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Wellness Think Tank: Improving Physician Wellness and Resiliency from the Ground Up 2017-11-11T11:56:13+00:00


Improving physician wellness and resiliency in Emergency Medicine, from the ground up

Calling all North American Emergency Medicine Residents!

Wellness and resiliency are issues that you can’t put a price tag too. So we aren’t! We are offering free membership to 1-2 EM residents per residency program.* Residents need to be approved by their program director to serve as the Wellness Think Tank Representative through July 1, 2017.

This much-needed North American collaborative of EM residency programs will tackle resident wellness and resiliency by bringing an important and often forgotten stakeholder to the national discussion — the residents!

* If you are enrolled in the Essentials of Emergency Medicine Resident Wellness Consensus Summit (sign up on EMRA site), you will also be enrolled in the Think Tank.

Our Mission

The mission of the Wellness Think Tank is to create a diverse community of residents and educators who collaborate, innovate, and advocate for physician wellness from the ground up. This grassroots initiative tackles resident issues such as preventing suicide and burnout, enhancing resilience, and promoting overall quality of life. Our ultimate goal is to catalyze innovative and positive change at the individual, institutional, local, national, and international levels.

Our Members

The Think Tank is lead by a group of faculty from across North America with experience in Residency Education, Wellness, and Resiliency. Our members include residents from training programs in the U.S. and Canada. The goal is to obtain representation from every Emergency Medicine residency training program.

Think Tank Topics

  1. Shift work scheduling
  2. The impaired resident
  3. Suicide awareness and prevention
  4. Second victim syndrome
  5. Litigation stress
  6. Imposter syndrome
  7. Resilience strategies
  8. Meditation / mindfulness
  9. Financial smarts
  10. Performance psychology
  11. Humanities in medicine
  12. Creating a wellness committee
  13. Creating a wellness curriculum

In this initial startup phase, we prefer to focus on building a diverse core group of Resident Wellness Champions to capture a broad range of perspectives across all EM programs in the United States and Canada. We currently are not accepting applications from other residents, faculty, or other individuals at this time.

Best practices

This Wellness Think Tank will delve into the individual and systems-level complexities about what erodes physician wellness within the health professions literature and beyond. We hope to build a vocal community that not only talks about wellness, engagement, resiliency, and burnout, but also about taking action towards addressing these issues.


We are excited to be exclusively sponsored by U.S. Acute Care Solutions (USACS), who takes physician wellness and resiliency as seriously as we do. Thanks to them, we are bringing on leading psychologists and therapists to the Think Tank.

Donate now

Interested in supporting this Wellness Think Tank? We are a group of passionate volunteers and would welcome any donation to help offset operational costs, even if it is a cup of coffee for a someone working behind the scenes. Contact us if you have more questions.


Think Tank Donors

Dr. Felix Ankel
Dr. Rachel Dahms
Dr. Christopher Doty
Dr. Cullen Hegarty
Dr. Jo Anna Leuck
Dr. Rob Rogers / The Teaching Institute

All-Star Wellness Strategists

Jay Baruch, MD
Wellness Strategist
Associate Professor of EM
Director, Medical Humanities & Bioethics Scholarly Concentration
Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University
Shahina Braganza, MBBS, FACEM
Wellness Strategist
Senior Staff Specialist in EM,
Gold Coast Health, Australia;
Senior Lecturer, Griffith University and Bond University
Jason Brooks, PhD
Wellness Strategist
Peak Performance Coach and Strategist
CEO, Maven Consulting Group
Lecturer, Department of EM; University of Manitoba
James M. Dahle, MD
Wellness Strategist
Acclaimed Author, White Coat Investor
Blog, White Coat Investor
Emergency Physician
Zubin Damania a.k.a. ZDoggMD
Wellness Strategist
Founder, Turntable Health
Physician Thought Leader
Rapper at ZDoggMD
Eve Ekman, PhD MSW
Wellness Strategist
Post Doctoral Fellow
Osher Center For Integrative Medicine
UC San Francisco
Meesha Ahuja, PhD
Wellness Strategist
Psychiatrist (ZenCare Profile)
Young Adult Behavioral Health Program
Rhode Island Hospital
Jonathan Lee, PhD
Wellness Strategist
Young Adult Behavioral Health Program
Rhode Island Hospital

“Change won’t come from the top. Change will come from mobilized grassroots.” -Barack Obama

The Executive Team

Arlene Chung, MD
WTT Chief Strategy Officer
Assistant Professor
Assistant Program Director
Department of EM
Mount Sinai EM Residency
Nicole Battaglioli, MD
WTT Chief Operations Officer
Clinical Associate,
Mayo Clinic Health System;
Champion, ALiEM Chief Resident Incubator
Adaira Chou, MD
ALiEM Chief Admin Officer
Emergency Ultrasound Fellow
Department of EM
Brigham and Women’s Hospital;
Senior Advisor, ALiEM Incubators
Nikita Joshi, MD
ALiEM Chief People Officer
Asst Professor & Asst Clerkship Director
Department of EM
Stanford University SOM;
Senior Advisor, ALiEM Incubators
Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM CEO and Editor in Chief
Academy Endowed Chair for EM Education
Department of EM
UC San Francisco

Faculty Board of Directors

Anne Messman, MD
Board Member
Associate Program Director
Sinai-Grace Hospital, Detroit;
Assistant Professor of EM
Wayne State University SOM
Jillian Mongelluzzo, MD
Board Member
Assistant Program Director
Assistant Professor
Department of EM
UC San Francisco
Dan Robinson, MD
Board Member
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine
Division of EM
University of Chicago
Jordan Spector, MD MS
Board Member
Associate Program Director
Assistant Professor
Department of EM
Boston Medical Center
Fareen Zaver, MD
Board Member
Editor, ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources – Professional (AIR-Pro) Series
Emergency Physician
University of Calgary

Resident Mentors

Tanner Gronowski, DO
Chief Resident
Doctors Hospital EM Residency
Ohio University-Heritage COM
E. Liang Liu, MD
Chief Resident
Department of EM
UT Southwestern / Parkland
Matthew Melamed, MD
Chief Resident
Department of EM
New York Methodist Hospital
Shana Nelson-Ross, DO, MSc
Chief Resident
Department of EM
University of Illinois Chicago
Zafrina Poonja, MD
Department of EM
University of Saskatchewan

Map of Think Tank Leaders and Members

Frequently Asked Questions

Why a Think Tank?

Think tanks have been innovating and solving problems in the United States since the early 1900’s, starting with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Founded in 1910 by Andrew Carnegie, its participants were charged with the responsibility of innovating ways to end international wars. In addition to innovating ideas, think tanks also serve as an advocate for their issues and may be involved in the formation of public policy or research.

Physician wellness and resiliency is a critical, under-addressed issue in the house of medicine. The Wellness Think Tank was developed out of a need to bring some innovation and ultimately action to how we approach physician wellness. Our current focus is on residents– the future generation of leaders in our field and future colleagues. Although we are targeting the graduate medical education domain, we hope our initiatives will spark change and serve as an innovative vocal champion for physician wellness and resiliency.

Why is the Virtual Community Built on Slack?

Slack, despite its informal name, is an incredibly powerful digital communication platform that has completely revolutionized how the ALiEM team works and is the primary means of communication for many major companies (including eBay, the Wall Street Journal, and even NASA). It has also served as the successful platform for our other high-profile virtual communities, such as the Chief Resident, Fellowship, and Faculty Incubators. It has been described as “team communication for the 21st century” and efficiently transforms how teams work. This closed communication platform serves as a fluid communication platform for the Think Tank.

2017 Executive Year-End Report