Making SPACE


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 8

Apply here:

Cohort 7
January – September 2023

Cohort 6
January – September 2022

Cohort 5
January – September 2021

Cohort 4
January – September 2020

Cohort 3
January – September 2019

Cohort 2
January – September 2018

Cohort 1
January - September 2017


Sponsored by:

Yvonne (Bonnie) Maldonado, MD
Interim Chair, Department of Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine

Program Design and Lead Coach:
Rebecca Merrill at

For questions about joining this program contact:
Helena McCombie 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.


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


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