Comparison of emotional intelligence between psychiatrists and surgeons

We have provided objective evidence, which adds validity to the stereotypes

Clive Stanton; Faisil Nasim Sethi; Oliver Dale; Michael Phelan; James Theodore Laban; Joseph Eliahoo


Scholarcy highlights

  • Clinical implications There are significant differences between psychiatrists and surgeons in the component factors that make up the Total EQ score
  • There was no evidence of a difference in total emotional intelligence between psychiatrists and surgeons
  • Total emotional intelligence is equal in both groups, suggesting a similar level of gross emotional functioning
  • The median Total EQ scores for both groups were very similar, with psychiatrists scoring 101 and surgeons scoring 100
  • Perhaps more surprisingly, given that emotional understanding is the bedrock of psychiatry, Fig 2 Differences between professionals across the 15 subscales of emotional intelligence
  • Is this a reflection of the psychiatrist’s greater self-awareness, which is painful at times, something akin to Klein’s depressive position. This is not to say that surgeons do not have to deal with painful realities, it is merely that they adopt different strategies to deal with them, or does ‘cutting through’ depend on cutting off in an emotional sense?

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