Office of Well-Being
“Together, we are creating an institutional culture in which people in academic healthcare no longer have to sacrifice their own well-being in order to serve others.”
Director, Medical Student Well-Being
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences
KSOM becomes a destination in Southern California to work and learn, not only because of academic and clinical excellence but because of an unparalleled commitment to professional and academic fulfillment and well-being.
KSOM collaboratively improves the well-being of all constituents through intentional implementation of well-being interventions designed to improve local culture, systems, policies, and environment. The Office of Well-being serves in an advisory and supportive role for KSOM schools, departments, and divisions by educating and empowering teams to evaluate their needs and enact targeted interventions.
The KSOM Office of Well-Being, directed by Dr. Chantal Sheridan, was founded in 2021. The original office was created under Faculty Affairs and now reports to Dean Meltzer. The office, as of September 2022, is currently staffed with a total of 1.2 FTE. This FTE supports a Director at 0.6, a Manager at 0.3, and an Administrative Assistant at 0.3.
KSOM has adopted the Stanford model of professional fulfillment as a guiding philosophy. This model consists of three domains: personal resilience, culture of wellness, and efficiency of practice.
Rather than ask any one individual member of our community to shoulder their stress alone, we hope to lift our entire institution by tackling cultural and structural barriers to well-being and making work/school life better for all of us in meaningful, concrete ways.
We cast a clear vision that well-being is an organizational responsibility in addition to an individual one. We recognize that interventions are not one-size-fits-all and we work diligently with all stakeholders to tailor solutions to specific populations.
The Office of Well-being assumes responsibility for regularly assessing the well-being status of our groups and sharing this information with the community and local leaders in a timely and transparent manner. We serve as a liaison to the Dean’s office and advocate for well-being to be considered in all major institution-wide decisions. We also work to build the infrastructure, relationships, and enthusiasm necessary to enact widespread change across our culture and systems.
Well-being Position Statement
The well-being of our 7,000 our faculty, staff, and learners is at an important turning point in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen the trauma endured by frontline healthcare workers, the stress of returning to work and to school, a fresh awareness of racial and gender injustices, an increase in social isolation and overall mental health distress, and changes to the structure and culture of academia and healthcare-related fields over recent decades. All these stressors operate under an overarching umbrella of an unrelenting and exhausting American work culture.
The Office of Well-being operates under the belief that people are naturally motivated to do their best work when they have sufficient time, resources, and rest — when they feel safe to be their full and authentic selves in the professional environment — when they have sufficient autonomy, control, and flexibility over where, when, and how they get their work done — when they feel included and enjoy a sense of psychological safety, teamwork, camaraderie, and humor with their colleagues — when they feel respected and valued by their leadership for their unique qualities — and when their daily activities are connected to a sense of meaning, purpose, and deepest calling.
Well-being is not the job of one person or one office, but a collective community effort. There are several change agent groups who meet regularly to align and strategize, including the Well-being Champions, the Learner Well-being Committee, the Keck Well-being Council, and the Quarterly Well-being Leadership Committee.
Attending to the well-being needs of learners, staff, and faculty is not only the clear ethical and moral imperative, but a key strategy in making KSOM a successful and thriving top-tier institution.