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ImPASTA Syndrome

What is imposter syndrome you say?

Imposter Syndrome – an experience of feeling incompetent and of having deceived others about one’s abilities.

You’re sitting in that office and feel as if you have lied to everyone about your credentials and how you got here WHEN you haven't.

Signs of Imposter Syndrome:

  • Introverted

  • Anxious when assigned tasks

  • Low self-confidence

  • Don’t want that job/task because you have to be an expert

  • Don’t want to ask for help


I remember sitting in General Medicine rounds as an intern, and I thought, “Damn should I be sitting here? Am I smart enough to be here? I AM A FRAUD?” I was afraid to speak up on rounds when I knew I was more than capable of doing so. Now if you know who I am, I will say what needs to be said when it needs to be said; you feel me. But in those rounds, I was not able to project myself as I normally did. I did not get the jokes. I just felt like I had to morph myself into everyone else. Five years of undergrad and to be 1/6 of 100+ applicants, I was meant to be here, right?!

I realized it was because I was uncomfortable; I was the only black student in the room. I felt silenced in the room. There is something in us as black individuals where we already are so loud in the room (visually) we have to make ourselves smaller to not appear overly boisterous. I'm sure other visual minorities have felt this too. It wasn’t until I was in certain rotations where I felt more welcomed, more accepted, more able to show what I was capable of. Having preceptors who saw the potential in me and continued to push me even when I felt as if I was not worthy enough (you know who you are, and thank you).

In summary, I want all the BIPOC interns to never doubt themselves when they are in these positions. You are as qualified as the next individual and think about it; the more people hear from us, the less the next person will need to feel silenced in a room. You have that degree; you got to this point, failure was never an option, and you definitely can change your attitude towards being seen as an imposter.

Say your daily affirmations and continue to strive for more!


Langford, Joe; Clance, Pauline Rose (Fall 1993)

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