The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Beating Burnout and Imposter Syndrome: Tips for High-Achievers

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Mary Leung, a full-time physician who specializes in oncology and hematology. She is also a certified life coach. They talk the signs of burnout and how to overcome it, along with imposter syndrome.

[01:03] Introducing Dr. Mary Leung

[02:51] Why Oncology and Hematology?

[06:02] Recognizing Burnout

[11:14] The Arrival Fallacy

[15:17] Imposter Syndrome

[17:30] Dr. Mary Leung’s Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students

Signs of Burnout

Anyone is susceptible to experiencing burnout. It can feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining—almost as if you’re running on an empty tank. You can start to become cynical when you lose sight of your purpose.

The most important piece is to recognize when you feel burnt out. Take a step back to find out why you feel this way. Burnout is by no means your fault, it happens to all of us. But it is a sign that you need to take better care of yourself. A life coach can help you address burnout by reminding you of your strengths and passion, while suggesting ways to address the stressors in your life.

What is Arrival Fallacy?

Arrival fallacy is this cognitive bias that you will become happy after achieving a certain goal. In medicine, you become eager to reach the next steps, believing that it will guarantee happiness. That kind of bliss doesn’t last very long. In no time, you’ll be looking for the next milestone. Instead of perpetuating this false belief, students and physicians should learn to enjoy the process. You can be happy even during challenging times. Live in the present moment and savor both the good and bad.

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

High-achieving individuals often believe that they are not deserving of their success, despite all the hard work they put in. It’s common to have self-doubt. To address imposter syndrome, be mindful of how you speak to yourself. Remind yourself that it’s okay to recognize your efforts. Treat yourself the way you would treat a friend: with compassion and encouragement.

You can reach Dr. Mary Leung through her LinkedIn or send her an email at [email protected]. Check out her website for more resources.

To learn more about how MedSchoolCoach can help you along your medical school journey, visit us at Prospective Doctor. You can also reach us through our social media:


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Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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