As excited as I am to be moving forward in my training, and as sure as I am that I learned many useful things over the past four years of medical school, I can't shake the feeling that when I say I'm a doctor, people have an image of what that means that is different from what I actually am. As my co-intern said the other night at happy hour, "Is anybody else suffering from intense imposter syndrome?" Unanimous nods.
Acknowledging it out loud helped explain the thoughts that had been popping into my head the past few weeks. Whenever I had a moment of downtime, memories that I hadn't thought about in years would seemingly randomly surface: the time that a friend in high school decided she didn't like me anymore and I never understood why or what I had done; the time at soccer practice when I was nine and I was chided for thinking I was better than my teammates; and the time a coworker told me that he didn't trust me.
What I fear is that somehow I've gotten this far despite of who I am. The litany of remembered failures and shortcomings, however small, are moments when people were able to see through to the truth of me. At any moment the smoke will clear and everyone around me will be able to see what they saw as well. One ought to chastise me for even entertaining the thought that the people are around me could be so obtuse for so long, but the quiet fear remains, lurking in the back ground of my thoughts.