How to get out of imposter syndrome?


Forum Captain
I just got licensed and started working this week as a 911 medic but am having an issue with getting out of the “ intern” state of mind and realizing I am a medic? I feel confident in my skills and everything but still catch myself looking at my FTO for correction for no real reason


Forum Deputy Chief
I just got licensed and started working this week as a 911 medic but am having an issue with getting out of the “ intern” state of mind and realizing I am a medic? I feel confident in my skills and everything but still catch myself looking at my FTO for correction for no real reason
Are you working on your own, or are you with an FTO? If you're with an FTO, you should be looking to them.

It takes much longer than a week to feel comfortable in what you're doing. Try months to years depending on call volume and proficiency.


Forum Deputy Chief
Justin1232, what you describe isn't unusual, particularly for Type A personalities. On the positive side, that "imposter syndrome" may be encouraging you to learn more and keep improving.


ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
Also keep in mind that you will always have room to improve. You can learn something every day, and you should always be improving your practice. Medical care in whatever form you practice (EMS, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, therapies, and so on) is as much of an art as a science; and both can be further developed over time.


Forum Captain
Thanks for the replies! Hasn’t even been a week yet of field training haha 😆 I’m not doing bad just rusty with my assessments and controlling the scene in general but know it will come with time. Area I’m working in is pretty slow with about 3 calls in 12 hour shift. Luckily my FTO is very cool and not expecting experienced medic right out of medic school


Forum Crew Member
I felt like I needed a full year and a half, and all of the sudden I just went to work and didn't worry once about the call that was coming in.

You will always get a bit of a rush for good calls but you will stop feeling unprepared for them.

Never be the person who says they know something that they don't, and always be a student ready to learn more. School and internship is just the start to your learning not the end.

Wish you the best!


EMS Edumacator
You actually aren’t suffering from imposter syndrome, you’re simply suffering from “new medic syndrome“. If you’ve only been a medic for a week or two, you really have no idea what you don’t know, and what you DO know is simply what you learned in class… And while that may be factual, most of what you learned how to do in class is not actual field practice. That goes away with putting in reps. The more calls you run, the more confidence you build and you stop having to second-guess every small detail and you can just effectively treat the patient .

Imposter syndrome is different, “Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. 'Imposters' suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.”


Forum Crew Member
Thats how it is.. completely normal. I felt that way as a new intermediate, a new paramedic, and now a new flight paramedic. It takes months to get comfortable with an ALS assessments/skills, decision making, and delegating. Some things will take longer then that. Now is the time to be looking at your FTO for direction. Just be humble, be teachable, and ask questions.


Forum Lieutenant
Ive been a new medic going on 6 to 8 months now with a moderate to low call volume in a 911 setting. it takes TIME. Ive ran serious calls and done well, ive done mostly BS calls. im BARELY now starting to feel comfortable in the sense of "i got this no matter what the call is" type of thing.

do i still have calls that i wish went better? of course....i think we all do. But sometimes its out of your hands and no matter how well you manage a scene or just doesnt work.

i just had a pt that all i knew when i got to the hospital was he took wellbutrin by snorting it and he's mumbling and occasionally "zoning out". No idea when, the dosage, the reason, the route of administration, SI attempt, Other drugs or etoh, History / allergies / meds, Audio or visual hallucinations...NOTHING.

I ASKED all of this. he mumbled throughout it all refusing to clearly anser me (he was A&0X4 and answered THAT clearly though)PD knew nothing, the RP knew nothing more, Fire knew nothing more. We all tried, it didnt happen. I did my best......It wasnt that good but hell. What else could you do?

theres always gonna be a rough call here and there. Try to just learn from it and not let it bring you down too much like i tend to do.


Forum Deputy Chief
Sometimes you just can't get info, don't sweat it. I brought in young girl hallucinating and pressure in the tank one day with a "I don't know what the hell this is, what you see is what you get". Come to find out, Alcoholism-->pancreatitis-->sepsis with a nice GI bleed for fun. They maxed her on Levo just to get an an okayish pressure. I wasn't given any kind of relevant from her boyfriend (I asked) and the only thing she was talking about were the kids looking up her skirt she wasn't wearing and the purple elephants with us....

Showing up with no info isn't necessarily a bad thing on your end....not trying to get any info however....


Forum Probie
@NomadicMedic took the words outta my mouth except put it way more succintly.

As that, right there.
As long as you keep moving it's all just business as usual.

Old Tracker

Forum Captain
Glad to see this thread, because I still get that feeling. It gets better, but it feels like it is taking way to long. That being said, none of the P's I work with (I'm an A) have complained about anything. I have a couple who offer useful advice, that is much appreciated.