A survey-based study of emotional intelligence as it relates to gender and academic performance of medical students

Ashwini P. Aithal, Naveen Kumar, Prasaniya Gunasegeran, Sivagamy M. Sundaram, Lim Zhen Rong, Sujatha P. Prabhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the composite set of capabilities that enable a person to identify, assess, understand, and control emotions of oneself and others. This study was conducted to assess trait EI, to examine possible differences in the EI level of medical students in terms of gender, and to investigate the correlation between EI of medical students and their academic performance. Methods: We used a cross-sectional survey consisting of a self-assessment questionnaire distributed to 200 undergraduate medical students after informed consent. Subjects responded on a five-point Likert scale. Data obtained were examined using descriptive frequencies, percentages, and correlations and analyzed with SPSS software. Results: Sixty-five percent of medical students had high EI. EI was significantly higher in females (72.27± 8.84) compared to males (67.47± 15.43) (P = 0.007). There was a positive correlation between EI and academic performance (r = 0.51). Discussion: EI is a necessary component of medical students’ skill sets to ensure that they are not only knowledgeable and academically competent in medical school but will also succeed in the future as quality healthcare professionals. There should be a balance between intelligence quotient and EI in students’ learning processes to ensure success both personally and professionally. Students with good EI tend to be skilled at interpreting emotions; skills which, in turn, will add on to their performance in medical training and patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28406111
Pages (from-to)255-258
Number of pages4
JournalEducation for Health: Change in Learning and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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