Program Participants


Where does the art of patient care intersect with the business of medicine? How can design thinking help you navigate and innovate through uncertainty?

To survive and thrive in the complex and chaotic world of health care, you need new models and mindsets. The Innovative Health Care Leader delivers them. This program is a groundbreaking academic partnership between Stanford GSB and Stanford School of Medicine.

Program Highlights

Below are just a few of the sessions you’ll attend as part of the program.

Design Thinking for Health Care Innovation

Learn design thinking — a human-centered, prototype-driven process for innovation that can be applied to products, services, and even business and organizational design. At Stanford, we believe that innovation is necessary in every aspect of health care leadership, and that it can be taught.

These sessions will give you a strong understanding of the key tenets of design thinking, and how to execute them within your organization. You’ll start by working with a partner in hands-on exercises to experience how the design process works. Then, you’ll spend the rest of the day in small design teams working on a health care industry design challenge.

Design thinking by its very nature is experiential, so come with an open mind, wear comfortable attire, and make sure you’re well-rested!

High-Touch in a High-Tech Age: Challenges and Opportunities

Technology is critical to quality and safety in the delivery of health care; it can, however, inadvertently create barriers between the patient and the health care team.

How do you still deliver the sense of ‘care’ in caring while delivering cutting-edge science?
Abraham Verghese, Faculty Co-Director

The focus on efficiency can also have an unanticipated impact on social rituals that are important to the well-being of both provider and patient. A thoughtful physical exam performed by an effective listener not only results in a far better experience for the patient, but also can be an important buffer against medical error and delayed diagnosis.

In this session with Abraham Verghese, MD, MACP, from the Stanford School of Medicine, we will discuss the human experience in medicine, using the Institute of Medicine’s 2015 report Improving Diagnosis in Health Care and Stanford studies to guide the discussion.

Scaling Up Excellence

Professor Hayagreeva “Huggy” Rao devoted seven years to studying how the best leaders and teams spread constructive beliefs, behaviors, and practices from those who have them to those who need them

In this session, Huggy will reveal how the best leaders develop and instill the right mindsets in their people, and will unpack principles that help spread excellence throughout an organization. These insights are based on diverse case studies, hundreds of interviews with scaling veterans, and rigorous academic studies on organizations including Johns Hopkins Hospital, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Facebook, Google, Pixar, and more.

Reducing Costs in Health Care

Health care spending growth in excess of national income growth presents a profound challenge for our society. But controlling costs is only part of the equation. We must also focus on the value of health care interventions and whether the health benefits justify the costs. Payers, policymakers, and providers all agree that we must lower the rate at which health care costs are increasing without negatively impacting clinical outcomes. In this interactive session, we will explore the societal, political, and financial pressures that are driving the need for change and discuss innovative health care delivery models that improve both health and patient experience of care.

Driving Innovation with Big Data and Artificial Intelligence

Big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are changing the landscape of health care, but what does that mean for the future of patient care? Together we will explore the role of executive leadership of organizations in merging human intelligence with artificial intelligence, thereby providing smarter solutions to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease.


The Stanford University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Stanford Medicine designates this program for a maximum of 31.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The California Board of Registered Nursing recognizes that Continuing Medical Education is acceptable for meeting RN continuing education requirements as long as the course is certified for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Nurses will receive a Certificate of Participation following this program that may be used for license renewal.

A Linguistic Prescription for Ailing Communication
A Linguistic Prescription for Ailing Communication
Abraham Verghese, MD, shares a compelling and original perspective on the impact of language on medicine.

Abraham Verghese, MD, discusses the origins of the study he coauthored identifying five practices that foster meaningful connections between physicians and patients.

Related Reading


Faculty member Sarah A. Soule writes with staff members Lori Nishiura Mackenzie and Davina Drabkin that CEOs must lead on political, social, and health concerns.

The Washington Post

Faculty member Abraham Verghese writes about how nursing homes urgently need medical assistance now and after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Donna Obeid
Associate Director, Programs Executive Education