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Med Educ. 2011 Aug;45(8):835-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.03985.x.

Associations between emotional intelligence and doctor burnout, job satisfaction and patient satisfaction.

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Department of Health Management, I-Shou University, 8 E-Da Road, Jiau-shu Tsuen, Yan-chau Shiang, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



The occupational health literature has long been dominated by stress-related topics. A more contemporary perspective suggests using a positive approach in the form of a health model focused on what is right with people, such as feelings of well-being and satisfaction.


Using a positive perspective and multi-source data collection, this study investigated the inter-relationships among emotional intelligence (EI), patient satisfaction, doctor burnout and job satisfaction.


In this observational study, 110 internists and 2872 out-patients were surveyed in face-to-face interviews.


Higher self-rated EI was significantly associated with less burnout (p<0.001) and higher job satisfaction (p<0.001). Higher patient satisfaction was correlated with less burnout (p<0.01). Less burnout was found to be associated with higher job satisfaction (p<0.001).


This study identified EI as a factor in understanding doctors' work-related issues. Given the multi-dimensional nature of EI, refinement of the definition of EI and the construct validity of EI as rated by others require further examination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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