25th Annual Scientific Assembly

Keynote Speaker

Matthew Wetschler, MD

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 | 8:00am-8:45am
Water and Stars


Talk Description

Dr. Wetschler's lecture discusses the experience of death, paralysis, and, eventually, a remarkable recovery.  Weaving in his expertise of burnout and the psychology of elite-athletic performance, he distills valuable mental frameworks for self-optimization, resilience, durational effort, and, ultimately success inside intensely demanding and uncertain endeavors. These lessons are anchored within a riveting, against-all-odds story of recovery, one that involves narrowly escaping death, the cutting-edge science of modern spinal injury management, and a vibrant testament to our innate human capacity.


In November of 2017, Dr. Matthew Wetschler, a Stanford-trained physician, former professional athlete, and visual artist had a catastrophic surfing accident, which nearly killed him and initially rendered him a quadriplegic. In less than a year, he has made a near-complete recovery. Inspired by his experience, and lessons gained on the journey to recovery, Dr. Wetschler has developed a new lecture about navigating our most difficult challenges with strength and grace.

Prior to his injury, drawing from his experiences during clinical training, Dr. Wetschler toured nationally to renowned institutions such as Harvard, Duke, UCSF and Stanford as a guest lecturer speaking to the phenomenon of physician burnout, well-being, and personal optimization.