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Image by Kiefer Likens

 a global consortium to advance awareness about
shame in healthcare

The Shame Space Consortium is an international network of professionals who use creative storytelling and research to advance shame awareness, shame resilience, and shame-sensitive practice in healthcare, with the overarching goal of creating more connected, authentic, and safe healthcare systems for all. The consortium was formed in 2022 by scholars studying shame at the University of Exeter, Duke University, and Duke—National University of Singapore Medical School.


Our goal is simple: to bring shame in healthcare into the light. Our consortium leverages the power of research and storytelling to advance cross-cultural understanding of shame, catalyze open conversations about shame, and promote wholehearted engagement with shame. In utilizing empiric research and creative media such as graphic medicine, documentary film, and audio storytelling, we hope to convey the essence and impact of shame in healthcare and illuminate a path to shame resilience and shame-sensitive practice among its members and within its environments.

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Will Bynum, MD


Will is a Raleigh-based family medicine physician practicing and teaching at the Duke University School of Medicine where he is a residency program director and advisor to the Medical Student Wellness Committee. Will is completing his PhD in Health Professions Education at Maastricht University and researches the role of shame in medical education. He has an amazing wife Carson and boys Mason and Brady, and his interests include coffee, his daily cookie, writing, music, and not sleeping much. He created The Shame Conversation, a resource hub to advance discussion and awareness of shame in medicine.

Luna Dolezal, PhD


Luna is an academic philosopher based at the University of Exeter. Her research is primarily about understanding lived experience, emotion and embodiment and how these intersect with social, political and institutional frameworks. Luna is a passionate shame researcher and currently runs a research project called Shame and Medicine, which looks at the role of shame in health and medicine. Luna is also a yoga teacher and mum to Theo.

Kirsty Freeman, FSSH, MHPE, BNur

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Kirsty Freeman is the Academic Coordinator of the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia penultimate year program.  A Fellow of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, she is a recognised world leader in the application of simulation in health professions’ education, with 20 years’ experience in healthcare education, assessment and research. Born and raised in rural regions of Western Australia, she is passionate about growing the healthcare workforce in rural and remote environments to ensure healthcare access for those communities. A qualitative researcher, Kirsty is currently completing a PhD exploring impostor phenomenon in healthcare simulation educators, and is co-investigator on research exploring in impact of emotions on learner’s engagement with feedback.

Charlotte Wu, MD, MSC

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Charlotte is a primary care internal medicine physician and clinician innovator passionate about leveraging creative storytelling, design-thinking, and technology to improve health and wellness. She is the founder and principal at Harness Health Global, is a visiting lecturer and programme lead of the Leading and Managing Innovation executive education course at University College London, and has published multiple collaborative graphic narratives in book and article form touching areas ranging from clinical ethics to shame in medicine.

Juanita Navarro Paez


Juanita is a PhD student in Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Exeter. She is part of the Shame and Medicine project alongside Luna. Her research explores how shame and shaming in medicine are represented through comics from an intersectional perspective. An enthusiast of anything pop culture, her academic formation has taken her from Media Studies to Comparative Literature, and now the field of Comic Studies. 

Mikako Obika, MD, PhD

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Mikako is a physician and a senior assistant professor in general medicine at Okayama University School of Medicine in Japan, where she is teaching with specialists of the humanities. Mikako has a
keen interest in the role played by shame and stigma in medical settings, based on her experience as a family member of a brain tumor patient. Mikako is also mum to Kyoko and Hanako.

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