Submission ID 78091

Code OB-4-2
At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
Category Medical Education
Type Oral
Will the presenter be a: Student
Title Exploring Imposter Syndrome and the Interplay with Vulnerability and Failure Amongst Medical Students.
Background/Purpose Imposter Syndrome (IS), a phenomenon where individuals attribute successes to external factors aside from themselves, is reported to be high amongst medical students, with correlations to decreased wellbeing. Despite significant discussion on imposter syndrome, little work has been done to understand how medical students experience IS, the interplay of IS with how vulnerability is perceived in the learning environment and how IS may shape individuals' experiences/perceptions of failure.
Methods We conducted virtual semi-structured individual qualitative interviews with 15 medical students from all years across Canada. Interviews were coded and analyzed independently using thematic analysis by three researchers who met with a fourth to review codes and resolve any conflicts.
Results A number of themes emerged from our work. Within the medical context, participants described IS as a lack of belonging and fear of being considered incompetent. Students noted that they perceived there to be strong discomfort with vulnerability in the medical environment, which often heightened the impact of perceived failures. Participants highlighted the crucial role of mentors in helping students grow from failures and mitigate IS through embracing their own vulnerability in medicine.
Discussion Our study provides insights into why and how medical students experience IS within the medical learning environment. Our themes indicate opportunities in our efforts to create and foster health promoting learning environments to support learner wellbeing. Developing a culture of openness, and supporting vulnerability can contribute to learners developing a more authentic professional identity, potentially mitigating feelings of IS.
Keyword 1 Imposter Syndrome
Keyword 2 Learner Wellness
Keyword 3 Vulnerability in Medicine
Abstract content most relevant to: (check all that apply) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) (faculty development, CME)
Undergraduate Medical Education
Abstract Track - First Choice Physician & Medical Student Health and Well-being
Authors Abdel Rahman Tayem
Ataa Diabe
Surina Grover
Cheryl Goldstein
Victor Do
Abdel Rahman Tayem

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