The healthcare and academic environments are known to be complex, demanding and often stressful. Those working in such contexts are at risk of chronic stress or burnout.

Wellbeing Working Group

Purpose Statement
The Medical School Wellbeing Working Group seeks to foster wellbeing, understand known threats to wellbeing and pursue shared efforts to actively prevent or mitigate such threats. The group acknowledges the rich diversity existing within and among our constituent communities, and seeks to create methodologies and/or platforms for communications, interventions and assessments oriented toward cultivating effective learning/work environments, empowering individual self-care practices, and enhancing access to community/support resources.  

Vision Statement
The Medical School Wellbeing Work Group’s vision is for the Medical School to be an organization that builds an inclusive, effective learning and working environment and community where people thrive.

Wellness Assessment
The Wellbeing Working Group developed a wellbeing assessment for faculty, staff, and learners to better address wellbeing within our community. Distributed in the late summer of 2022, the assessment provided an opportunity to continue to discuss, identify, and address wellbeing needs and was also a chance for faculty, staff, and learners to tell us what they think about the state of wellbeing in our organization and to identify areas of concerns and possible interventions related to wellness within the Medical School. Results are influencing future programming to address burnout and wellbeing within.


  • Michael Kim, MD, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics
  • Michael Lipscomb, PhD, Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Education, and Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology
  • Kaz Nelson, MD, Vice-Chair of Education, and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health
  • Scott Slattery, PhD, Director, Office of Learner Development
  • Clarence Shannon IV, MD, Associate Dean of Strategy and Innovation, and Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology
  • Maryanne Reilly-Spong, PhD, Psychologist, Office of Learner Development
  • Amanda Termuhlen, MD, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, and Professor, Department of Pediatrics
  • Bryan Williams, MD, PhD, Chief Wellbeing Officer, M Health Fairview


Reducing Appointments to Part-Time
There are many options to support faculty when reducing full-time appointments, including consistent appointment policies that are equitable for part-time and full-time faculty members; probationary period extensions; as well as paid and unpaid options for short term and longer term leaves.

View the frequently asked questions (FAQs) for additional information, or review the faculty considerations for reducing to part-time to explore options. Please contact your human resources partner to discuss options that match your situation.

Leaves of Absence
Faculty may request parental, medical, personal, or military leave with help from a specialist in the Office of Human Resources (OHR). Start a request using the “My Time” tab in MyU, email leaveadmin@umn.edu, or call 612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363. OHR will communicate with your supervisor and local HR and handle FMLA tracking.

Tips for Ourselves & Within Our Teams

  • Team leaders
    • Approach solutions with flexibility.
    • Focus expectations on core missions.
    • Ensure faculty/staff utilize time away.
    • Empower teams to implement ‘no meeting’ days or zones or ‘no zoom’ days if helpful.
  • Adjust schedules and expectations for caregiving obligations.
  • Meeting maximums: 20 or 45 min; leave time for breaks.
  • Consciously plan time for emails and response time.
  • Take meeting notes and share afterward; use alternative methods to make decisions. Stay inclusive.

Wellbeing Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • In the Twin Cities metro, dial “CRISIS” or text “MN” to 741741
National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Call 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224