Emotional Intelligence: One Component in the HeART of Medicine


The increasing need for health care providers has contributed to a rise in the number of physician assistant (PA) programs. Unfortunately simply increasing the number of graduates to meet this increased need is not good enough. Not only must PA programs and educators make sure that graduates have the necessary medical knowledge and clinical skills but that graduates also have the ability to understand and manage emotions and behaviors which result from working with others and taking care of patients. How an individual acts and reacts to situations is an aspect of psychology that is rooted in the study of emotion and behaviors which result from emotions. This description serves as the basis for modern analysis of what it means to be emotionally intelligent (EQ). Research suggests that a curriculum which focuses on the development of specific emotional intelligence tenets at certain times in medical and health profession training would help to enhance the development of skill sets associated with EQ. However, before substantial curricular changes are undertaken research specific to PA education is necessary.


Physician Assistant Studies

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