Emotional intelligence for Doctors
Becoming a doctor is not just about knowing the facts and treatments of a disease, it has a lot
to do with ones bedside manners and communication skills. Had only knowledge and skill been
the secret behind the success of doctors then every medical student who is at the top of his or
her class would have been the only famous and successful doctors.
That, however, is not what
we see. Even studies have shown that ones intelligence quotient (IQ) only accounts for about
20 percent of any persons success in his or her life. The rest 80 percent of a personas success
depends on the emotional intelligence of a person.
1-Emotional intelligence has been defined as the array of personal, emotional, and social
competencies that enable one to cope with environmental demands.
2-This study also measured the emotional intelligence of doctors by taking senior doctors and Post Graduate Medical Students (PGMS). The results showed a difference between each
groups emotional intelligence, with doctors lacking in emotional intelligence greatly.
Is it with
time that one deals with patients, faces so many issues that we forget or lose out on our
emotional intelligence or do we get desensitized? The lack emotional intelligence has also been
attributed to increased incidence of conflicts happening in hospitals and other health care
facilities as may be their emotions get blunted due to these reasons.
3- Similarly, when faced by some sorrow or depressing diagnosis like
cancer, or being a psychiatrist can also greatly affect the doctors own life if they are not
intelligent emotionally. This control often gets worn out with time, increased workload and
So why is emotional intelligence important? Firstly, because it has been found that people with
high emotional intelligence have also been noted to be happier, successful and more satisfied
with their jobs than those who lack emotional intelligence.
2 Similarly, as emotional intelligence
brings mental stability, it helps make one better doctor.
A study made a very interesting find as it measured emotional intelligence present in medical
college applicants. The results actually showed that women tend to have more emotional
intelligence than men do.
4-While this should be made an essential part of a doctors life, very few focus on it, which is why
there should be reminders about it during meetings and conferences held in every department.
Lets make 80% of our lives successful too by meaning intelligent about our emotions!
1. Singh S. Development of a measure of emotional intelligence. PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES-
UNIVERSITY OF CALICUT. 2004 Jan 1;49:136-41.
2. Hariharan M,Padhy M. Emotional intelligence of doctors. Social Science
International. 2011 Jan 1;27(1):15.
3. Ramsay M. A. E. (2001). Conflict in the health care workplace. Proceedings
(Baylor University. Medical Center), 14(2), 138–139.
4. Carrothers RM, Gregory Jr SW, Gallagher TJ. Measuring emotional intelligence of
medical school applicants. Academic Medicine. 2000 May 1;75(5):456-63.
Written by Dr. Aref Alabed ,