December 2022 Invited Speaker Rounds

Rejecting the Imposter label: Workplace Discrimination & The Perceived Competence of Women in Medicine

Kori LaDonna, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Innovation in Medical Education and Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Hybrid: Life Sciences Centre 1312 CMR & Zoom*

Zoom Details: For connection details, please email


When considering the complexities of 21st century medical training and practice, we tend to focus our attention on system inefficiencies, procedural complications, and patients’ increasingly complex care needs. However, recent medical education research suggests that other dimensions such as trust, ethics, team communication and conflict are more commonly identified by clinicians as sources of complexity. Using examples from her research, Dr. Kori LaDonna will further expand our view of complexity by sharing additional, often unseen challenges—such as the imposter syndrome, a form of inaccurate self-assessment in which individuals struggle to internalize their capabilities and achievements—that can contribute to burnout and roadblock career advancement for both trainees and practicing physicians. Dr. LaDonna will seek to normalize the imposter syndrome as a common experience amongst high achievers, and argue that revealing its impact challenges the pervasive assumption in medicine that those who seem to be performing well don’t struggle.


Dr. LaDonna completed her PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Western University in 2014; her doctoral research explored patient and family centered care issues in chronic neurological illness. During her postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Education Research and Innovation (Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University), Dr. LaDonna collaborated on research projects that examined (1) learning experiences in residency training programs, and (2) how expert clinicians understand and use their professional experiences—including career ‘turning points’, and clinical judgment in complex situations— to inform learners. As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Innovation in Medical Education and the Department of Medicine, Dr. LaDonna is currently developing a research program that explores issues of credibility and safety in medicine that is currently situated in two literatures: patient engagement and self-assessment. The initial focus of her work is to explore both the potential role of patients and family caregivers as health professions educators and assessors, and the ‘hidden’ complexities of training and practice that may impact trainees’ and practicing physicians’ learning, wellness, and professional development. Dr. LaDonna has expertise in qualitative research methodologies including grounded theory and phenomenology, and visual research methods including rich pictures, photovoice, and photo elicitation.

Accredited by UBC CPD

The Division of Continuing Professional Development, University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine (UBC CPD) is fully accredited by the Continuing Medical Education Accreditation Committee (CACME) to provide CPD credits for physicians.  This one-credit-per-hour Group Learning program meets the certification criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been certified by UBC CPD for up to 15.0 Mainpro+® credits. Each physician should claim only those credits accrued through participation in the activity. CFPC Session ID: 197919-001.

RCPSC ACCREDITATION: The CHES Cutting Edge Speaker Series is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.