When you feel like a veterinary fraud

When you feel like a veterinary fraud

Poignant, anonymous secrets from the Veterinary Confessionals Project show that even smart doctors of veterinary medicine find themselves suffering impostor syndrome. Peek at their secrets and, if this is you too, discover some resources that might help.
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Nov 01, 2017
By dvm360.com staff

I always think someone will catch me as I pretend to be better than I am at my job.

 

There's a point every single day when I feel like a fraud and I'm about to be discovered.

 

Anesthesia scares the bejeezus out of me, and I'm afraid I'll never be comfortable/good at it and, therefore, not a "fully functioning" member of the team.

Maybe you're doing things right. You're stretching yourself! You're trying on new challenges that you don't feel completely comfortable with. You're growing! Dr. Dave Nicol says maybe feeling like an impostor—maybe a little bit—means you're doing life right!.

When I graduated from veterinary school and started interviewing for jobs, I felt like a fraud. I felt like I had somehow tricked everyone around me into thinking that I was smart and that I could do this. When I confessed this to my dad, he told me that a lot of people in many different professions feel like this with a new job.

Impostor syndrome is everywhere, in all professions, in many people. You're not alone! Where's it come from? You're a conscientious, well-meaning person who has found himself or herself in a job or situation where you think you're way out of your depth. Dive into this advice from Drs. Karen Bradley and Sarah Wooten on working on it if you've got it.

 

I'm a first-year veterinary student. I love school, but every day I worry about forgetting something that will prove crucial in a future case ...

You're not a fraud if you feel this way! Many veterinary students and new grads spend their first few years just worried about not killing a pet. Need a pick-me-up? Read how Hilal Dogan, BVSc, overcame her fear of surgery as a young grad.

 

I feel guilty about being successful like somehow I don't deserve it.

 

After 11 years in practice and six years as the owner of a successful practice, I still feel like an impostor! When does that stop??

So, even if things are going well, you still feel like a fraud? Guilt is a natural and fantastic push from our conscience to change our ways. But if you're a kind, hard-working person and success is coming your way, should you feel guilty? Probably not.

Dr. Dean Scott wants you to step back and remember you're not perfect, you're no superhero, and you're just doing your best.

Dr. Hilal Dogan also thinks you might be taking on too much responsibility for the world.