There are emerging reports that the confidence and enthusiasm you possessed when you ventured into a career in medicine begins to diminish as early as medical school.  The structure of always competing for the best grades on exams, so that you can match with that perfect, highly competitive residency program, to eventually land your dream job has the exact opposite impact than imagined.  Instead of boosting doctors’ confidence, studies show that it is actually tearing doctors down.  The feeling of confidence is actually being replaced by feelings of inadequacy and not being good enough.  This is best kept secret that is now beginning to emerge in conversations about physician well-being and physician burnout.

How do you know if you have fallen victim to this insidious process of having your confidence slowly and methodically chipped away?  Here are 7 signs that your confidence is under attack.

1.      You were once idealistic and overflowing with ideas and ways to have a positive impact in healthcare and medicine. When you dreamed of your career you had patients who loved you and kept their appointments and an office staff who supported your practice.   Instead your new learned behavior is to just go with the flow.  You do your best to stay under the radar.  You deliver great patient care, but the excitement of possibilities is fading.  You don’t challenge your office staff and allow them to develop their own work styles.

2.      You have the ‘someone else can do this’ perspective.  Someone else can assume the responsibility, volunteer for the committee, or do the research to find the best practice.  You’re distracted by the conversations about the finances of medicine rather than making a mark in your field.

3.      You minimize your contributions.  You find it difficult to receive when a colleague, team member, or patient offers you a word of praise or gratitude.  Instead of a warm heart felt thank you, your response is more along the lines of, “It was nothing really.”

4.      Your confidence is taking a nose dive when you begin to second guess yourself on matters that you once firmly stood.  You begin to compare yourself to others and marvel at their enthusiasm and confidence.  You begin to neglect your continuing education saying there is no time, when in fact you are bored and disinterested.

5.      Complaining is the new language you speak.  You focus on a broken healthcare system, limited resources, and shortages of qualified physicians, nurses, and practitioners.  You don’t see any solutions so you have resigned yourself to join the crowd of complainers.

This cycle of crisis of confidence is the new disease of medical professionals.  It invades our teams so that we no longer work at peak performance.  It can distract the delivery of healthcare.  It robs you of your peace and job satisfaction.   

Detecting the early signs and getting help can reverse the process and get you back on track to the life and career that serves your highest good.  Unsure if you are under attack?  Let’s chat to find out.  Schedule a Discovery Session at or email

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