Best Evidence Medical and Health Professional Education

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.


Review Group


Publication Details

Online at BEME
BEME PDF Spotlight
Medical Teacher