Research Mentor Name

Eric W. Ayers, MD, FAAP, FACP

Research Mentor Email Address

Institution / Department

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



Current literature links imposter syndrome (IS), isolation, and locus of control (LOC). Learning communities (LCs) serve to directly and effectively combat loneliness, feelings of isolation, and better promote students’ wellbeing and success. We hypothesized that those who attend more LC events will score lower on the IS scale and lower on the social loneliness scale. Furthermore, those who scored higher on IS and social loneliness are more likely to have an external LOC. To test this, a survey was sent to the Classes of 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 at Wayne State University School of Medicine, resulting in 144 participants. The survey included questions from the following: gender, age, class, number of LC events attended, number of 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. However, a slight positive correlation between loneliness scores and the number of non-LC social events attended was found. Furthermore, there were correlations between IS, loneliness, and LOC. In summary, this study coincides with current literature in the connection between gender and IS, loneliness, and external LOC, while contradicting literature on the connection between IS and loneliness. However, the study fails to affirm that LCs decrease feelings of loneliness and IS. Further studies on the different types of LCs and how they contribute to the student body may shed some light on the gaps between LCs, IS, and loneliness.


Higher Education | Medical Education | Medicine and Health Sciences