Creating a Healthy Culture

The Well-being Program works to counter the stress and “burnout” culture pervasive at many academic medical centers. Prioritizing the well-being of our learners, staff, and faculty isn’t just a moral imperative–it’s key to our status as a top-tier medical school. Our office works with campus leadership to monitor the well-being of all groups, evaluate needs, and consult on potential interventions.

The well-being of our 7,000+ faculty, staff, and learners is at a critical juncture in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have witnessed the trauma experienced by frontline healthcare workers, the stress of returning to work and school, a renewed awareness of racial and gender injustices, an increase in social isolation, overall mental health distress, and changes to academia and healthcare-related fields over the past few decades. All of these stressors fall under the umbrella of an unyielding and exhausting American work culture.

We believe that people are naturally motivated to perform at their best when they have adequate time, resources, and rest.

We encourage people to feel safe and be their true selves in the workplace, have autonomy and flexibility over how and when they work, feel included, work collaboratively with their colleagues, and feel respected and valued for their unique qualities. When people’s daily activities are connected to a sense of purpose and meaning, it enhances their well-being.

It takes a collective community effort to prioritize well-being, and we have several change agent groups, including the Well-being Champions, the Learner Well-being Committee, the Keck Well-being Council, and the Quarterly Well-being Leadership Committee, who meet regularly to align and strategize.

Taking care of the well-being needs of our learners, staff, and faculty is not only an ethical and moral responsibility but also a key strategy for making KSOM a thriving top-tier institution.