Impostor syndrome

According to Wikipedia, impostor syndrome is “a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

Ever since I started medical school, I have felt this way.

It’s interesting because in college, I did well without much work or stress.  I figured I was coasting along since I picked easier classes, had some good luck, and relying on some kind of innate “talent” or “brains”.

That stopped as soon as medical school began.  Everyone else was so smart – they were at the top of their classes in college, learned much more quickly than me, and just knew everything.  Our grades were pass or fail, determined by a cutoff relative to the class average.  I was doing so poorly I thought I should just drop out and pick another profession.  One that I knew I could be good at.  The only reason that didn’t happen was because I couldn’t think of any.

Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder during medical school didn’t help.  Now it became more than just “what if they find out I’m not smart?? I don’t deserve to be here”.  Thoughts like “what if they found out I’m crazy too? Now they’ll really kick me out!” started entering my mind.

I know it’s all irrational.  I know it’s common.  I just wish I could make it go away.

Advertisements