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This article is the authors’ final published version in International Journal of Medical Education, Volume 8, December 2017, Pages 439-445.

The published version is available at Copyright © Papanagnou et al.


Objectives: To define the emotional intelligence (EI) profile of emergency medicine (EM) residents, and identify resident EI strengths and weaknesses.

Methods: First-, second-, and third-year residents (post-graduate years [PGY] 1, 2, and 3, respectively) of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital's EM Program completed the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i 2.0), a validated instrument offered by Multi-Health Systems. Reported scores included total mean EI, 5 composite scores, and 15 subscales of EI. Scores are reported as means with 95% CIs. The unpaired, two-sample t-test was used to evaluate differences in means.

Results: Thirty-five residents completed the assessment (response rate 97.2%). Scores were normed to the general population (mean 100, SD 15). Total mean EI for the cohort was 103 (95%CI,100- 108). EI was higher in female (107) than male (101) residents. PGY-2s demonstrated the lowest mean EI (95) versus PGY-1s (104) and PGY-3s (110). The difference in PGY-3 EI (110; 95%CI,103-116) and PGY-1 EI (95, 95%CI,87-104) was statistically significant (unpaired t-test, p<0.01). Highest composite scores were in interpersonal skills (107; 95%CI,100 -108) and stress management (105; 95%CI,101-109). Subscale cohort strengths included self-actualization (107); empathy (107); interpersonal relationships (106); impulse control (106); and stress tolerance (106). Lowest subscale score was in assertiveness (98). Self-regard (89), assertiveness (88), and independence (90) were areas in which PGY -2s attained relatively lower scores (unpaired t-test, p<0.05) compared to their peers and the general population. PGY-3’s scored highest in nearly all subscales.

Conclusions: The EQ-i offers insight into training that may assist in developing EM residents, specifically in self-regard, assertiveness, and self-expression. Further study is required to ascertain if patterns in level of training are idiosyncratic or relate to the natural maturation of residents.

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