PRP091: Factors Associated with the Imposter Syndrome Among Family Medicine Faculty

Diana Carvajal, MD, MPH


Context: Workforce diversity is associated with improved health for patients, especially the most vulnerable. Physicians underrepresented in medicine (URMs) disproportionately work in medically underserved areas of the country, especially those who practice primary care. Yet, URMs often describe: 1) a sense of not belonging in their current work environment; 2) a lack of recognition of their own successes; and/or 3) a lack of attribution of their achievements to their intrinsic worth as opposed to happenstance. These descriptions are consistent with definitions of the Imposter Syndrome (IS) which has been associated with anxiety, depression, low self-confidence and subsequent job dissatisfaction. The prevalence of IS among URMs in academic medicine is not well-studied nor are the factors that may be associated with IS such as racial/ethnic discrimination and bias. Objectives: 1) Determine prevalence of IS among URMs in academic family medicine compared to non-URMs; 2) Assess factors associated with high IS scores among URMs compared to non-URMs. Design: cross-sectional. Population: US academic family medicine faculty. Data Collection: Nationwide anonymous electronic survey measuring IS, perceived gender and race/ethnicity discrimination, and relevant demographic variables including age, race/ethnicity, gender identity and faculty position, among others. Analysis: Data will be reviewed with attention to demographic data and other factors associated with IS with comparisons between URM and non-URM faculty using Chi Square analysis, two-sided Fisher’s test, and multiple regression. Anticipated Outcomes: Results will shed light on remediable factors as they relate to bias and discrimination experienced by URMs in academic medicine. Implications: It is important to understand and address manifestations of the IS and associated remediable factors as they can hinder URM academic achievement and leadership. URMs with high academic rank and/or leadership positions are important role models for the nourishment of student and resident pipelines –which are crucial for continued workforce diversity and health equity.

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