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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-20

Focus on emotional intelligence in medical education: From problem awareness to system-based solutions

1 Temple University School of Medicine, St. Luke's University Hospital Campus, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
2 St. Luke's University Health Network, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
3 Temple University School of Medicine, St. Luke's University Hospital Campus; St. Luke's University Health Network, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence Address:
Stanislaw P Stawicki
St. Luke's University Health Network, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Objective: To review emotional intelligence (EI) literature in the context of how its application can help mediate various stressors among medical students, physicians-in-training, and faculty. Also, discussed are potential barriers to why EI-based programs face challenges to full implementation in medical education. Literature Search: MEDLINE, PsychINFO, EMBASE, Google Scholar, and Web of Science were searched for English language articles using various combinations of the following terms: EI, medical students, medical education, graduate medical education, trainees (including intern, resident, and residency), practitioners, and physicians. Electronic publications and printed books referenced by primary sources were also included. Results: Although there is increasing evidence for EI implementation being favorably associated with physician wellness, decreasing burnout, building better physician-patient relationships, and even better patient outcomes, there has so far not been a large scale movement to integrate EI into medical school curricula. The main barriers to wider implementation of EI are general lack of awareness, insufficient time and resources, and paucity of qualified faculty. Conclusions: Despite a number of associated potential benefits, EI has been facing various implementation hurdles in the medical education setting. Increasing awareness of EI and its benefits could help medical schools and residency programs around the globe to more actively engage in the implementation of EI training into medical school and residency curricula. We expect that such interventions would have several desirable outcomes, including improved overall physician wellness, enhanced patient experience, and perhaps even improved patient outcomes. The following core competencies are addressed in this article: Practice-based Learning and Improvement, Patient care, Professionalism, Interpersonal and communication skills, Systems-based practice.

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