I M P O S T E R S Y N D R O M E
By Annie Nguyen, @sliceofannie
Recently, #teamUrbane member, Annie (@sliceofannie), posted to raise awareness about Imposter Syndrome, share what IS is, and shared a few imposter thoughts that she has experienced and tips on what has helped her through these thoughts.
Follow her on Instagram for more tips, advice, vegan/vegetarian recipes, and to follow her journey through medical school.
My colleague @joseangelparra from our @cosgp committee did a great job covering this topic for October’s Wellness initiative for DO schools. I also love seeing friends like @kellytakesmedicine and @arguingformedicine talk about IS too, bc it isn’t usually talked about but should be.
Imposter syndrome = a false and sometimes crippling belief that one’s successes are the product of luck or fraud rather than skill [Merriam Webster]. Sadly, this feeling is prevalent among medical students, minorities, LGBTQ+, to name a few.
I’ve certainly developed imposter thoughts, most memorably:
1. When I got to medical school. I was surrounded by classmates who had multiple interviews and got to choose our school. Meanwhile, I only received 1 interview and acceptance. I felt like my being there was pure luck.
2. When I became SGA president at the start of the COVID19 lockdown. Second - fourth-year students were asking me to advocate for their class to administration about important issues like board prep, rotations, etc. I felt highly unqualified bc I was a first yr who barely understood these processes yet and was trying to figure out neurology online.
TIP #585: When I recognized these thoughts/feelings, what really helped me was:
1. talking to classmates/friends about this, in a vulnerable way. In doing so, I saw that other people felt similarly to me and felt less alone.
2. which leads to: realize I am NOT alone!
3. think about positive experiences and try to stop comparing myself to others. By remembering all the hard work and accomplishments I achieved in order to get into these positions, I could change my narrative from “I’m lucky to be here” to “I deserve to be here.” Also, there is no right way to get into med school or a leadership position. There’s beauty in everyone’s unique journeys and how we can grow from each other.
I anticipate I’ll feel imposter syndrome again during rotations [when I can actually wear these cute @drwoofapparel scrub caps and @urbanescrubs ] but knowing these tools to overcome it helps me feel better. If you feel imposter syndrome, I hope these help, and please know you can always talk to me about it!!
A version of this blog first appeared on Annie's Instagram. It is reproduced here with the permission of the author.