How Perfectionism In Medicine Spills Over Into Your Personal Finances With Michael Myers

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Nobody’s perfect. Everyone needs to take care of their mental health, including physicians. Perfectionism in medicine can spill over into physicians’ personal finances.

In this episode of the Finance for Physicians Podcast, Daniel Wrenne talks to Dr. Michael Myers about physician perfectionism. Michael is professor of clinical psychiatry at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center and author of eight books covering everything from physician suicide and mental health to physician marriages.

Topics Discussed:

  • Tyranny of Perfectionism: Extreme perfection can affect productivity
  • Good Enough: Strive for excellence, but find and accept balanced portion
  • Human Humor: Welcome to medical school, you’re (not) the best and brightest
  • Imposter Syndrome: Message of perfectionism leads to inferiority
  • Survive and Thrive: Perfectionism is expected, to err is human
  • Demographics and Diagnoses: Diverse physician and patient population
  • Signs: Worry too much, stay too late, struggle with competence and confidence?
  • House of Medicine Stigma: Should doctors ask for or need help?
  • Physician Personalities and Psychiatry: Self-resolve or seek help with triggers
  • Money Management: Most physicians are not gifted in economics/business
  • Marriage and Money: Keeping up with the Joneses linked to perfectionism  
  • Priviledge or Poverty: Physician’s upbringing is pressure to maintain or do better
  • Married to Doctors: Say and do something in a loving manner; listen and get help
  • Co-parenting: Compliment and cut back on child’s activities; time is not unlimited  


Michael F. Myers, MD

Tyranny of Perfectionism

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

Imposter Syndrome

Smart Marriages

Gottman (Research Based Approach to Relationships)

Married to Doctors (Lara McDeep)

What My Shrink Would Say Podcast – Perfectionism

Therapy for Black Girls – Perfectionism

Thomas Curran – TED Talk: Our dangerous obsession with perfectionism is getting worse

Thomas Curran – Perfectionism Is Increasing, and That’s Not Good News


Psychology Today

Finance for Physicians