I am looking for a word or phrase which means, roughly, "Someone who respects only the expertise of their own field," or "Someone who thinks only their own field is difficult and everyone else's is simple."
I have variously heard it referred to as "physicist syndrome," "engineer syndrome," or "computer scientist syndrome," but I am looking for a word or phrase which does not refer back to a particular field, for the following reasons:
- It is mildly offensive to people in those fields (I am an engineer and a computer scientist myself)
- It unfairly attributes to all members something true only of a few, and
- It unfairly excludes others in different professions with the same attitude
What I am specifically not looking for is a word for an individual who thinks only their own personal expertise is actual expertise, i.e., the word or phrase would not be applicable to an engineer who thinks all other engineers lack expertise.
Part of the overall concept is captured very well by this XKCD comic, and I could have sworn there was an equivalent strip for computer scientists, but I can't locate it.
Usage in a sentence might run as follows: "My brother-in-law was a gifted surgeon, but also a ______; the thought of anyone offering an opinion on medical matters without an M.D. filled him with contempt, but felt well-qualified to tell plumbers, mechanics, engineers, even airline pilots how to do their jobs on the strength of his medical degree."
But again, the essential element is neither the surgeon nor the medical degree. It is the surgeon simultaneously exalting the knowledge of his own field while degrading all others.