Life at Stanford

Resident wellness is a high priority at Stanford, and we offer a strong support network as well as  opportunities for collaboration and professional development.

Situated in one of the most stunning locations in the country, Stanford is surrounded by hiking trails, mountains, beaches, nature preserves, and urban getaways to restore and recharge.

The resident community is an important component of wellness, and we offer events throughout the year to connect professionally and socially with one another.

Ideal Location

The Bay Area, the hub of technology, is considered one of the most beautiful places to live, with adventures in all directions:

  • San Francisco (30 minutes)
  • Napa and Sonoma valleys (2.5 hours)
  • Lake Tahoe ski and hiking areas (4 hours)
  • Yosemite National Park (4 hours)
  • Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur (2-3 hours)

Intern Orientation Month

Incoming interns have a four-week orientation consisting of lectures, workshops, training, and proctored ED shifts to start residency on the right foot and make connections with one another and faculty that prove invaluable.

World-Class Recreation Facilities

Residents can enjoy use of the extensive Stanford University recreation facilities that include four pools, thirty tennis courts, three fitness centers, an indoor rock climbing facility and a championship golf course. Residents also receive discounted tickets to NCAA sporting events and may even work alongside the Sports Medicine team. 

Dr. Sara Krzyzaniak, Director of the Stanford Emergency Medicine Residency Program shares how wellness for residents is embraced and promoted:

"I like to look at the model of general Well-Being from Stanford Medicine to make sure we are addressing multiple facets of well-being for our residents. We have made a lot of efforts to address wellness, and this includes actions within the work environment as well as externally.


We have made changes to our schedule that promote flexibility and resident autonomy over their individual schedules. Our residents have protected time on Tuesday evenings prior to our Wednesday didactics that they can use to reconnect with peers, faculty, and family. We believe that an important part of well-being is both physical and mental health, so we have a system in place that allows residents to request time off during the block schedule generation to allow them to make these appointments.

We have an annual Friendsgiving hosted by a faculty member at her house and an Annual Wilderness Journal Club at a nearby national forest with optional camping for interested residents & faculty.


We have a resident-run Wellness Committee with a budget from our department that coordinates efforts with our program leadership to create activities that are meaningful for residents. We received departmental support for gatherings among our resident “sibling families” which now include 1-2 faculty members in each family.


We implemented a formal coaching program for all of our residents that is designed to augment our existing mentorship program. The coaches meet with residents to help support their personal and professional growth.


We created a debriefing model for internal debriefings after stressful cases in the ED, and we also partnered with a third party for crisis support and debriefing after challenging/stressful/emotional cases or events. An additional internal resource is our Physician Resource Network.

Where Our Residents Live

Stanford Health Center in Palo Alto is 30 miles south of San Francisco and 15 miles north of San Jose. Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara is 15 miles to the southeast, and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center is 20 miles southeast. Most of our residents live between the cities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Mountain View. Some live as far south as San Jose, while others commute from San Francisco.