The Relationship Between Surgeon Faculty Emotional Intelligence and Medical Student Evaluations

Holly B. Weis, Joshua J. Weis, Olivia Dorsey, Rebecca H. Napier, Rachel Wooldridge, Rohit Sharma, Aimee K. Gardner, Herbert J. Zeh, Kareem R. AbdelFattah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We sought to measure the emotional intelligence (EI) of surgical faculty and the relationship between faculty EI and medical student (MS) evaluations of faculty. Design: Faculty completed the Emotional Intelligence Appraisal. Aggregate, anonymous MS evaluations were collected from the Program Director's office. Parametric and nonparametric tests were used for analysis. Setting: This study was first performed in a single surgical division at 1 center which informed an expanded study including the entire General Surgery Department at a single academic institution. Participants: A pilot study was conducted in 1 surgical division which was then expanded to all clinical faculty in the Department of Surgery. All clinical faculty in the Department of Surgery were eligible for enrollment. Results: Pilot study faculty EI scores were positively correlated with MS evaluations (r = 0.92, p < 0.001). The follow-up study enrolled 41 surgeons with a median age of 48 (inter-quartile range 12). The sample was mostly white (70.7%). Mean EI for the group was 76 (standard deviation ± 7.8). Total faculty EI scores were not significantly correlated with MS evaluations (r = 0.30, p = 0.06). Conclusions: MS evaluations of surgeon faculty were not related to EI in the larger sample. However, EI did correlate to MS evaluations in 2 surgical specialties. Further exploration into the utility of EI training in surgical departments should be conducted to determine the true value of such endeavors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-611
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • Clinical rotations
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Medical student education
  • Surgery clerkship
  • Surgery rotation
  • Surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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