Tracy Rydel is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine where she holds the positions of Assistant Dean for Clerkship Education, Director, Core Clerkship in Family and Community Medicine (since 2010), Associate Director of Medical Student Education in the Division of Primary Care and Population Health, and an Educator-4-CARE faculty. She is a family physician with a passion for medical education. She completed the Rathmann Family Foundation Fellowship in Patient-centered Care and Medical Education in 2012, is part of the Peer Coaching Program under the Stanford Teaching and Mentoring Academy, and was formerly the Director of the Practice of Medicine Year One Course at Stanford. She emphasizes patient-centered care in the pursuit of clinical and educational excellence. She is frequently an invited presenter at the national conferences of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM), and the Western Group on Educational Affairs (WGEA) regional group of the AAMC; her scholarly work focuses on medical education endeavors, including in nutrition education and the teaching kitchen, working with medical scribes, Entrustable Professional Activities, primary care career recruitment and mentoring, procedures training, time management in ambulatory teaching, communication skills, virtual health and telehealth, and learning communities.

Clinical Focus

  • Family Medicine
  • Medical student education
  • Integrative/Holistic Medicine

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Assistant Dean for Clerkship Education, Stanford School of Medicine (2020 - Present)
  • Associate Director, Medical Student Education, Division of Primary Care and Population Health, Department of Medicine (2020 - Present)
  • Director, Core Clerkship, Family and Community Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine (2010 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Excellence in Mentoring Award, Stanford COMET (Clinical Observation and Medical Transcription) Scribe Fellowship (2020)
  • Award for the Excellence in Promotion of the Learning Environment and Student Wellness, Stanford University MD Program (2019)
  • Division of Primary Care and Population Health Teacher of the Year, Stanford Department of Medicine (2018)
  • Arthur L. Bloomfield Award in Recognition of Excellence in the Teaching of Clinical Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine (2014)
  • Rathmann Family Foundation Fellowship, Rathmann Family Foundation Educators-4-CARE Medical Education Fellowship in Patient-Centered Care (2012-2013)
  • Arthur L Bloomfield Award in Recognition of Excellence in the Teaching of Clinical Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine (2010)
  • General Internal Medicine Division Teaching Award, Family & Community Medicine, Department of Medicine, Stanford Hospital and Clinics (2010)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Stanford University Medical Student Education (2008)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Member, Committee on Performance, Professionalism and Promotion (CP3) (2018 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Fellowship, University of Arizona, Program in Integrative Medicine (2010)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Family Medicine, Family Medicine (2007)
  • Residency: UCSF-Graduate Medical Education (2007) CA
  • Medical Education: Temple University School of Medicine (2004) PA

All Publications

  • One Year of Family Physicians' Observations on Working with Medical Scribes. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM Sattler, A., Rydel, T., Nguyen, C., Lin, S. ; 31 (1): 49–56


    The immense clerical burden felt by physicians is one of the leading causes of burnout. Scribes are increasingly being used to help alleviate this burden, yet few published studies investigate how scribes affect physicians' daily work, attitudes and behaviors, and relationships with patients and the workplace.Using a longitudinal observational design, data were collected, over 1 year, from 4 physicians working with 2 scribes at a single academic family medicine practice. Physician experience was measured by open-ended written reflections requested after each 4-hour clinic session. A data-driven codebook was generated using a constant comparative method with grounded theory approach.A total of 361 physician reflections were completed, yielding 150 distinct excerpts; 289 codes were assigned. The 11 themes that emerged were further categorized under 4 domains. The most frequently recurring domain was clinic operations, which comprised 51.6% of the codes. Joy of practice, quality of care, and patient experience comprised 22.1%, 16.3%, and 10.0% of the codes, respectively.Our study suggests that integrating scribes into a primary care clinic can produce positive outcomes that go beyond reducing clerical burden for physicians. Scribes may benefit patient experience, quality of care, clinic operations, and joy of practice.

    View details for PubMedID 29330239

  • The First, Comprehensive, Open-Source Culinary Medicine Curriculum for Health Professional Training Programs: A Global Reach AMERICAN JOURNAL OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE Hauser, M. E., Nordgren, J. R., Adam, M., Gardner, C. D., Rydel, T., Bever, A. M., Steinberg, E. 2020; 14 (4): 369–73
  • The First, Comprehensive, Open-Source Culinary Medicine Curriculum for Health Professional Training Programs: A Global Reach. American journal of lifestyle medicine Hauser, M. E., Nordgren, J. R., Adam, M., Gardner, C. D., Rydel, T., Bever, A. M., Steinberg, E. 2020; 14 (4): 369–73


    Providing a strong foundation in culinary medicine (CM)-including what constitutes a healthy diet and how to find, obtain, and prepare healthy and delicious food-is a cornerstone of educating health professionals to support patients in achieving better health outcomes. The Culinary Medicine Curriculum (CMC), published in collaboration with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, is the first, comprehensive, open-source guide created to support the implementation of CM at health professional training programs (HPTPs) worldwide. The CMC is modeled after the successful CM elective course for Stanford University School of Medicine students. Key goals of the CMC include presenting healthy food as unapologetically delicious, quick, and inexpensive; translating lessons learned to healthy eating on-the-go; practicing motivational interviewing on healthy dietary behavior changes; and demonstrating how to launch a CM course. The CMC highlights a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet as seen through the lenses of different world flavors and culinary traditions. It was developed, published, and distributed with the aim of expanding CM by reducing barriers to creating CM courses within most types of HPTPs and practice settings. During the first 2 months the CMC was available, it was downloaded 2379 times in 83 countries by a wide variety of health care professionals interested in teaching CM. The global interest in this first, freely available, evidence-based CMC underscores the demand for CM resources. Such resources could prove foundational in expediting development of CM courses and expanding the reach of CM and counseling on dietary behavior changes into patient care.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1559827620916699

    View details for PubMedID 33281516

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7692007

  • Rethinking empathy decline: results from an OSCE. The clinical teacher Teng, V. C., Nguyen, C., Hall, K. T., Rydel, T., Sattler, A., Schillinger, E., Weinlander, E., Lin, S. 2017


    The phenomenon of empathy decline among medical students during training is widely accepted, with evidence based largely on studies using self-administered instruments. Recently, researchers have called into question this phenomenon, in light of new findings that suggest a discrepancy between self-administered empathy scores and observed empathic behaviours: for example, during objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs). Our objective was to compare observed empathy among medical students in different clerkship years using an OSCE.Participants were medical students in their first or second year of clinical clerkships, enrolled in a required family medicine clerkship at Stanford University. Participants completed an OSCE that was directly observed by trained faculty staff, who used the Measure of Patient-Centered Communication (MPCC) instrument to measure empathic behaviours. Statistics were used to determine correlations between observed empathy and the students' year of clerkship, gender, and specialty preference.A total of 129 medical students, evenly divided by gender and clerkship year, participated. There was a possible trend towards higher MPCC scores among students in their second clerkship year compared with students in their first year (p = 0.09), which became more significant when adjusted for outlier effects (p = 0.05). There was no difference in performance by gender. Students interested in a 'people-oriented' specialty scored higher in 'handling the patient's frustration' compared with those who are interested in a 'technology-oriented' specialty.In our study, observed empathic behaviours were not lower in the second compared with the first year of clerkship training. More research is warranted to investigate the apparent discrepancy between self-administered empathy scores and observed empathic behaviours. New findings suggest a discrepancy between self-administered empathy scores and observed empathic behaviours.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/tct.12608

    View details for PubMedID 28164429

  • Impact of Scribes on Physician Satisfaction, Patient Satisfaction, and Charting Efficiency: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Annals of family medicine Gidwani, R., Nguyen, C., Kofoed, A., Carragee, C., Rydel, T., Nelligan, I., Sattler, A., Mahoney, M., Lin, S. 2017; 15 (5): 427–33


    Scribes are increasingly being used in clinical practice despite a lack of high-quality evidence regarding their effects. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of medical scribes on physician satisfaction, patient satisfaction, and charting efficiency.We conducted a randomized controlled trial in which physicians in an academic family medicine clinic were randomized to 1 week with a scribe then 1 week without a scribe for the course of 1 year. Scribes drafted all relevant documentation, which was reviewed by the physician before attestation and signing. In encounters without a scribe, the physician performed all charting duties. Our outcomes were physician satisfaction, measured by a 5-item instrument that included physicians' perceptions of chart quality and chart accuracy; patient satisfaction, measured by a 6-item instrument; and charting efficiency, measured by time to chart close.Scribes improved all aspects of physician satisfaction, including overall satisfaction with clinic (OR = 10.75), having enough face time with patients (OR = 3.71), time spent charting (OR = 86.09), chart quality (OR = 7.25), and chart accuracy (OR = 4.61) (all P values <.001). Scribes had no effect on patient satisfaction. Scribes increased the proportion of charts that were closed within 48 hours (OR =1.18, P =.028).To our knowledge, we have conducted the first randomized controlled trial of scribes. We found that scribes produced significant improvements in overall physician satisfaction, satisfaction with chart quality and accuracy, and charting efficiency without detracting from patient satisfaction. Scribes appear to be a promising strategy to improve health care efficiency and reduce physician burnout.

    View details for PubMedID 28893812