Our Culture

At WMed, we are committed to living our Values in Action and improving our culture as we continue to grow.

WMed Values in Action


We seek to create an inspiring environment to learn, teach, and work that embodies our values AND to promote a climate of cultural and psychological safety, equity, diversity, inclusiveness, cultural humility, engagement, trust, accountability, recognition, wellness, belonging, and cohesion.

Read on below to learn more about our current Culture Initiatives at WMed. If you have questions or want to receive calendar invites to any events, please email culture@med.wmich.edu. Events are also listed and hyperlinked in the Pulse calendar.

  • Psychological Safety 1.0 and 2.0 Initiatives

    Psychological Safety is a concept that comes from the business world. Researchers such as Amy Edmondson, PhD at Harvard Business School have demonstrated that organizations where members feel comfortable being both ‘contributors’ and ‘challengers’ tend to have high levels of employee engagement and performance outcomes. Timothy Clark, PhD has developed a 4-stage model of psychological safety, which highlights how individuals first need to feel 1) inclusion safety, and 2) learner safety, before feeling safe to 3) contribute and 4) challenge.

    WMed kicked off a five-month Psychological Safety 1.0 Initiative with a keynote address by Timothy Clark in January of 2021. Email faculty.affairs@med.wmich.edu or culture@med.wmich.edu for a link to the recording. This event was then followed by four months of programming, each focusing on a different stage.

    February → Stage 1: Inclusion Safety

    How do we make others feel included?
    Values in Action: Respect one another & Serve with empathy

    March → Stage 2: Learner Safety

    How do we make others feel safe and motivated to learn?
    Value in Action: Seek to understand

    April → Stage 3: Contributor Safety

    How do you make others feel safe enough to contribute and make a difference?
    Values in Action: Strive for excellence & Celebrate effort and achievement

    May → Stage 4: Challeger Safety

    How do you make others feel safe enough to challenge the status quo, innovate, and make things better?
    Values in Action: Speak up to inform & Act with integrity

    Our Psychological Safety 2.0 Initiative launched in February 2022 and will be continuing in September with trainings for our Psychological Safety Representatives from across WMed. Our focus for this academic year will be on the importance of skillfully asking for, giving, and receiving feedback.

  • WMed Culture Microlearning Series

    Opportunities to learn more about a variety of culture topics have been offered through our 30-minute Culture Microlearning Series sessions. A list of topics covered is listed below. Most of these sessions have been recorded. If you’d like to review these tips, tools and conversation regarding process improvement, interpersonal skills, and DEI strategies (in addition to our DEI Ally Training), feel free to email culture@med.wmich,edu.

    • 5 Whys for Root Cause Analysis
    • Fostering Allyship
    • "WIN" - Skillfully Addressing Others' Behavior
    • Inclusion Psychological Safety
    • From DEI to Belonging
    • Understanding Empathy
    • Navigating Challenging Conversations
    • Promoting Cultural Safety

    Culture Microlearning Series Part 1: Operational Excellence-Process Improvement

    Principles of Operational Excellence
    How to foster a learning and improvement environment
    5 Whys for Root Cause Analysis
    Human Systems Dynamic (HSD)
    Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)

    Culture Microlearning Series Part 2: Interpersonal Culture Strategies

    "WIN" - A model for communicating how a person's behavior has an impact on you
    Crucial Conversations
    Recognizing Strengths in Yourself and Others
    Improving Everyday Communications: Insights from "internal systems" psychology
    Crucial Accountability
    MBTI (Myers-Briggs) Personality Inventory Overview
    DISC Overview
    Recognizing and Avoiding Microaggressions in-person and online: A Coversation with Dr. Cheryl Dickson 
  • Culture Champions

    In order to best implement culture initiatives and gather input about our priorities, we’ve launched a Culture Champions program, with activities in the following areas:

    Culture Champions

    Interested in getting involved? Email culture@med.wmich.edu for further information.

  • Welcoming Teams

    We’re making efforts at WMed to ensure that new staff, faculty, residents, fellows, and students feel welcomed when they join the WMed community. As part of this initiative, beginning in 2021, we hosted virtual Meet & Greets for new employees and are now hosting New Employee breakfasts, along with an annual picnic for our full WMed community.

  • The WMed Meaning Project

    Wellness Word CloudThese Word Clouds depict 100 responses from the WMed community regarding the questions: "What do you find most meaningful in your life?" and "What aspects of your time at WMed feel most meaningful?"

    word cloud 1



    As you reflect on these responses, we encourage you to consider these questions in your own life. The idea behind this project is that the meaning (or purpose) one finds in their workplace and in their life more generally is an important aspect of well-being—both in bolstering emotional and physical health, and in buffering against burnout. The hope of this project is to foster awareness and conversation around the topic of meaning.

    Wellness Word CloudThe impact of finding meaning in one's life has been considered in research, not only in the context of emotional health, but also physical health. Just recently, an article in JAMA,1 highlighted "life purpose" as a longitudinal predictor of health outcomes and mortality in the general population. Also, within the field of medicine, research suggests that resident burnout can be buffered by highlighting aspects of residency that tend to provide meaning (patient care, intellectual engagement, respect, and community).2 In a more general way, Jager et al. (2017) demonstrated that physicians who experience more burnout are “less likely to identify with medicine as a calling.” As they conclude, "erosion of the sense that medicine is a calling may have adverse consequences for physicians as well as those whom they care for."3

    word cloud 2



    Experiencing a sense of meaning in one's life is relevant for all of us, regardless of our professional roles. The importance of finding meaning was compellingly articulated by Victor Frankl in 1946 in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”— a text written out of his professional work as a psychiatrist and his experience as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. His creation of logotherapy (named after the Greek word, logos, which can be translated as “reason”), is based on three basic ideas:

    • life always has meaning even when things are hopeless
    • the will to meaning is the most important factor in motivating a person to live
    • people can find meaning through experience and action

    We hope these ideas offer kindling for your own reflections on where you find meaning in your life and how you can make the most of these experiences.

    1. Alimujiang,A. et al. Association between life purpose and mortality among US adults older than 50 years. JAMA Network Open.2019;2(5):e194270.doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.4270
    2. Berg, DD et al. Fostering meaning in residency to curb the epidemic of resident burnout: Recommendations from four chief medical residents. Acad Med, 2019, July 9.
    3. Jager, A et al. Association between physician burnout and identification with medicine as a calling. Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Mar 2017), 92(3), 415-422.
    4. Frankl, V. Man’s Search for Meaning. Beacon Press: Boston, MA; 1946
  • "WMed Welcomes" and Behind the Scenes @WMed Videos

    As we continue to grow our medical school, the "WMed Welcomes" video offers a greeting from some of our wonderful (whatever adjective you think – or drop) faculty, staff, residents and students.

    WMed Welcomes

    Behind the Scenes @WMed is a video series that offers opportunities to be reminded of the faces and voices of those who we work and learn with at WMed.

    Watch Episodes 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Behind the Scenes @WMed (Login Required)