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Douglas Garland, M.D. practiced orthopedic surgery for 37 years in Southern California. In addition to serving as Medical Director of a Total Joint Service for five years, he also served as chief of four service units including spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury at a nationally renowned rehabilitation center. Doug was also a Clinical Professor of Orthopedics at the University of Southern California.

Background and Questions for Doug Garland

What do Tiger Woods, Benjamin Franklin, Martha Stewart, and Will Smith have in common? The Tall Poppy Syndrome reveals much about a little known aspect of human nature. 

TPS explains why why so many of our hero's ultimately fall from grace.

Doug Garland has been studying the phenomenon for over 10 years after he experienced it first hand in his own career. His work brings awareness and clarity to a hidden and often misunderstood human condition. Using both recent examples and case studies through history we can begin to better understand the emotional damage and challenges Tall Poppies face.

In our conversation with Doug, we'll learn more about the Tall Poppy Syndrome and how it relates to emotional intelligence, the cancel culture, social movements, bullying, jealousy, envy, resentment and schadenfreude.


  1. What is the Tall Poppy Syndrome??
  2. Does social media exacerbate it?
  3. What are the two forms of envy you write about?
  4. What is the relationship between bullying and TPS? (When a bully gets tall poppied, is it a false tall poppy?)

Doug's book gives readers the truest sense of what TPS actually is. Once we can properly give the condition a label, we are more empowered to lessen it's hold on us (and others) before it creates unnecessary emotional scars.

Follow-on questions

  1. Why does TPS exist?
  2. Are their different types of Tall Poppies?
  3. How early does the TPS begin? Grade school? (Follow-on discussion on when bullies first emerge)
  4. Does TPS vary among different parts of the world? How about different parts of the United States?
  5. In which fields is TPS most prolific? Can you share some of the most notable examples? Your own?
  6. What are the warning signs you might get tall poppied and is there anything you can do about it?
  7. Are there any societal benefits of tall poppies?


Past Appearances

KVEC Radio with Dave Congalton

Recent Podcasts

Label Free Podcast

Connect with Doug