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At Outcomes Rocket, we strive to be the digital consciousness of healthcare leadership, innovation and problem solving with one goal: inspire collaborative thinking amongst healthcare leaders to solve problems and create solutions to make healthcare better.  For more information visit our website at or Twitter @OutcomesRocket

Sep 27, 2017

OR019 Creating Physician Wellness Programs that Help Avoid Burnout with Peter Valenzuela, CMO Sutter Medical Group

Peter Valenzuela, MD, MBA is a physician leader, author and educator whose spent almost two decades helping organizations succeed in dynamic healthcare environment. His passions include change management, healthcare innovation, physician leadership development and instituting lean strategies to improve performance. His work has been featured in Group Practice Journal, Journal of Medical Practice Management, MGMA Connection and Physician Executive Journal.
The Medical Group Management Association and American College of Medical Practice Executives (MGMA-ACMPE) previously awarded him Physician Executive of the Year for exhibiting leadership deemed outstanding to achieve exceptional medical group performance in the delivery of healthcare.
In his spare time, he’s a medical satirist and creator of Doc-Related ( My webcomic follows the hilarious lives of physicians, staff and administrators working within a health system.

Why Healthcare?  I’ve been drawing since I was a kid, I love to draw growing up and I love to make house, I thought I will be an architect. When I was 15, my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Over the course of 2 years, I was exposed to different aspects of health care as well as its impact on families. It inspired me to change what initially I wanted to do from being an architect and going to medical field.


Hot Topic that should healthcare leaders agenda: Resilience and physician burnout and dealing with well-being.


Can you give an example of some of the things you’ve done to help with this? We put together a well-being committee that’s made up of physicians within our medical group. We created a plan on how we can help our culture as well as our doctors.


Setbacks that you learned from: Be careful on what you promise and how you have conversation because it can have a long term impacts on you and people who have  given their trust.


Proudest leadership moments: We were a runner up in an American group association claim award - the highest level award to medical or healthcare group in US.


Exciting Project: We ask physicians about other passions they have related to care that they could do and let them do it  so they can feel a sense of achievement and doing what they love.

Peter 101 Course on Outcomes Improvement:


  1.  What is the best way to improve healthcare outcomes?

Patient engagement. If we can engage these patients in better understanding their own conditions, that’s a major step towards driving positive outcomes.


  1.  What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Not including their families.


  1.  How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

You have to keep reading and exposing yourself to what are some of the best practices out there. Bring in speakers either in healthcare or outside of healthcare to help you see things in different way.


  1.  One area of focus that should drive everything else is:



Recommended Book:

Kill the company by Lisa Bodell

Best practices are stupid by Stephen Shapiro


Closing Thought:

What I do to entertain myself and others  is finding ways to joke about the challenges in healthcare and what our physicians are going through. I decided to make a comic: I encourage the listeners to take a look and provide feedback.


The Best Way To Contact Peter:

Phone number 360-305-5015



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