Year: 2022 | Month: December | Volume 13 | Issue 2

Learning Communities: Do they Improve Imposter Syndrome and Loneliness among Medical Students?

Sahar Elmenini Nicole White LaToya Sherman and Eric Ayers


Past research has linked imposter syndrome (IS), isolation, and locus of control (LOC) together. Learning communities (LCs) are created to directly and effectively combat loneliness, feelings of isolation, and promote students’ wellbeing and success. We hypothesize: those who attend more LC events will score lower on IS scale and lower on social loneliness scale; that those who scored higher on IS and social loneliness are more likely to have an external LOC. To test our hypotheses, a survey was sent out to the Classes of 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 at Wayne State University School of Medicine, resulting in a sample size of 144 participants. The students’ responses were recorded and analyzed. The survey included questions from the following topics: gender, age, class, number of LC and non-LC events attended, IS, loneliness, and LOC. Surprisingly, it was found that there was not a significant correlation between the number of LC events attended and IS, loneliness, and LOC. There was a slight positive correlation between loneliness scores and the number of non-LC social events attended. Furthermore, there were correlations between IS, loneliness, and LOC. In summary, this study affirms connections between gender, IS, and external locus of control. Furthermore, our study fails to establish connections between IS and loneliness. Lastly, the study fails to demonstrate LCs’ ability to decrease feelings of loneliness and IS. Further studies on different types of LCs and how they contribute to the student body may shed some light on the gaps between LCs, IS, and loneliness. 

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