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06-02-2020 | Original Article | Uitgave 2/2020 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 2/2020

Impostorism in third-year medical students: an item analysis using the Clance impostor phenomenon scale

Tijdschrift:
Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 2/2020
Auteurs:
Beth Levant, Jennifer A. Villwock, Ann M. Manzardo
Belangrijke opmerkingen

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s40037-020-00562-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Introduction

Impostorism, feelings of distrust in one’s abilities and accomplishments despite evidence to the contrary, is frequent in medical students and negatively affects student wellness.

Methods

The aspects of impostorism that were most prevalent in medical students during the transition from the preclinical to clinical phases of their training were assessed using an anonymous, voluntary 60-item survey that included the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS) and a 2-item burnout assessment administered in October-November 2018. Ratings of individual CIPS items were compared between items for the entire sample and in subpopulations of students. The correlation of individual CIPS items with CIPS total score was also determined.

Results

A total of 127 of 215 (59%) surveyed students responded, with 112 completing the CIPS with mean score of 63.0 ± 14.6 (moderate-to-frequent impostor feelings). Ratings of individual CIPS items differed significantly between items. Responses also differed depending on gender and perceived burnout or depersonalization.

Discussion

Third-year medical students identified most strongly with items related to unfounded fear of failure, hesitance to share recognition before it is announced, remembering failures rather than successes, believing themselves less capable than others, and worrying about succeeding. In contrast, attribution of accomplishments to luck was not prominent for these students. Responses to certain items also differed depending on gender and perceived burnout or depersonalization, but not self-reported under-represented minority status. This observation may inform the development of interventions tailored to foster wellness as students negotiate the transition from the preclinical to clinical phases of their training.
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