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Shame and Medicine

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

In our ninth Medicine 360 podcast, Dr Jonathon Tomlinson, Dr Claire Ashley and Dr Ishminder Mangat discuss the role shame can play in Medicine. Is shame an inevitable aspect of healthcare and has its presence become more or less pronounced? What can trigger shame in doctors and patients? And how can we navigate this going forward?

Dr Jonathon Tomlinson is a GP and author of blog "A Better NHS" (, where he explores the nature of the doctor-patient relationship. He also sits on the advisory board for the "Medicine and Shame" research project (

Dr Claire Ashley is a GP, aesthetician and career coach who uses her own experiences of stress and burnout to advocate for the mental health and wellbeing of healthcare professionals via various platforms including instagram (@drclaireashley).

Dr Ishminder Mangat is a junior doctor in Bristol interested in exploring the links between medicine and the humanities. She has recorded podcasts on the topics of death and dying, and creative writing for therapeutic purposes.

This podcast is hosted by Dr Kaat Marynissen, a junior doctor in Lancashire.

Those interested in hearing more of the growing conversation around shame in medicine might visit @BreneBrown, @shame_medicine, @TheShameConvo and @WillBynum.

Some related reading:

A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara

A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor - John Berger

Instrumental - James Rhodes

The Ghost Road (third of the Regeneration Trilogy) - Pat Barker

Illness as Metaphor - Susan Sontag


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