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Emotional intelligence could help reduce physician burnout rate: study

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Maywood, IL — Educating new doctors on emotional intelligence could provide a method to help stem an elevated rate of burnout in the profession, the results of a recent Loyola University Medical Center study suggest.

Researchers defined the term “burnout” as detachment from work, overpowering exhaustion, cynicism, and feeling ineffective or unaccomplished. The burnout rate for U.S. physicians is around 50 percent, the study states, and as high as 75 percent in certain specialties.

For the trial, 31 residents participated in a four-hour emotional intelligence training session focused on four skills: self-awareness, managing emotional reactions to people and situations, awareness of other people’s emotions, and social skills. Researchers surveyed the participants before the trial in May 2015 and after it in May 2016.

 

In the follow-up survey, the residents scored significantly higher in median emotional intelligence, stress management and overall wellness.

The study was published Sept. 20 in the journal Advances in Medical Education and Practice.

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