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Is internship training counterproductive for emotional intelligence? A follow up study in a cohort of medical graduates in Sri Lanka

Authors:

C. N. Wijekoon ,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda 0000-0003-1315-2460, LK
About C. N.
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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H. Amaratunga,

Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila, LK
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Y. de Silva

Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: Even though emotional intelligence (EI) has gained lot of attention globally, there is scarcity of such data from Sri Lanka. We aimed to determine the effect of internship training of medical graduates on EI.

 

Methods: This is a  descriptive follow-up study in a cohort of medical graduates of a Sri Lankan university who participated in a baseline study that assessed their EI during pre-intern period. Follow up data were collected within 3 months of successful completion of internship. EI was assessed with self-administered Genos Emotional Intelligence Full Version (70 questions equally weighted: total score 350). Demographic and internship-related data were obtained using a self-administered questionnaire.

 

Results: Of 130 eligible post-interns, 88 responded (response rate-67.7%). 67% were women, mean age was 28.3±0.9 years. Post-intern mean EI score was significantly lower than the pre-intern score (232.7±14.9 vs 241.7±23.3; p=0.004). Compared to pre-intern EI, post-intern EI has improved in men but has deteriorated in women (change in EI score: 2.1±37.2 in men; -14.5±22 in women; p=0.01). There was no statistically significant difference in the change in EI based on final MBBS result, marital status, specialties chosen for internship, type of hospital (teaching vs non-teaching) or unit (professorial vs non-professorial) where internship was done, number of co-house-officers or presence of post-graduate trainees in the unit.

 

Conclusions: In the study population, EI has significantly deteriorated during internship training. Overall deterioration was mainly due to the reduction of EI in women. Introducing programmes to improve EI of junior doctors is as important as improving clinical knowledge and skills.
How to Cite: Wijekoon, C.N., Amaratunga, H. and de Silva, Y., 2021. Is internship training counterproductive for emotional intelligence? A follow up study in a cohort of medical graduates in Sri Lanka. Journal of the Ceylon College of Physicians, 52(2), pp.94–100. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccp.v52i2.7942
Published on 31 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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