Rambam Maimonides Med J 2019 Apr 18;10(2). Epub 2019 Apr 18.
The Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.
Background: The importance of emotional intelligence (EI) to the success of health professionals has been increasingly acknowledged. Concurrently, medical schools have begun integrating non-cognitive measures in candidate selection processes. The question remains whether these newly added processes correctly assess EI skills.
Objectives: Measuring EI levels among medical students; examining the correlations between participants' EI levels and their scores on the non-cognitive MOR test; and exploring students' attitudes regarding the importance of EI in medical practice.
Methods: The study included 111 first-year and sixth-year students at the Faculty of Medicine at the Technion, Haifa, Israel. Emotional intelligence was assessed by the Bar-On EQ-i 2.0, and MOR evaluation scores were provided by the faculty. An additional questionnaire was designed to rate students' attitudes toward the importance of EI to the success of medical doctors (MDs).
Results: No significant correlations were found between MOR test scores and EI evaluation scores. Of the 15 EI competencies evaluated, mean scores for flexibility, problem-solving, and independence were lowest for both the first-year and the sixth-year study groups. No differences in EI levels between first-year and sixth-year students were found. Both groups of students considered EI to be highly important to their success as MDs.
Conclusions: While further studies of the links between MOR tests and EI are required, the current findings indicate that MOR test scores may not be predictive of medical students' EI levels and vice versa. As previous evidence suggests that EI contributes to professional success and to better outcomes in the field of medicine, integrating it into selection processes for medical students and into the curricula in medical schools is recommended.