Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 418–421 | Cite as

Thorny Laurels: the Impostor Phenomenon in Academic Psychiatry

Feature: Perspective



This work was supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant SM60482. Parts of this paper were presented as workshops at the Association for Academic Psychiatry Annual Meetings in 2013 and 2014 and the Western Group on Educational Affairs Meeting in 2014. We are very grateful to Dr. Pauline Rose Clance, who generously shared her work with us.


On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Clance PR, Imes S. The impostor phenomenon in high achieving women: dynamics and therapeutic interventions. Psychother-Theor Res. 1978;15:241–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Clance PR. The impostor phenomenon: when success makes you feel like a fake. New York: Bantam Books; 1985. p. 31–112.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Henning K, Ey S, Shaw D. Perfectionism, the impostor phenomenon and psychological adjustment in medical, dental, nursing and pharmacy students. Med Educ. 1998;32:456–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Oriel K, Plane MB, Mundt M. Family medicine residents and the impostor phenomenon. Fam Med. 2004;36:248–52.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Legassie J, Zibrowski EM, Goldszmidt MA. Measuring resident well-being: impostorism and burnout syndrome in residency. J Gen Intern Med. 2008;23:1090–4.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kets de Vries MFR. The dangers of feeling like a fake. Harv Bus Rev. 2005;83:108–16.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Young V. The secret thoughts of successful women. New York: Crown Business; 2011. p. 71–136.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Seritan AL, Hunt JB, Shy AC, Rea M, Worley LLM. The state of medical student wellness: a call for culture change. Acad Psychiatry. 2012;36:7–10.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Aletta EG. Who do you think you are? 8 tips to beat the imposter syndrome. Available at Accessed December 10, 2014.

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California, Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.University of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations