Thought Leader, Leadership

Tait Shanafelt, MD

Chief Wellness Officer
Stanford Medicine


Dr. Shanafelt was appointed the first Chief Wellness Officer for Stanford Medicine, effective September 2017. He also serves as Director for the WellMD Center at Stanford Medicine and as Associate Dean for the Stanford School of Medicine.

Dr. Tait Shanafelt received his medical degree from the University of Colorado, where he received the Hippocrates Award as the “Physician’s physician,” the Golden Head Cane Award as the outstanding student in internal medicine, and the Robert E. Glazer Award for leadership and service. Tait later went on to a Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at Mayo Clinic, where he received both the Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellow Award and the Summerskill Award for outstanding scientific research.

Prior to his move to Stanford, Dr. Shanafelt joined the faculty of the Mayo Clinic Division of Hematology in 2005 and was a Professor of Medicine and Hematology. He completed a 3-year term as the President of the Mayo Clinic Voting Staff. Dr. Shanafelt spent 70% of his time developing new therapies for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He was the principle investigator on two R01 grants from the National Cancer Institute and was also the PI on numerous clinical trials testing new treatments for patients with CLL. He has published >240 peer review manuscripts in addition to more than 100 abstracts and book chapters.

In addition to his leukemia research, Dr. Shanafelt is an international thought leader and researcher in the field of physician well-being and its implications for quality of care. He was the Director of the Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine Program on Physician Well-Being, a clinical laboratory evaluating personal and organizational factors that contribute to physician satisfaction. His research in this area has involved physicians at all stages of their career, from medical school to practice, and has included several multi-center and national studies. He has published widely on this topic, including numerous works in the JCO, Annals of Internal Medicine, and JAMA, and has served as a keynote speaker to the ACGME, AAMC, AMA, and ABIM on this topic.

Preventable Deaths and Medical Errors in American Hospitals - Panel Discussion Image Still

Leadership 2016

Preventable Deaths in American Hospitals

Most preventable deaths via medical error in U.S. hospitals have a second victim: those involved in their care.

Sinsky Panel Clip Still: Neither Victim nor Villain of Physician Burnout

Leadership 2016

Physicians: Neither Victim nor Villain

When it comes to burnout, physicians have a responsibility to say “that’s not sustainable.”

Leadership 2016

Leadership Survey: Why Physician Burnout Is Endemic, and How Health Care Must Respond

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members point to the clerical burden caused by electronic health records as a proximate cause of physician burnout.

Tait Shanafelt & Christine Sinsky Panel Clip Still: Reducing Burnout: Good for Your Bottom Line

Leadership 2016

Reducing Burnout: Good for Your Bottom Line

How do you make the business case and pay for innovations aimed at reducing physician burnout?

Christine Sinsky and Tait Shanafelt Panel Clip Still: Debunking Healthcare Leadership Myths

Leadership 2016

Debunking Leadership Myths

If you were appointed the head of CMS or a major hospital system and given carte blanche, what changes would you make first?

Sinsky and Shanafelt Panel Clip Still: Removing Burnout from Electronic Health Records

Leadership 2016

Reducing the Burnout Effect of EHRs

The electronic health record is currently a source of burnout in the U.S., but it doesn’t have to be.

Tait Shanafelt Talk Still: Physician Burnout - Stop Blaming the Individual

Leadership 2016

Physician Burnout: Stop Blaming the Individual

More than half of physicians display signs of burnout. It’s time to stop blaming the individual and start treating burnout as a system issue.

Tait Shanafelt Burnout Clip Still

Leadership 2016

The Dangers of Physician Burnout

Even the best doctors burn out — sometimes too early in their careers.

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