She Coined the Term But Was No Imposter

(the day I met a legend)


On an otherwise ordinary Saturday afternoon, I walked to the ladies’ room of the Drake Hotel in Chicago with Dr. Pauline Rose Clance, the famous psychologist who coined the term Imposter Syndrome.

I told her I had a question I wanted to get her opinion on, but didn’t get to ask during her presentation.

In truth, I had stood up to ask it, but the line for asking questions got too long. I would have probably made it into that line on time, in hindsight, if I didn’t hesitate about the validity of the question I had. Ironically, imposter syndrome may have held me back.


She Coined the Term But Was No Imposter
the room at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, where Dr. Clance spoke, at the Women in Medicine Summit!

She agreed and invited me

to join her on the walk.

I asked her this:

What do you think of channeling the positive in the #Imposter Syndrome; ie of leveraging it to our advantage?

Allow me to explain further: I am fascinated by the syndrome’s ability to fuel DRIVE. And also to keep us humbled.


She Coined the Term But Was No Imposter
Dr. Clance and I, en route to the bathroom together.

She told me

she had recently read an article on exactly that and that she had agreed with what it said.

It can’t be mine, I thought (ironically, imposter syndrome set in)..

at which point she asks my name & picks up my name badge to visualize..

.. and says, “Yes, it was yours!”


I just about fell over.

Because the person who coined Imposter Syndrome had NOT ONLY read my measly blog, but agreed with the points I had made! 😳

Here is the moral of this ‘blog post story’: using social media helps us to CONNECT in the unlikeliest (& most surprising) of ways!

Check out my YouTube video, in which I recount this experience in audio version, HERE.
Check out SoMeDocs (or Doctors on Social Media), a movement and network I’ve founded, in order to arm healthcare professionals with tools they need to creat an impactful presence, and help their voices get heard.


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She Coined the Term But Was No Imposter


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