Professional Development


Tending Your NEST and Making SPACE for What Matters Most:

Wellness, Mindfulness and Meaning-Making in Leadership — a social-psychological intervention designed to mitigate physician burnout and promote wellness.

Cohort 1

January - September 2017

Cohort 2

January – September 2018

Cohort 3

January – September 2019


Sponsored by:

Robert A. Harrington, MD
Chair, Department of Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine

Program Design and Lead Coordinators:

For questions about joining this program contact Helena McCombie at or Rebecca Merrill at


Time Management




Start a Wellness Journal.
Choose one small, manageable behavioral change in each area of NEST: Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Time Management and make a commitment of change to an accountability partner over the next nine months.
How are you practicing presence with patients, family members and yourself?
Keep a gratitude journal for the next 30 days. Write down three moments of joy every day. Watch Shawn Achor’s TED Talk on Happiness.
Choose one self-compassion activity you are not currently doing and practice it for the next 30 days.
Write a memoir-story that illuminates what you learned in group and how the experience has positively changed your life, added meaning, purpose, belonging and focus to your leadership activities.
Describe a personal redemption story with a high point, low point and turning point as well as central themes of learning and meaning making.


Optimal Healing - Andrew Weil
Healty Aging – Cameron Diaz
Why We Get Fat – Gary Taub
The Sleep Revolution – Arianna Huffington
There Is No Good Card for This by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell
Rising Strong by Brene Brown
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
My Own Country by Abraham Verghese
Loving What Is by Byron Katie
Emotional Agility by Susan David
Designing Your Life – Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
Option B – Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Before Happiness – Shawn Achor
Better Than Before – Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Hypothesis – Jonathan Haidt
The Art of Possibility – Rosamund and Ben Zander
Creative Confidence – David and Tim Kelly
Linchpin – Seth Godin
Originals – Adam Grant
Decisive – Chip and Dan Heath
Drive – Dan Pink
Give and Take – Adam Grant
Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg
Finding Your Own North Star – Martha Beck
The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters – Sarah Susanka
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redifining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder – Arianna Huffington
Mindset – Carol Dweck
Me, Myself and Us – Brian Little
Quiet – Susan Cain
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters Most in the End - Atul Gawande, MD (TED Talk)
Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese, MD
Into the Magic Shop - James Doty, MD
Presence - Amy Cuddy
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - Angela Duckworth
The Art of Stillness: Adventure in Going Nowhere – Pico Iyer
Design Your Life – Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
Triggers – Marshall Goldsmith
Authentic Leadership – Bill George
Who’s Got Your Back – Keith Ferrazzi
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose – Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters – Emily Esfahani Smith
Wherever You Go, There You Are – Jon Kabat-Zinn
If Life is a Game, These Are the Rules – Cherie Carter-Scott
Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations and Society - Peter Senge
Healthy at 100 – John Robbins
The Speed of Trust – Stephen Covey, Jr.


Foundations and Expectations
Tending your NEST
Meaning and What Matters Most to You
Final Learning Narratives

for Self-Awareness


1. Meditation (
Challenge: See if you can listen daily for 9 months
2. Journaling
Challenge: See if you can write daily for 9 months
3. Walking
Challenge: See if you can walk daily for 9 months
4. Baths
Challenge: See if you can bathe nightly with candles and music for 9 months
5. Massage
Challenge: See if you can get a weekly massage
6. Yoga
Challenge: See if you can go to a Yoga practice twice per week
7. Learning
Challenge: Find a partner to share learning with each month and do one of the previous activities together
8. Innovation
Challenge: Come up with your own mindfulness practice