Overcoming imposter syndrome

  • Audrey Ruple Department of Population Health Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060
Keywords: imposter syndrome, wellbeing, emotional wellbeing


Feeling like an imposter is commonly reported by veterinary students and new graduates. In fact, this phenomenon is fre­quently reported by high-achievers in many professions. Sev­eral characteristics have been attributed to this complex syn­drome, including self-criticism, feelings of insecurity, and the overwhelming surety that one does not really belong in this profession. The imposter syndrome is also a predictor of psy­chological distress and can negatively impact career advance­ment. Understanding how this syndrome arises can help to de­velop strategies that can be useful in overcoming it. This paper introduces some of the causes of imposter syndrome as well as some approaches that can be utilized by veterinarians to in­crease their resilience and coping skills in order to overcome feeling like an imposter.

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