Background and Aims: Imposter syndrome (IS) is defined by a persistent feeling of self-doubt combined with fear of being exposed as a fraud, despite objective measures of success, which threatens mental health and well-being. The prevalence and severity of IS have not been studied among surgical and medical residents on a large scale. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and severity of IS among surgical and medical residents in Makkah hospitals, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was performed by using the Clance Imposter Phenomenon Scale (CIPS) on surgical and medical residents in Makkah hospitals. A total of 207 residents were collected by using an online version. The obtained data were statistically analyzed using SPSS version 24.
Results: 207 residents fulfilling the inclusion criteria completed the study questionnaire. Only 3.9% of residents had a low level of imposter characteristics, 45.9% had a moderate level, 47.3% had a high level, while 2.9% had intense imposter feelings. In addition, high to intense imposter feelings were detected among 54.4% female residents compared to 42.3% of males. Surgical residents and residents in their first years of residency showed insignificantly higher imposter feelings than others (51%, 61.5% for R2 residents; P> 0.05 for all). All other factors were insignificantly affecting the resident’s imposter syndrome score.
Conclusions: Imposter syndrome is prevalent among surgical and medical residents and was significantly higher in females than males in Makkah city hospitals, Saudi Arabia.
Key words: Prevalence, Imposter syndrome, Surgical and medical residents