24th January, 2023

How Perfectionism and Shame Lead to Stress and Burnout

With Sandy Miles

Photo of Sandy Miles

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On this episode

Why is it that doctors work themselves to the point of burnout and stress and making themselves sick? In a system that seems to demand perfectionism in healthcare workers, medical professionals aim for impossibly high standards. What happens when they can’t meet the standards they set for themselves?

Dr Sandy Miles joins us in this episode to explore the concept of shame and how we respond to it. She also explains why shame breeds perfectionism in healthcare workers. After explaining the concept of shame, we also share practical, actionable tips to overcome shame and have a healthier response to it.

If you want to know how shame fosters perfectionism in healthcare workers, stay tuned to this episode.

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About the guests

Sandy Miles photo

Reasons to listen

  • What exactly is shame, and how does it manifest in our daily lives?
  • Learn common responses to shame and how to overcome it healthily.
  • Understand why shame causes perfectionism in healthcare workers.

Episode highlights


Introducing Sandy


Defining Shame


How Identities Are Tied to Shame


3 Ways People Respond to Shame


How to Respond to Shame


Shame and Perfectionism in Healthcare Workers


How to Overcome Maladaptive Perfectionism


What You Can Do Today


Recognize What You Can Control


Sandy’s Advice

Episode transcript

Dr Rachel Morris: It’s not often that an idea comes along, which feels as if quite literally, a light bulb has appeared above my head. Now this is how I felt recording this episode about perfectionism and shame. You see, I’ve been obsessed recently with why doctors work and work and work until they make themselves sick, burnout or in crisis, and why they find it so hard to say no, not to go above and beyond the call of duty all the time to drop stuff or even admit that they need help. The answer lies, I think, in…

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