Measuring Emotional Intelligence in First Year Medical Students
Keywords:Assessment, Level, Factors, Impact, Medical School, Professional Development, Improvement
Abstract: Background: The term emotional intelligence is being used more often in the medical field and different healthcare-related fields. The evaluation of emotional intelligence is crucial in assessing how well students adjust and perform academically. Neglecting this stage of life can result in psychiatric issues or make them worse, as well as failure in social and academic situations.
Objectives: To evaluate first-year medical students' emotional intelligence (EI) and determine how it relates to their social and personal characteristics.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included 166 first-year medical students and took place at University College of Medicine and Dentistry between September and December 2022. Ethical approval was obtained from the ERB committee before the study was conducted. A proforma was used to collect social and demographic information, while an emotional quotient self-assessment checklist was used to assess participants' emotional intelligence, rated on a five-point Likert scale. The collected data was then subjected to statistical analysis.
Results: Out of 166 students approached in the first year class, 149 (79 females and 70 males) participated in the study with an average age of 19.12 ± 0.69 years. Results showed that 33.6% of the first-year medical students scored below the 20 cutoff in all emotional intelligence domains. Those who reported making a conscious career choice, getting adequate sleep, and engaging in more social and physical activity than average had higher emotional intelligence scores (p=0.05). Additionally, females had significantly higher emotional intelligence scores compared to males (p=0.02). A positive correlation was observed among the various emotional intelligence domains.
Conclusion: Good emotional intelligence comprises the capacity to comprehend and regulate emotions, to be empathic, to be emotionally aware, and so on. These traits enhance general communication abilities, which enhance performance in the medical training.