complete innovative human subjects research.  Shared personnel and shared space have been adopted as strategies to support expanded human subjects research.   

Five years ago, the Stanford Department of Ophthalmology had one clinical research coordinator and study visits were performed exclusively in clinical space.  This has grown exponentially to support the expanding clinical research effort by faculty. Currently, there are more than ten clinical research coordinators who use both clinical space and a research ophthalmology clinic.  This dedicated space includes capabilities for both state of the art clinical ancillary testing as well as cutting-edge investigational devices for measurement of visual pathway structure and function.  The team of clinical research coordinators completed 40 studies in 2019, is currently supporting over 45 active studies and preparing to open 20 additional studies.  Research efforts have resulted in a critical mass of personnel, space and activity that can be consolidated into a formalized Clinical Research Unit (CRU) within Stanford’s Spencer Center for Vision Research at the Byers Eye Institute.  

Our vision for the CRU is a hub of vision science human subjects research expertise, skills and equipment that will both broadly and specifically facilitate human research efforts. Furthermore, the CRU will be a resource to diverse faculty (junior and senior, clinicians and scientists, with and without their own labs, inside and outside the Ophthalmology Department), be supported by a variety of  funding sources (industry, government, foundation, gifts) and perform many types of clinical research (therapeutic, observational, single center, multicenter).  To achieve this vision, we will initially study CRU best practices inside and outside of Stanford, determine the scope of services to be offered and negotiate expectations for staff and investigators.  This will guide establishment of umbrella operations (personnel management, finances, regulatory compliance) and procedures that will support faculty to accelerate and elevate clinical vision research at Stanford.

David Rehkopf, MPH, ScD

Associate Professor, Medicine (Primary Care/ Pop Health)

Dr. David Rehkopf is a social epidemiologist and serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health and in the Department of Medicine in the Division of Primary Care and Population Health. He joined the faculty at Stanford School of Medicine in 2011.

David is currently the co-director of the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences. In this position he is committed to making high value data resources available to researchers across medical disciplines in order to better enable them to answer their most pressing clinical and population health questions.

His own research is focused on understanding the health implications of the myriad decisions that are made by corporations and governments every day - decisions that profoundly shape the social and economic worlds in which we live and work. While these changes are often invisible to us on a daily basis, these seemingly minor actions and decisions form structural nudges that can create better or worse health at a population level. His work demonstrates the health implications of corporate and governmental decisions that can give the public and policy makers evidence to support new strategies for promoting health and well-being. In all of his work, he has a focus on the implications of these exposures for health inequalities.

Since often policy and programmatic changes can take decades to influence health, his work also includes more basic research to understand biological signals that may act as early warning signs of systemic disease, in particular accelerated aging. He examines how social and economic policy changes influence a range of early markers of disease and aging, with a particular recent focus on DNA methylation. He is supported by several grants from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to develop new more sensitive ways to understand the health implications of social and economic policy changes.

David received his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Puget Sound, his Master in Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, and his Doctoral Degree in Society, Human Development and Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the University of California San Francisco/University of California, Berkeley (Cohort 4). He has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Outside of work, David is a cyclist, and enjoys backpacking and skiing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He grew up in Burien, Washington, and now lives in Menlo Park with his wife and two daughters.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: 

Governmental agencies and the public are increasingly asking questions about how to reduce racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities in health. Yet few resources are available to provide evidence on the impacts of different social and public policy changes on health equity. While my prior work has helped support guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in this area, the current recommendations are narrow in scope due to the limited evidence base. Governments and the public are looking to academic medical centers as leaders to provide them with evidence for best practices for reducing health inequalities, and building healthy communities. Stanford University School of Medicine (SOM) has the infrastructure and intellectual capacity to lead this effort. There is important and highly relevant work already being done by researchers at Stanford, both within and outside of the SOM, but this work has not typically been connected to broader local policy questions in a coordinated way.

The long-term goal of my Strategic Initiative (SI) is for Stanford SOM to emerge as a thought leader for providing evidence to state and local governments and health departments for implementing program and policy actions to increase health equity. While the initiative focuses on the communities surrounding Stanford, Santa Clara County, the Bay area, and California, lessons learned here can over time be shared and have implications for others beyond our own communities.

I will achieve these longer term goals through a number of specific shorter-term 18 months actions. These include: 1) developing relationships with key policy makers at the State, County and local level in order to be able to be responsive to current and ongoing policy debates and best understand the way Stanford Medicine can contribute to those discussions, 2) working in coordination with initiatives within Stanford Health Care and SOM for taking actions at multiple levels to reduce health inequalities, 3) obtaining planning grant funding for a population center with the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality to facilitate closer collaboration between those in SOM and colleagues in Economics, Sociology and Public Policy, 4) integrating state and local public policy data in to the Population Health Sciences data ecosystem, in order to facilitate more applied social and economic policy research among Stanford faculty.

My SI poses a number of leadership challenges. The first is to go beyond my collaborators in Epidemiology and Population Health to engage with a broader range of clinical faculty active in health care delivery at Stanford, and in the Stanford Medicine Diversity Office. Secondly, to be more outwardly facing to the community and to local government, and to establish relationships that will allow me to understand their needs for scientific evidence for informing their actions and leading to policy changes. Thirdly, to develop systems and practices to facilitate closer collaboration between SOM faculty and faculty of Humanities and Sciences with related research interests. My SI can only be achieved by listening to the needs of others in this space in order to understand how best to build consensus and approaches to move forward in addressing health inequalities in the Bay area.

Chiara Sabatti, PhD

Professor, Biomedical Data Science

Chiara grew up in Brescia, Italy and obtained a master's degree in "Economics and Social Sciences" (DES) from the Bocconi University in Milan in 1993. She came to Stanford in 1994 to pursue a PhD in Statistics, and worked with Jun Liu on multiscale MCMC methods. Between 1998 and 2000, she was a post-doctoral scholar, working with Neil Risch in Stanford's Department of Genetics, and she was dazzled by the power of statistical methods in the booming field of genetics. In 2000, she joined the faculty at UCLA in the newly established departments of Human Genetics and Statistics. She returned to Stanford in 2009, with appointments in Health Research and Policy and in Statistics.

Chiara was one of the founding members of the new Department of Biomedical Data Science, where she now serves as Associate Chair of Education and Training. She is involved in the Stanford Data Science Initiative, and her work is partly supported by an NSF grant which encourages collaboration across many Data Science Hubs across the United States. She also serves as the Associate Director of the Undergraduate Major in Mathematical and Computational Science program, also known as Stanford's Data Science Major. For the last two years, she has served as a faculty mentor in the summer Data Science for Social Good fellowship program. She is happiest when working through a hard problem with students and she never turns down the opportunity for a philosophical chat.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: 

This initiative, broadly speaking, aims to make the academic environment more welcoming and inclusive of members of all races and social backgrounds. I consider two related goals: (1) assuring that Stanford graduate students learn about the value of diversity, are exposed to interactions with members of different races and socio-economic statuses, learn about the challenges that URM experience, and are trained to mentor people different from them in an inclusive style; and (2) increasing access of URM to higher education in general and to Stanford graduate programs in Data Science in particular by addressing the pipeline problem; that is, by making sure that members of URM receive mentorship and training early enough and consider careers in data science as an option effectively open to them.

To make strides in this direction, I envision a class offered for Stanford PhD students that is a “teaching practicum.” Stanford students would be paired with a college student (“participant”) at institutions serving URM and disadvantaged socio-economic strata, with whom they would meet regularly in an online environment and work on a curriculum jointly developed by Stanford faculty and faculty at the participating institution. This curriculum might be guidance on which classes to take, tutoring, providing examples of actual data science research, or supporting them through an introductory project. Faculty teaching the class, in an active learning design, will help the Stanford student learn strategies to create an inclusive environment, approaches to effective mentoring and coaching, and techniques to develop a personalized curriculum. They will meet regularly with the students, helping them to fine tune the curriculum for the participant. Participants, aside from the one-on-one interaction with the Stanford graduate students, would be invited to take advantages of all opportunities offered by Stanford for undergraduates at other institutions, including, in particular, summer research opportunities.

This program has at its center Stanford students: this makes it easier to leverage all the resources of the university and insures sustainability.  But it is not without challenges, and a major one will be the establishment of relationships with other colleges: it will be important to leverage existing Stanford resources in the areas of Diversity & Inclusion as well as Outreach.

Harman Singh, MD

Clinical Associate Professor, Neurosurgery

Dr. Harminder Singh is Clinical Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. He serves as Chief of Neurosurgery at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California, and is the Director of Neurotrauma. He is also Director of the Stanford Neuroanatomy and Simulation laboratory. Dr. Singh is board certified in neurosurgery by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). He received advanced training in minimally invasive cranial surgery from Cornell University with Dr. Theodore Schwartz, and completed a complex cerebrovascular and skull base fellowship at the University of Washington With Dr. Laligam Sekhar.

During residency, Dr. Singh received extensive training in all aspects of spinal surgery: traumatic, degenerative and oncologic. He also trained with international orthopedic experts on spinal surgery, including Dr. Alex Vaccaro and Todd Albert, among others. Dr. Singh is passionate about resident education, having organized numerous cadaveric workshops and symposiums for residents over the last several years.

He is editor of two books on pediatric endoscopic surgery, and has published over 75 research papers and book chapters.

His clinical and research interests lie in applying the principles of minimally invasive surgery to tumors and vascular lesions of brain and spine. Dr. Singh is interested in developing new endoscopic technology and instrumentation to facilitate minimally invasive surgery of the central nervous system.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: 

To establish SCVMC as a Center of Excellence in Neurosurgery.

This vision will be realized by focusing on 7 core objectives:

1. Expansion - Extending comprehensive neurosurgical coverage to all 3 hospitals, with SCVMC as the flagship.

2. Team building – Retaining/recruiting a core group of professionals who take pride in their service and are aligned with the vision of excellence.

3. Technology - Incorporating the best in-operating room and in-clinic technology to deliver superior patient care.

4. Education – Expanding the current educational curriculum to incorporate fellows, residents, and medical students.

5. Research – Enhance clinical SCI/TBI research by maintaining and linking registries/databases, in hospital, as well as common data elements (CDEs) sharing across institutions.  Develop infrastructure to participate in clinical trials.

6. Quality Initiatives - Measuring neurosurgical quality of care against national benchmarks, as well as in-house quality metrics e.g. NSQIP, PressGaney, PRC, TPIPSC.  Develop infrastructure to support QI research.

7. Outreach – Harness institutional resources for effective PR.

Murat Surucu, PhD

Clinical Associate Professor and Chief of Clinical Physics Radiation Oncology, Medical Physics

Dr. Surucu joined Stanford Radiation Oncology faculty in 2020 as the Chief of Clinical Physics. Dr. Surucu received his B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul/Turkey. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at University of Southern California in 2007. Dr. Surucu started his postdoctoral research at Radiation Oncology Department of Washington University  in  St.  Louis  and  developed  planning  tools for  Modulated Electron Radiotherapy.           He was awarded the Jack Fowler Junior Investigator Award from American Association of Physicist in Medicine (AAPM) for this work.

Dr. Surucu completed his Medical Physics residency at The University of Chicago in 2011 and joined the faculty of Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical Physics at Loyola University Chicago. He became the Chief of Clinical Physics in 2015, where   he led many clinical projects and implemented new technologies. These projects included the acceptance testing and commissioning of multiple linear accelerators, CT scanners, and implementation of new treatment planning systems. Dr. Surucu has led the team in successfully integrating  radiation  oncology  with  hospital  electronic health record systems.

Dr. Surucu’s main research is focused on adaptive radiotherapy. Dr. Surucu has investigated the need for adaptive radiotherapy for head and neck cancer patients  and assessed the impact of tumor volume changes on the delivered dose  distributions. Dr. Surucu developed tools to identify patients that have a higher probability of needing adaptive radiotherapy.

Dr. Surucu served as the secretary, treasurer, and board member-at-large for the AAPM Midwest Chapter. He is currently serving on the Joint Working Group for Research Seed Funding Initiative of AAPM. Dr. Surucu published over 40 papers in peer reviewed journals and presented over 90 abstracts in national meetings. Dr. Surucu loves music more than physics and enjoys playing multiple instruments such as qanun, baglama, nay and clarinet. He is a member of the Stanford Middle East Ensemble. Dr. Surucu is married and has three children.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: Standardization through accreditation

For a radiation oncology program that extends in multiple clinics in different locations, standardization is warranted to ensure the same quality of care is offered in everywhere and to help allow the staff to easily cover the clinics in multiple locations. This project involves the communication and alignment in multiple levels within the main center and the satellites. 

There are two accreditation organizations in Radiotherapy (ACR or APEX), my initial goal is to identify which accreditation program matches the vision of our department. The plan of action for accreditation will be to perform initial survey of the status of the department, to assess the requirements of the accreditation, to identify team members to serve in this multi-discipline work group to prepare for the accreditation, to set the timeline and the needs for the accreditation, to prepare policies and procedures, to prepare the documentation and training for the accreditation, to submit the application, to help guide the surveyors during the accreditation visit, to answer the questions and provide feedback to the group.  

The project is tangible and meets the future goals of the department. It has an external accreditation body to review and assesses the outcome. It will help me to engage in a deeper level with the operations within our main center and the satellites. It requires me to work with all the physicians and support staff in multiple locations, where I can listen and observe the workflows and help identify the areas of improvement. It also helps me to identify the best practices and disseminate to the other locations. It provides a template for growth, namely when we acquire new centers the standard processes can be easily implemented. 

Jane Tan, PhD

Professor, Medicine (Nephrology)

Dr. Tan is a Professor and Clinic Chief of Adult Kidney and Pancreas Transplant at Stanford.  Her clinical work and research are focused on improving kidney transplant access and outcomes.

Dr. Tan graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering in 1985.  She received her MD and PhD at the University of Rochester in 1995 and then completed her residency and fellowship in Nephrology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School in 2000.  Since then, she has been a faculty member at Stanford University in the Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine.  Throughout her tenure at Stanford, she has conducted clinical and translational research in kidney transplantation that have led to implementation in clinical practice and policy.  Her studies in living donor physiology have led to better education and improved counseling in donor selection and follow up, while her investigation of renal senescence has prompted wider and more judicious use of older donor organs for transplantation. 

Dr. Tan has served on national advisory boards for the American Society of Transplantation, American Society of Nephrology, FDA and HRSA.  Her current clinical and research activities focus on frailty and access to transplant, where she developed a clinical program for optimizing transplant readiness in older and medically complex patients that has led to a dramatic increase in transplant volumes while maintaining superior clinical outcomes.

Dr. Tan enjoys family time with her husband and two sons.  They enjoy cooking, community service, and outdoor adventures such as hiking, scuba diving and camping.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: Developing a community-based multidisciplinary prehabilitation program for kidney transplantation

Background: We launched the Transplant Readiness Assessment Clinic (TRAC) in 2017 in order to prepare patients at the top of the kidney transplant wait list for activation.  During the TRAC visit, we provide in-depth evaluation and personalized counseling to improve each candidate’s chances of transplant success.  Unlike that of living donor transplantation, timing of deceased donor transplantation is unpredictable. The wait time in our area is 7-10 years and continues to worsen.  Many patients travel 2-4 hours to our center to be placed on the transplant waitlist.  Health literacy is low, with 40% requiring interpreter services.  They are not our patients until they are transplanted, and therefore interactions with the transplant center are limited prior to transplantation. 

Problem statement: Two modifiable but stubborn obstacles to pretransplant optimization and activation are frailty and obesity. 

Proposal: I will develop a multidisciplinary program for prehabilitation focused on frailty and obesity that can be implemented at the community level.  This will provide realistic opportunities for successful transplant experiences in vulnerable patients.  I will create a regional partnership with the following multidisciplinary groups to create a seamless, well defined process for prehabilitation.

·      referring nephrologists and dialysis units (including social workers and nutritionists)

·      physical therapy and rehabilitation experts within the Stanford community as well as communities more remote

·      bariatric experts, dieticians and medically supervised weight loss experts 

Traditionally, transplant centers have been unilateral decision makers in patient listing, determination of required studies, and activation for transplant.  Transplant is a multidisciplinary field that is highly regulated.  It involves surgeons, transplant nephrologists, nurse coordinators, social workers and dieticians.  This multidisciplinary transplant team approach has been highly efficient and effective, but there is no model for coordinated care with other multidisciplinary teams in the pretransplant stage. 

Successful development and implementation of this program will be a model for removing barriers to kidney transplantation across the country.

Melinda Telli, MD

Associate Professor, Medicine (Oncology)

Dr. Melinda Telli is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology and Director of the Breast Cancer Program at the  Stanford Cancer Institute. Melinda received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and medical degree from George Washington University. She completed residency in Internal Medicine at Stanford, and then stayed at Stanford to pursue fellowship training in Medical Oncology before joining the faculty in 2010.

Melinda is a clinical trialist and her research focuses on the development of novel therapies for the treatment of triple-negative and hereditary cancer. Her work has focused on the validation of homologous recombination deficiency biomarkers to help identify patients with sporadic triple-negative breast cancer that may specifically derive benefit from DNA repair defect-targeted therapies. In addition to her involvement in the clinical development of PARP inhibitors for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation-associated cancers, she has also explored the use of ‘beyond BRCA’ DNA repair gene mutations as potential biomarkers to select patients for PARP inhibitor therapy in the advanced disease setting.

Melinda has served on numerous American Society of Clinical Oncology Committees and currently serves as a Komen Scholar, member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Breast Cancer Guideline Panel and member of the Journal of Clinical Oncology Editorial Board. Dr. Telli is the recipient of a Susan G. Komen for the Cure Translational Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (2008), American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award (2009), Susan G. Komen for the Cure Leadership Award (2015 and 2018), Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Hero Award (2018), and Susan G. Komen SF Bay Area Visionary Award (2019). She has garnered multiple teaching accolades and is a repeat recipient of the Stanford Division of Oncology Teaching Award.

Melinda grew up in New Jersey and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and son Atticus (3 years old). In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: Advancing cancer clinical research across the Stanford network

Over the last 15 years, there has been tremendous focus on cancer across Stanford Medicine. The multidisciplinary Cancer Center building opened its doors in 2004 on campus and since that time additional cancer programs have been launched including the Cancer Center South Bay in 2015 and more recently cancer programs at Stanford ValleyCare and Stanford Emeryville. In 2007, the Stanford Cancer Institute became a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center and in 2015 attained the NCI’s highest designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Comprehensive Cancer Centers advance the NCI’s mission to support and coordinate basic, translational, clinical and population science research across the United States. The Stanford Cancer Institute currently serves a population of over 6.5 million people living within our 9 county catchment area. Given our very rapid growth, we currently find ourselves in a position where expansion in cancer clinical care has greatly outpaced expansion in clinical research. We currently have no therapeutic clinical research infrastructure at Stanford ValleyCare and Emeryville and a very modest operation at Cancer Center South Bay.

Development of a robust therapeutic cancer clinical research operation across all Stanford Medicine clinical locations is an acute need. To meet this challenge, a new model to coordinate and provide oversight of cancer clinical trials across the Stanford network will be developed. In addition to strong commitment from the Stanford Cancer Institute, School of Medicine and Stanford Healthcare leadership for staff and physical space resources, across the board engagement from leaders and investigators in medical oncology, surgical oncology and radiation oncology will be critical. Achieving this goal will allow us to fulfill our mission to provide patients with access to the latest therapeutic advances through clinical trials and will send a strong signal of our commitment to serve all patients in our catchment area by providing them with access to Stanford cancer clinical trials where they live.

Sarah Williams, MD, MHPE

Clinical Professor, Emergency Medicine

Dr. Sarah Williams is a Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine (EM). Her current focus is on developing a novel coaching program for the Department of EM and exploring ways to scale and adapt coaching for precision education, development, and wellbeing. Dr. Williams is our inaugural

Specialty Career Advisor for Emergency Medicine at the School of Medicine. Previously, Sarah was the Program Director for our residency, overseeing our residents’ educational curriculum and the conversion of our program from a 3-year to 4-year residency. Sarah developed the EM Ultrasound Fellowship and was its inaugural fellow, and then went on to become the founding director of the EM Ultrasound Program at Stanford.

Dr. Williams has a strong interest in mentorship, medical education, leadership, and program building. She has worn all of the hats of residency leadership: Chief Resident, Assistant/Associate Program Director, and Program Director. Sarah has also been active in helping coordinate and run several CME programs, including our department’s national conference and developing a series of interdisciplinary ultrasound CME courses. Sarah has completed the ACEP Teaching Fellowship and the rigorous Masters Degree in Health Professions Education (MHPE) from UIC while continuing to work at Stanford full-time. She has formal coaching training through the Co-Active Training Institute. She also co-founded the multidisciplinary Stanford Clinical Teaching Scholars Program. Sarah received her MD from Stanford School of Medicine after graduating from UC Berkeley.

Sarah also understands the challenges of combining an active academic career with family; she is a wife and mom of three boys. She was also the first member of her family to go to college and understands how hard the system can be... Sarah is happy to collaborate with colleagues with anything related to any of the above interests.

Strategic Initiative Abstract: Precision Professional Development: Piloting and Exploring a Scalable Internal Professional Coaching Program for Physicians and Physicians-in-Training


Professional coaching has been utilized in the corporate and business worlds for years as a key method to enhance performance, innovation, and well-being.1 A meta-analysis of 17 studies on workplace coaching (comprising over 1700 subjects), found multiple benefits.2 These included a significant increase in individual growth (including learning and applying expanded skills on the job), as well as an improvement in motivation and engagement. They also found that internal coaching was more effective than external coaching.2

Despite research supporting the benefits of coaching, medicine has been slow to adopt this effective strategy into its culture, despite significant burnout in the profession. 1,3,4 Thankfully, that is beginning to change.  A recent study by Dyrbye et al. showed that coaching significantly decreased emotional exhaustion, decreased burnout, increased quality of life, and increased resilience among a cohort of physicians in multiple specialties.5  And now, the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium proposes incorporating coaching as a novel intervention to enhance medical education itself, with a goal of helping trainees reach their fullest potential. 6,7

All this comes at a moment in history when we are experiencing an unprecedented time of pandemic, needs for social justice, and economic uncertainty. Coaching offers our institution an intervention that holds real promise in supporting and leveraging our most important resource: our people.


I propose we explore the development of a scalable professional coaching program for physicians and physicians-in-training. This strategic initiative will begin with the development of a pilot program within the Department of Emergency Medicine. The SI will also identify key stakeholders and partners both within and outside our institution with shared interests. Our goals include exploring the utility of coaching in improving performance and well-being of physicians and trainees, with an overall objective of achieving our best potential. Once identified, this stakeholder group will investigate opportunities to further explore, develop, and scale this program.