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Imposter syndrome: the thought destroyer

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

Imposter syndrome is a silent condition that exists amongst the global population. Like hypertension, it presents with symptoms that may or may not be indicative of something going wrong, but without prophylaxis or management, it gives rise to risks and conditions that could be avoided with early intervention. This blog gives you a brief overview on what Imposter Syndrome is and in a format that you may be familiar with *wink wink*, along with some final words for you, my fellow medic reader.


An overarching feeling of being inadequate, even though there is enough evidence to suggest capability and/or success.


Very very common - Approximately 70% of people may have atleast one instance of imposter syndrome during the whole span of their lives. It is likely that this would increase in higher achievers.


  • Upbringing - attachment styles, pressure from parents and older people in the family.

  • Interrelationships - friendships and social surroundings

  • New work or school opportunities - culture of the new environment, adjusting to new people, surrounding yourself with other high achievers

  • Personality - this can be explained below.

Signs/ Symptoms

Imposter syndrome can be subdivided into five personality types; perfectionist, superhero, expert, natural genius and soloist. These are not strict categories and there can be clear overlap in signs and symptoms.


  • Tends to set extremely high goals for self - if unachieved gives rise to immense doubt in self-worth and work.

  • Tends to want to work independently to get tasks done.

  • Tends to rarely be satisfied with success and believes more could be achieved or done better.


  • Tends to think that they are not as good as the people they work with.