Emotional intelligence and empathy: its relevance in the clinical encounter
Department of Philosophy, University of Oregon, Oregon Health Sciences University
Abstract: The clinical relationship between patient and health care provider is an emotion-laden experience for both participants. Emotional intelligence has an obvious role in medicine on both sides of the clinical relation. This review examines the impact of emotional intelligence from both the patient and physician perspective. On the patient side, emotional intelligence may have a role in both acute and chronic illness, and the possibility of impacting health care utilization and treatment strategies deserve further exploration. For physicians, patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes may be improved by enhancing and valuing physician intelligence and empathy.
Keywords: emotional intelligence, empathy, doctor–patient relationship