5 books directly related to impostor syndrome 📚

All 5 impostor syndrome books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Intern: A Doctor's Initiation

By Sandeep Jauhar,

Book cover of Intern: A Doctor's Initiation

Why this book?

Intern is the realest account I’ve ever read of what it’s truly like to start working after leaving the nest of medical school. Jauhar’s writing is crisp and human, while the content gives the reader a true glimpse into the life of a new doctor. This book taught me that it was okay to experience impostor syndrome, to feel overwhelmed, and to express yourself creatively even as a doctor. This author has gone on to write regularly in The New York Times and has become one of medicine’s most treasured physician-writers.

The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

By Seth Godin,

Book cover of The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

Why this book?

In The Practice, Godin successfully does that “thing,” that he is so uniquely good at: sharing wisdom with panache and joy, not condescension or cliché. He artfully argues for the creative to better empathize with their audience, and in doing so, create better art. Since, creativity is nothing without impact.

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It

By Valerie Young,

Book cover of The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It

Why this book?

Regardless of your gender, this book will help you overcome the insecurity and self-doubt we all feel sometimes that holds us back. It provides clarity and understanding combined with practical steps so you can walk confidently into your full potential. This book made me recognize when I am holding myself back or worse—self-sabotaging—so that I can adjust my behavior to go after what I want. Not only has this book helped me personally, but I have recommended it more times than I can count, and the feedback is so meaningful and positive. It’s made a huge difference in my career and I think everyone can benefit from the lessons Dr. Young has to offer.

Playing Doctor Part One: Medical School (Stumbling through with Amnesia)

By John Lawrence,

Book cover of Playing Doctor Part One: Medical School (Stumbling through with Amnesia)

Why this book?

The future Dr. Lawrence sustains two traumatic brain injuries right before starting medical school. After inexplicably not taking any time off to recover, he trundles ahead despite short-term memory loss. What follows is an entertaining and chaotic four years of surmounting formidable obstacles while suffering an imposter syndrome that lingers throughout his training.

I think every medical student aside from the most incurable narcissist feels they are playing doctor much of the time. This memoir is highly relatable.


By Nikki May,

Book cover of Wahala

Why this book?

I flew through Wahala. Pacy, suspenseful, and binge-able, this novel did not disappoint; it delivered in all areas. Zany, memorable characters – tick. Messy, complicated entanglements – tick. Tantalising, mouth-watering descriptions of Nigerian food served in south London restaurants – tick, tick. (The author kindly included a few recipes at the back of the book!) Wahala reminded me of how enjoyable reading can be when you find a widely-entertaining book that you can kick back and sink your teeth into. An engrossing, riveting read that explores the complexity of adult female friendships, I highly recommend it.