Dr. Sharon Grossman

A qualified Success Coach, Clinical Psychologist, author, speaker, wife and mother of two.

For the past two decades, Sharon has worked on improving the health and well-being of high achievers who so often sacrifice their self-care as a result of work demands and get caught up with everyone else’s expectations that they end up burning out at alarming rates.   

Through the integration of psychology and mindfulness, she's created a comprehensive and transformative program that teaches stressed-out high achievers how to effectively navigate their work and personal life so they can thrive. 

Transcription of Podcast

Julie Soukup 0:01  
All right. Hi, again, it's Julie Yorumez. I'm host uptake on patient. And I'm so excited to be talking to Dr. Sharon Grossman. She is a clinical psychologist. And also, she is a success coach, she works with a lot of leaders and doctors on that tend to find themselves burning out with with the demands that their job provides the demands that hospitals provide, and really works with them to not only improve kind of their their balance in that perspective, but also has to kind of think about innovation in different different ways or different programs to really implement into their life, and to kind of create more of that balance. So I'm very, very excited. Thank you so much for being on our little show today. Um, so before we kind of get started, was there anything that you wanted to add a little bit about your, your background in that perspective? Well, first of all, Julie, thank you so much for having me here, it's always nice to be able to share my message, especially because I know, so many people in this industry are burning out. And I find that more times than not, they're not even aware that it's happening until it's too late. So I think this is really important work. And just a little bit of background. So I'm a, I was a trained psychologist, I've been doing that for about 20 years. And then I decided to really specialize in the area of burnout. And that's where I started to do a lot of research to see what was already being said and what was being done in the field. And what I found at the time was that a lot of it was more on more like what kind of changes can be done on an organizational level, but less so in terms of what the individual can do to help themselves. And so that's when I put my book together to give people the tools and strategies to help themselves and feel more empowered. So I hope to be able to really inspire people to take back control over their lives if they're feeling stressed out to the max. Absolutely. Well, I think one of the interesting things, and this is where we really wanted to connect with you and start talking with you is, I think one of the biggest things that's really starting to occur is there's a lot more programs and a lot more restrictions and a lot more things that have been put in place. Now with COVID, especially in the healthcare system, a lot of new restrictions, as far as like access to guests are being restricted. You know, providers are being asked to also do telemedicine do a lot more things. And as creating an opportunity for a lot of new technologies to really showcase themselves and evolve, one of which, you know, we use as medical memory where doctors record some of the conversations that they have. But one of the things that I think is consistently coming up time and time again, is providers are saying, hey, I can see that this is cool or new, I'd like to try it. But I am just beyond beyond beyond swamped and overwhelmed, and they kind of just can't see see past, you know, the way they are right now to have a better kind of balance or a better opportunity or a better technology down the road. So definitely understanding kind of the changes that need to evolve for providers. Excuse me. What's your perspective on that?

Dr. Sharon Grossman  3:22  
For those that are looking at innovating? Yeah, I think it's a really good question. I think that oftentimes we know that there's something that's out there, that could be helpful to us. And if we could only kind of snap our fingers and then jump forward into the future and have that be the case already in place, then that would be amazing. But to get to a point where you have, you know, enough of the bandwidth to even like, take the time to do the things that will get you there seems overwhelming when you're already at your at your capacity in terms of all the work that you have to do. So I think you have to look at it as a step by step process. And maybe you don't have hours and hours to pour into whatever changes you need to implement. So let's say you wanted to use medical memory, but you have to learn how to use the app, you have to download the app you have to like take I mean, Julie, how much time would you say for somebody who's never used it doesn't know anything about it? How long would it take for them to really get from A to Z to start implementing it with their patients? Oh, like two minutes

Julie Soukup  4:34  
fill it out once you're like Oh, I see how this works. I mean it's it's lovely. It's really it is really simple once once someone's like okay I want to download it it's getting to the I'm gonna download this I'm going to try to innovate I can see the light at the end on how this will save me time. Yeah, getting that I'm going to download it and try it once

is is months but that actual part couple couple minutes

Dr. Sharon Grossman  4:58  
okay because That was my The reason I asked that is because I think sometimes change really does take some time. And so you need to find ways to give, maybe build in little bits of time. So you know, over the course of maybe a few weeks or months, that you're, you're making progress towards your goal. But I also find that a lot of times, we tell ourselves that it's gonna take a lot longer than it actually takes us. And so we actually hold ourselves back from doing the thing that's going to help us have more time and be less stressed out, kind of like using medical memory. So if you didn't realize it up until now, and hopefully now, you know, if you're listening to this, that medical memory does take a couple of minutes. And maybe that'll motivate you to try it. But that's the kind of thing where we either overestimate how long things are going to take. Or we underestimate like how much we can do in the time that we have, right? So these are like little things that have to do with your mindset. And so I would maybe just challenge you, what if you took five minutes and put even like put like a stopwatch, right, like a countdown timer, I'm going to give myself five minutes, and let's see if I can do this, download medical memory, try to do all the things and then let us know in the chat if you were able to make that happen in five minutes or less. Right?

Julie Soukup  6:25  
Well, I think that that is it is especially with nurses and doctors right now who are excellent patient care are being pushed past the capacity, that they're like, Okay, that's even five minutes. Like I haven't even eaten lunch, you know, and I recognize some of those places and that it is okay. It may be just that, and it's and but the long the long game down the road? It is is what we're always looking for is what is eventually you want to get to because there's always gonna be a little bit more time before you get to that final final stretch. So how do you keep some of your clients or the doctors that you're working with really focused on that end game? Or, or even figuring out? What does that end game even look like for them?

Dr. Sharon Grossman  7:09  
Well, I think even before we go there, when you think about even becoming a client in the same way, when you think about downloading medical memory, you're like, I know that if I use this is going to help me or I know if I have some coaching, it's going to tremendously helped me in terms of the way I structure my day, how I feel how much energy I'm gonna have, like, I'm not gonna feel stressed out. Like, all all of these amazing benefits are going to be showing up in my life. But I need to find time to get to the calls, right? I need to carve out that hour a week or whatever it is to make that thing happen. So I think what happens is, sometimes people will hear me and they'll say, Oh, that would be really nice. But I can't make that happen. But I also think that sometimes we get to the point where we realize we just can't keep doing things the way that we've been doing them. Because we can see the writing on the wall, we can see that we are bone tired. We're not sleeping, our health is deteriorating. I've had people say that they ended up in the hospital room, not once, but three times. So talk about like, really, now the doctors are becoming the patients. Yeah, right. You're, you're seeing all this stuff happen in your life, you're not present with your kids. Because you're you can't turn work off in your mind. So there's so much that this is costing you. So if you think about what maybe if you're giving yourself back that one hour a week, or the five minutes to download medical memory, or whatever it is that is going to help you. Why not make that happen. Because what happens when you're really burned out is then you really can't show up to work, then you really can't get out of bed, then you're really forced in this into this situation where it can be so bad that I've I mean, we've all seen the suicide rates with physicians. So we don't want to get to the point where it's that bad. We want to be able to catch it early, give you the tools and the strategies so that you can be really supported. Get whatever you need, learn some stress management tools or learn some emotional intelligence or whatever it is that you would really hope you in the workplace so that you can get your joy back at work. Like it's not meant to be this nonstop, like never ending burden on your life.

Julie Soukup  9:40  
Right. And I do think it's so hard. It is so hard once you're in that groove for so long. To get into a setback of I need I need to think of simpler ways I need to find innovative tools that might save times I need to talk to a coach that might be able to support me, but to even kind of go there is incredibly challenging. One of the things that you also talk about that that I think is really interesting and maybe even more specific is, you know, you have these different burnout profiles that you really highlight where it's kind of almost like creating these barriers for accepting coaching or for like, accepting to try to do is a new technology. Do you want to talk a little bit kind of more on that? And and even if like, what kind of are they a little bit? And and what thoughts would you give for someone's like, Alright, I want to try medical memory. This is a story I would tell myself or barriers to kind of overcome to say, you take that extra five minutes, it will save you so much time and energy down the road, like what are what are those look like? Yeah, so

Dr. Sharon Grossman  10:43  
what what you're talking about is I've come up with three burnout profiles. So based on a lot of the research that I've done, in terms of people who have burned out, I've been able to kind of codify all of these different people, what was really prominent in their presentation, and then say, you know, you typically fit into one or more of these three buckets. And so I call them the thinker, the feeler and the doer. So the thinker is somebody who tends to be very much in their head, they're over analyzing everything, they tend to be perfectionist, so they have these really high standards for themselves. It's either everything has to get done, or everything has to be perfectly done. And so they feel like their productivity is very much tied in to their self worth. And so how could I ever possibly be enough? If what I'm doing isn't perfect? You know, I have clients who asked me these questions like, if I can never get everything done, then how could I ever be enough? And how could? How could it be good enough to not get it done? Like, it's just hard to even think about it in a new way? Right.

Julie Soukup 11:57  
So seeing even that you mentioned that profile specifically, because that makes me think of a couple of our clients, like neurosurgeons that we've worked with that are like top the elite of their other game. And the one thing that always strikes me is okay, they download the app, they see the value, they're like, Okay, we want to do this. But it's not just with us and recording with patient messages, but also a lot of these doctors that are not doing telehealth, where even those visits are now even recorded through different technologies that they have that like, I'm overthinking what I'm gonna say what if I say the wrong thing? What if I make like a mistake? Like, what if I don't say all all of the risks, benefits and alternatives? I mean, we had a really awesome podcast, if you have a little bit ago, where we were talking to a doctor and a lawyer who was saying, it's fine, it doesn't matter. As long as you're showing up and showing you're giving me information. That's great. But it's interesting, because quite a few providers are like, I just can't do it. Because I don't know if I'm gonna say the right thing. And they're overthinking the things that they do every day. Excellent. Because I like to have me beyond excellent, where you're thinking, well, just the patient wants the information. They don't care. Like they just they're just wanting more info. But it's interesting that profile, because we as providers are looking or as like, you know, are looking and working with some of our providers. That's a huge, huge hang up.

Dr. Sharon Grossman  13:15  
Yeah, and I think that's something that actually a lot of people struggle with, regardless of your profession. So I am a coach. And so like I work with a lot of other coaches, and the newer coaches are the ones who are just getting on camera for the first time. And as a matter of fact, I was on a call earlier today with someone, and he was practicing his intro video, like 30 times. And look, he just felt like it was never good enough. And he was getting all anxious in front of the camera with this idea, like all these people are going to be watching this. And that's like, I think the thing that makes people really nervous is when they think about themselves as opposed to think about their audience. Right? Right. So one kind of mindset hack, if this is you, and you're really struggling with the quality of your production and worrying about how this video is going to come out. It's just remember that the purpose of this video is to get the information across to your patient. And as long as you do that, they're not gonna care if you said, if you use like filler words like um, or like, you know, it's not gonna be perfect, and that's okay, it's really about and the truth of the matter is if you are going to have that conversation, live with them, you probably are going to use the same filler words as you would on camera. So it really doesn't make that much of a difference. I think it's just that people get really into their heads and that's what holds them back. So that

Julie Soukup  14:41  
acting would take less time to the mind game of like worrying about it, you know? Yeah,

Dr. Sharon Grossman  14:47  
I think and and then you know, just kind of like a little tech tip is if you are really nervous in front of the camera, you want to get it done once and for all and then not have to worry about it because that's really the purpose of medical memory is just Have one thing and then they can send it out over and over again. And I always tell people use a teleprompter, there is an app, if you google it on Chrome, just type it in teleprompter, Chrome, and it's free. And you can just type in your text right into the screen. And you can literally, like read it, and it'll, it'll like move up the screen as well to that place. So that's just something that you can rely on if you're really, really nervous. So again, using technology can be really helpful.

Julie Soukup  15:29  
Right? Absolutely. And I think that that's one thing we're really seeing is how much things are just simple as that it made it easier. It's innovating. But it's also like, see these other tools, these other these other pieces that are could really, really help provide a lot of practice a lot of like, calm, a lot of easy ease to your life and that perspective. So you mentioned the one that thinker talk a little bit more the other two profiles you had mentioned.

Dr. Sharon Grossman  15:55  
Yeah. So the feeler is somebody who tends to lack boundaries, they bend over backwards to meet other people's needs. In other words, it's the people pleaser, the person who really believes that their needs are not as important as that of someone else. And so when they take time for themselves, whether it's like with medical memory, like if I do this, then I'll have more time, right, then it feels like I'm doing it for me, they start to feel guilty. I've actually had people say to me, I feel guilty going to sleep, because there's more that I could be doing right now, especially like things for other people. So if that's you, then you know, you're a feeler. And the thing is, again, when it comes to doing these recordings, it's about taking care of your patient, making sure they get the information, but it's also a way of taking care of us, it's a win win. And it's something that allows you to be more efficient. And when you have that you're gonna have more time for yourself, and you'll have earned it.

Julie Soukup  16:57  
Right, right. One, so it is kind of go is a is in that mindset is if you are looking at innovating, whether it be medical memory, whether it be other tools is what aligns with, like your worldview, if you're like, Okay, it's gonna help me and it will help them you know, in that perspective, and especially like ours, it it records, you know, your recording, like patient updates, but it also says to family members, and everyone that's around that patient gets involved. But it's interesting for those people who what are the things that you could, you know, take some time that would benefit both. And I think that's where innovation really, really would come with that type of personality, too. And then what was the last one that you had mentioned?

Dr. Sharon Grossman  17:36  
Yeah, so the last one is the doer. And this is the person who tends to be putting in 50 6070 hours a week, they feel like they are never done, they're always having to do more and more. And that allows them to feel worthy. Yeah. So these are, you know, your hyper achievers, but also the, the workaholics, right, and the people who feel like it, work is never done. And they have to just keep on showing up and putting in more and more. And I think the, the difference between, I think one of the biggest differences between the thinker, and the doer is that the thinker is focused more on quality, while as the doer focuses more on quantity, right, so the thinker wants it to be perfect. There's always like trying to reiterate and make it like even better, even better. And I think the doer tends to focus on getting more and more and more things done. And just feeling like even when I finish this, even if I did like medical memory, and I had all this extra time, then I'd have more time to do the things that are on my list. And they wouldn't necessarily take that time for themselves. But, um, as the burnout, Doc, I feel like it's my job to tell you that if you can do this, if you can do anything that allows you to have a little bit more time, make sure that you're spending that time on yourself, please, so that you can continue to show up in a healthy way. Long term, you really have to look at the long game in this.

Julie Soukup  19:08  
Yeah. You're so funny. I definitely fall in the doer. I've got 22 year olds and you're like, oh, no, this done. I'm like, what else? Can I clean? What else can I do? Like it's never like, let's just like me for a minute I'm in that realm so I can recognize that. You know, you had a great thought as far as like, you know, one of the things we like to do here on this podcast is kind of say, you know, now that people are using telehealth and recording and starting to have more of that technology, you know, what are some some things that we can add value to talking about communication? And I think one of the things that you mentioned was was, you know, it's really, really about the patient perspective and they don't care if you're saying like or, or if for whatever, as you're as you're recording because they're just wanting the other content outside of that to share with family and friends. What other thoughts are and ice would you give to any provider that's now saying, Okay, I'm starting to use technology, I'm starting to get into telehealth, I'm starting to get in the idea of recording. What other kind of advice was you? Would you give to that kind of more patient profile or provider profile?

Dr. Sharon Grossman  20:15  
Right? Well, I mean, I think that a lot of it is in your mindset, the way that you think about things. So when telehealth came on the scene, did you look at that as Oh, no, not another thing? Or did you look at it as Oh, wow. Now, this really opens things up for me, right. And it's sometimes you know, as we can see, it's our perspective that is contributing most to how we feel. So if you're not happy with how you feel, then there's definitely a correlation between the thoughts and those exact feelings. And so this is an opportunity for you to kind of rewind the tape and ask yourself, If I feel this way, what are the thoughts that are going through my mind, and I think that one of the things that typically happens is we we skip over that step. And we automatically assume that whatever our circumstances are, those are the things that are correlated to our feelings like this is making me feel like this. And the truth of the matter is, there is something in between those two things, there's something in between your circumstances and your feelings, and that is your thoughts. So you have to really be able to get in touch with the scripts going through your mind. And if they're not helpful, and you know, they're not helpful, because they're making you feel a way you don't want to feel, then you have an opportunity to change them. And that's where you take your power back. And you can really shift out of the resentment and the guilt and the frustration and all of these feelings that are totally like energy drains for you that are contributing to your burnout and contributing to your exhaustion, you can take control back of your mind and really have your life create the kinds of results that you want and feel good and happy in your work.

Julie Soukup 22:01  
It's so interesting, too, because when I think of some of the providers that have are some of the nurses that really have come to like, oh my god, this is so cool. I've never, I've never thought of something like this, like, let's just get in there. I bet they face all things that come into their life that way that they're very, like, this is cool, like, let's try something new. Let's just try something like, I want to be one of the first you know, and I just even thinking when you were saying that I'm like, I can think of the people that are already like, oh, no, this is gonna be I bet all aspects of the other thing is that I think it's just the way that they are and the way that they think versus like, oh, no, it's just another thing I'm gonna have to do, like, oh, Lord, like, you know, it's, it's totally different personality type, it probably doesn't matter if what was being presented in that perspective, you know, yeah, and I

Dr. Sharon Grossman  22:50  
just want to offer that, if that's you like that ladder picture, then it could be that you just are in a place right now where you're really overwhelmed. And you might even be burned out. And so that's where I would really recommend that you look into that and see like, what's going on for me right now. Because, yes, there are things out there that can help me get my work done more quickly, and all these things, but if I don't take care of myself first, then I'm not gonna have the bandwidth to even download that up for for two or five minutes. So that so you know, that's where I wanted to kind of share some sort of a resource with you guys. So that, if this is you, if you are struggling with this, you have like a step, an action step that you can take right after this episode. And so that's where I'm sharing a burnout checklist that I created. So you guys can download that for free. It'll tell you exactly what kind of symptoms you might be noticing. So you can see if there are any red flags, it'll tell you which stage of burnout you might be in. And based on that stage, what you should focus on to help yourself kind of move forward. So hopefully, that is something that will help you just take that first step and help yourself out of this. Yeah,

Julie Soukup 24:04  
absolutely. And that's one thing too, and I will speak to is I spent quite a bit of time on your website and listened to your podcast. And there's just a ton of phenomenal resources that you have, you know, dealing with those different profiles and really providing like a positive way to shift thinking and kind of go into that. So even just on your website, in general, what they see is just calm, definitely for anyone. Like it's wanting to kind of dig into that. It's really helpful. And that even I was like, yep, yep, yep. Yep. You know, and trying to kind of shift shift that because it's not until you're in there, you're seeing how many other things you're like, oh, wait, maybe I need to take that step back and start really re looking or at least identifying what's happening, you know,

Dr. Sharon Grossman  24:49  
yeah, and I just want to add that sometimes in medicine, there is a little bit of a stigma and so people aren't so forthcoming when they feel burned out. And I want you to know that you are until alone in this and if it's helpful to just really put shine a light on this, go to decode your burnout, which is my podcast. And you can hear other people sharing their stories so that you can start to hear yourself in other people's stories and just kind of helps you feel like it's normalized, right? Like this is something that is happening to at least 50% of providers out there, sometimes a lot more than that. So I really hope you take this seriously. And it's just one more resource for you.

Julie Soukup 25:33  
Yeah, well, especially now, I think we are also thankful, like to our providers, and our nurses are now that we are recognizing, as a society, we have pushed you to this point with what's happening with COVID. And all of the pieces that that they are at at just complete capacity. Even that's where we were like, how can we support? How can we work with nurses? How can we how can we really make this easier? How can we lead on their intellect to develop something for them? And similar in that is, you know, how can how what are there things that we can support by vocalizing like, it is definitely a time right now a provider nurse burnout, just with what's happened, kind of in our inner world war two,

Dr. Sharon Grossman  26:15  
which is why I think the work that you guys are doing is phenomenal. And I really hope people hear about this. Because if it can give you back your time, and you don't have to continue to replicate the same thing over and over again, like why not?

Julie Soukup 26:30  
Yeah, right. And that's what we're really trying to solve is it's, it's, you're already giving the information, you're already doing an update for a patient, you're already talking to them in a clinical consultation, just record what you already do, so that everyone has access to it, family members have access to it. So you're not repeating the same thing over and over to a family member that can't get into the hospital or anything along those lines. And so that's where, you know, when we worked with a lot of nurses it was make it shorter, less buttons, less click, make it not, if that's not okay, if it's two minutes needs to now be just a 22nd login, you know, and once you know, once you figure it out at two minutes, it's like 20 seconds after that, you know, even 15 seconds, you know, trying to get even it it as optimized as streamlined as possible. But again, if if people just that over well, it's hard to even say, try one more thing we recognize as a huge ass, you know, to to even if it does help support in the end. So, yeah, well, Dr. Grossman, you are a wealth of knowledge. And definitely please, I encourage anyone listening or watching this to check out her her website, it's listed below, there's so many phenomenal resources to start kind of identifying and supporting and recognizing what's going through, as well as the checkout. I mean, understanding yourself and where you may fall, even in of itself provides a great, great resource. So I so appreciate you joining us. Is there anything else that you'd like to add before we call it?

Dr. Sharon Grossman  27:53  
Just thank you so much for having me. And I really, I really am excited to share your message with the world and encourage people to take care of themselves in whatever way possible, especially physicians, nurses, they're working so hard, and it's the least we can do is give back. Right?

Julie Soukup  28:11  
No, absolutely. I appreciate that. That thought too. Well, thanks again. And well, I'm sure. Talk to you again soon.

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