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Pediatric Residents Have Higher Emotional Intelligence, Study Says [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 16, 2017 09:47 PM EDT

Pediatric residents may have higher emotional intelligence than the average person. This is what researchers found out in a study assessing their emotional intelligence (EI). The general population has a median score of 100 but these doctors got a median score in the higher range -110.

In May last year, 47 volunteers from a pediatric and Med-Peds (combined internal medicine and pediatrics) residency program were asked to take part in an online survey called EQ-i 2.0, an instrument used for measuring emotional and social intelligence. An analysis of the survey reports showed that overall, the pediatric residents scored highest in the areas of impulse control and empathy, and lowest in independence and assertiveness.

When they were grouped according to the years of training, the first and second-year residents scored lower in assertiveness while those in their third and fourth scored lower in empathy. As more senior residents gain more knowledge and skills, their self-confidence may increase. This may account for the opposite trend between the two groups in the assertiveness trait.

What is also interesting is that previous studies showed differences in the EI reports of orthopedic, surgical, pediatric, and pathology residents.

The emotional intelligence of doctors can make a difference in the doctor-patient relationship. It affects how much confidence is placed in their doctors and their level of satisfaction. Emotional intelligence also positively affects doctors themselves as it may give them better ways to cope with a stressful work environment, the authors explained in the study published in the Journal of Contemporary Medical Education.

Empathy is one of the components of emotional intelligence. It is the ability to feel what others are feeling. According to Greater Good, empathy is essential if a relationship were to succeed. Prejudice, racism and bullying go down when we put ourselves in the other person's shoes.

In health care, studies have found that patients of doctors with high emotional intelligence have better health.

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