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I am planning experiences to increase my chances to match to a competitive speciality (interest group leadership, research, observerships, etc). This is great but the catch is that basically everybody that I have met are incredibly motivated, smart, and capable. I can't help but feel that what if I am not at that level or better (seeing that there is a competition for a few positions). It's stressful because I constantly hear the phrases of fitting in with said speciality, the staff and residents liking you and so on. But what does that mean? I keep circling around: Am I good enough for this?

Idk what I'm looking for with posting this. Maybe some advice? Tips on coping with imposter syndrome while planning an application to a competitive speciality?

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I think showing your motivation for a competitive specialty is a big factor in matching to it. So doing research in the field is one way people do that, electives etc. Motivation and then also just people skills. Are you going to be someone they want to work with? So being a good team player, taking initiative when appropriate for your training level, asking questions, etc can go a long way to demonstrating on rotations where you're looking for a letter that you'll be a good colleague to have on the team. In the end, it's a numbers game and plenty of just as worthy candidates don't match to their competitive specialty of choice the first time they go through CaRMS. What I am trying to say is that I am sure you would make just as good of a specialist in that field as most other people if you have the motivation to do so and it sounds like you really want this, because you're feeling so worried about it!

Also, I think if you can find a counsellor you vibe with (the way I've had success with that is by googling your city and "counsellor" and "Psychology Today. You can find profiles of ton of registered counsellors in your area and get a general vibe before calling them) to help you work through some of these feelings of low self worth, that is always worth the investment in my opinion. The anxiety and low feelings of imposter syndrome are not fun to deal with on top of all the other challenges of medical school. Take care of yourself first! You deserve that!

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