Imposter Syndrome among Pakistani Medical Students
Background: Imposter syndrome (IS) first described in 1978 is recently gaining more importance due to its long lasting, strong and detrimental implications on the Medical students as well as the institutions and society. The sufferers are competent objectively but they have a secret fear in them, that they are inadequate in the skills and knowledge and this secret will be open to others anytime. It is strongly associated with burnout phenomenon, anxiety, depression, many other psychological effects and many significant implications on medical education and training. Suffering students develop different styles of learning and find it difficult to learn through conventional or usual teaching strategies.
Objectives: This study objective was to find out the frequency of IS among Pakistani medical students.
Methodology: This was a cross sectional, descriptive study, conducted in a private medical college of Lahore, Pakistan in November 2016. Sampling technique was convenient non-probability type and study instrument was 08 items questionnaire. The students who answered “Yes” for five or more out of eight questions were considered positive for Imposter Syndrome.
Results: Out of 143 final year MBBS students 58.7% were females & 41.3% males. Sixty eight (68) students (47.5%) were found having Imposter Syndrome according to the Young Imposter scale (YIS) used as questionnaire. Out of these 45 (53.5%) were females and 23 (38.9%) males.
Conclusion: Imposter syndrome or phenomenon may be present in significant frequencies and number among medical students. This may have detrimental effects on body, mind, personalities and academic as well as professional developments. Efforts should be made to find out IS/IP among students and to train both students and teachers.
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