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Study of Self Assessment of Competency to Perform as a Physicain Assistant in Physician Assistant Students and Recent Graduates of the Pacific University School of Physician Assistant Studies

1 August 2006


Certain goal oriented and highly achieving individuals have often been found to have feelings of depression and anxiety related to thoughts that their success can be attributed to luck and reasons not linked to their intelligence or competence. These views have been attributed to The Imposter Phenomenon. This study set out to quantify the percentage of Pacific University School of Physician Assistant students past (having graduated within the last 5 years) and present (third year students having completed didactic and clinical rotation years) who could be classified as having Imposter Phenomenon. A Clance Imposter survey was e-mailed to all graduates and students from the years 2001 through 2006. 83 students and past graduates (56 females and 27 males) responded. 46.4% of females and 22.2% of males scored in the accepted range for Imposter Phenomenon for a total of 38.5 % of the sample being classified as 'imposters'. This study concluded that over one-third of students and graduates struggle with feelings associated with Imposter Phenomenon such as feeling less capable as their peers/colleagues. Recommendations for coping and treatment modalities are discussed.


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