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 7
January – September 2023

APPLY HERE by November 18, 2022

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:

Robert A. Harrington, MD
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

·       Self-Compassion - Kristen Neff, PhD

·       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