Jeff welcomes to the podcast Dr. Kara Pepper, a practicing primary care physician, as well as a certified life coach!
The topic for today’s podcast is Imposter Syndrome.
Kara worked as a professional ballet dancer after high school. After a brief career filled with injuries, she needed to find a different occupation. So she went to medical school. Throughout her training she always had the nagging thought – “how did I trick these people into letting a ballet dancer go to medical school?”
That sense of being an imposter is a common feeling among many physicians. While Jeff thinks this is partially related to heavier doses of “mentor” critiques and our negative inner critic, some of us feel like imposters – that we don’t deserve to be where we are, that we’re not smart enough, good enough, etc. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy despite objective success.
What steps does Kara suggest we do to reckon with imposter syndrome?
- Step 1 – Understand that EVERYONE has some degree of imposter syndrome.
- Step 2 – Recognize that you have an internal narrative and acknowledge its nature. Is it self-effacing? Does it develop opportunities for growth?
- Step 3 – Shift your narrative by focusing on positive thinking and use your imposter syndrome to improve yourself.
Most importantly, PRACTICE the narrative that serves growth!
Kara Pepper, MD
Dr. Kara Pepper is a practicing primary care Internist, Certified Life Coach, and primary care physician for Atlanta Ballet. Dr. Pepper helps physicians love the life they worked so hard to create. She specializes in burnout, perfectionism, and imposter syndrome. She provides one-on-one and group coaching and speaks on topics surrounding burnout and physician wellness.