What impact do structured educational sessions to increase emotional intelligence have on medical students? BEME Guide 17
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a type of social intelligence It consists of the ability to manage your own and other’s emotions in your day to day life, and to use this information to inform your thinking and behaviour. It is a characteristic, similar to other constructs such as reasoning, thinking and conscientiousness, which can be used to differentiate between individuals.
Research within medical education has suggested looking at doctors’ EI to assess their levels of emotional competence when interacting with patients. Other research found a relationship between the EI of medical students, and patient satisfaction scores after their Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). It can be speculated that EI is related directly to interpersonal and communication skills, and is important in the assessment and training of medical undergraduates. It is therefore important to assess if EI can be improved by targeted, structured educational interventions, as medical students who have high EI may be better at responding to expressions of emotional distress by patients than those with lower EI.
We investigated this problem using a systematic review.The aim of the review was to focus on if medical students may be taught to improve their EI, using Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) guidelines.
- M. Gemma Cherry (lead reviewer), BSc (Hons), is a researcher within the School of Medical Education at the University of Liverpool. She is currently studying for a PhD in Medical Education, looking at the interaction between emotional intelligence and communication skills in medical students.
- Ian Fletcher, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, is a lecturer and research tutor for the Doctorate for the Clinical Psychology training programme based in the Division of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool. His research interests focus on doctor–patient communication, psycho-oncology, attachment, emotional intelligence, medically unexplained symptoms, reliability issues and sequential analysis.
- Helen O'Sullivan, BSc, MBA, PhD, is director of the CEEBLT in the School of Medical Education at the University of Liverpool, whose main aim is to research professionalism in medical students.
- Nigel Shaw, MB ChB, MRCP (UK), FRCPCH, MD, MA (Clin Ed), is a consultant in Neonatal and Respiratory Paediatrics at Liverpool Women's Hospital and The Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital, associate postgraduate dean at Mersey Deanery and visiting professor to the Evidence-based Research Centre, Faculty of Health, Edge Hill University. His special interests relate to postgraduate teaching and learning in medicine, use of postgraduate portfolios and assessment tools and educational interventions which maintain clinical skills.
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