Purpose of a faculty wellness program

Personal wellness is vital to the success and professional satisfaction of every individual.

Nationally, rates of burnout are high among busy healthcare professionals. The School of Medicine has made wellness a high priority and strives to maximize wellness for all members of our community. 

“I believe that attending to the well-being of those providing care will have huge positive effects on the overall culture of humanism and professionalism that we are always working to improve. My goals are to broaden the offerings we provide and to reach out to the hard working practice environments to help people to reach their own goals.”

-Claudia Finkelstein

Dr. Claudia Finkelstein, clinical associate professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine, has been named Director of Faculty Wellness Programs for the School of Medicine. She co-chairs the Faculty Wellness Committee, heads the Peer Support program, and directs an education outreach program. Her educational training series includes events, workshops and two extended-training series: Mindfulness and Compassion Cultivation Training.

Enhancing faculty wellness workshops

Quarterly, half-day faculty wellness workshops on varying topics.

Mindfulness series

The mindfulness-based-stress reduction (MBSR) program has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression and stress and increase empathy by enhancing the doctor–patient relationship. 

Compassion cultivation training

Compassion increases happiness, strengthens connections, improves mental and physical health, and increases resilience. But because heart and mind are often neglected in the fast-paced stress of modern life, compassion must be re-cultivated. Developed by Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, this program combines pedagogy with experiential practices such as meditation.

Peer support

Peer support is a vital part of wellness in medical settings where stress levels can be high. Peer support programs initiated in other academic medical settings appear to be an effective strategy to help alleviate stress and associated burnout for faculty and staff.

Peer support offers a safe way for clinicians impacted by adverse events, medical errors, litigation or other workplace stressors—large and small—to talk about their experiences and emotions with someone whose empathy comes from having worked in a comparable setting. Peer support does not offer therapy, but rather provides a network of faculty clinicians who offer a listening ear to colleagues experiencing stressful situations. Peer supporters receive training in how to listen and respond as well as information about resources.

To refer yourself, or a colleague, please call the peer support intake line at (206) 685-0675, or email Claudia Finkelstein (claudiaf@uw.edu).

Get help

UW CareLink

UW CareLink offers a wide range of services that can help you manage through the different stages of life, develop a healthy lifestyle, create a quality work environment, and save time by providing easy access to trusted experts, including counselors, attorneys, financial advisors, and child and adult/elder care consultants.

Washington Physicians Health Program

Since 1986, the Washington Physicians Health Program (WPHP) has assisted with the recovery and return to work of thousands of healthcare providers. WPHP offers services to healthcare providers who have a medical condition that could impact their clinical performance. These services include general outreach, crisis intervention, informal assessment, treatment monitoring, and support for providers who need help. WPHP believes that early intervention and evaluation offer the best opportunity for a successful outcome and help to protect patient safety.