Hubris syndrome in neurosurgery

Hubris syndrome

Hubris syndrome (HS) is an acquired psychiatric disorder that affects people who exercise power in any of its forms. It has been reported in many fields, from politics to finance. The physician-patient relationship is also one of power. A lack of humbleness and empathy in this situation can lead to qualities such as self-confidence and self-assurance becoming pride, arrogance and high-handedness, which characterise a doctor suffering from HS.

The diagnostic criteria for HS initially reported in political leaders with government responsibilities are analysed and transferred to the medical field of neurosurgery. Two forms of medical HS are described and ten diagnostic criteria are proposed that are valid for any physician-patient relationship.

HS is an acquired psychiatric disorder that is triggered by power and enhanced by success, and can easily be observed on a daily basis in physicians working in settings that are very close to us. Early identification of these medical behaviours is necessary to be able to mitigate their consequences 1).


Gonzalez-Garcia J. [Hubris syndrome in neurosurgery]. Rev Neurol. 2019 Apr 16;68(8):346-353. doi: 10.33588/rn.6808.2018355. Review. Spanish. PubMed PMID: 30963532.

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