Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Manning, JoAnn B.

Committee Member 1

Katz, Paul

Committee Member 2

Carrick, Laurie A.


Emotional Intelligence, Empathy, Humanism in Medicine


Emotional intelligence; Medical education; Empathy


Medical Education


Medicine has evolved to encompass an alliance between the doctor and patient, in which the doctor must understand the patient holistically (Kaba & Sooriakumaran, 2007). Research suggests that doctor-patient relationship focused training has a meaningful effect on measured health outcomes in patients with conditions such as obesity, diabetes, asthma or osteoarthritis (Reiss & Reinero, 2014). Therefore, the humanistic qualities of medicine, encompassing honesty, integrity, caring, compassion, altruism, empathy, and respect for self, patients, and others are more important than ever in cultivating a strong doctor-patient relationship (Weissmann et al., 2006).

Existing research suggests an underlying capacity for emotional intelligence (EI) is necessary for a doctor to successfully manifest humanistic competence, specifically empathy, in the medical profession (Weng et al., 2008). Yet, there is sparse literature in the medical field that explores the association between EI and empathy in the doctor-patient relationship.

This sequential mixed methods explanatory study findings indicate educational training focusing on the theories and frameworks of EI, may positively influence medical students' empathy and underscores the need for educators to find innovative ways to teach, nurture, and preserve empathy in medical education.