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Emotional Intelligence and Burnout in Academic Radiation Oncology Chairs

Holliday, Emma B. MD; Bonner, James A. MD; Formenti, Silvia C. MD; Hahn, Stephen M. MD; Kalnicki, Shalom MD; Liu, Fei-Fei MD; Movsas, Benjamin MD; Fuller, Clifton D. MD, PhD; Thomas, Charles R. Jr. MD

doi: 10.1097/JHM-D-16-00001
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The importance of emotional intelligence (EI) in physicians has attracted attention as researchers begin to focus on the relationship of EI to retention, promotion, and productivity among academic physicians. However, to date, no formal evaluation of EI has been conducted among current department chairs. The objectives of this study were to assess the EI of current chairs of academic radiation oncology departments and to correlate EI with a self-reported assessment of burnout.

The authors invited 95 chairs of academic radiation oncology departments to participate in a survey, approved by an institutional review board, consisting of the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire Short Form (TEIQue-SF) and the abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory (a-MBI). TEIQue-SF scores were evaluated for correlation with respondents’ demographics and self-reported burnout scores on the a-MBI. Sixty chairs responded to the survey, for a response rate of 63.2%. The median (interquartile range) TEIQue-SF for the responding cohort was 172 (155–182) out of a maximum possible score of 210. The a-MBI emotional exhaustion and depersonalization subscores were low, with median (interquartile range) scores of 4 (2.25–6.75) and 1 (0–2.75) out of maximum possible scores of 18 and 30, respectively. Higher TEIQue-SF global scores were weakly correlated with decreased burnout. The study results show that academic radiation oncology chairs had a high EI and low rates of self-reported burnout. EI may be of increasing importance with respect to recruitment and retention of academic medical leaders.

Emma B. Holliday, MD, assistant professor, Division of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; James A. Bonner, MD, chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Alabama, Birmingham; Silvia C. Formenti, MD, chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York; Stephen M. Hahn, MD, chair, Division of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Shalom Kalnicki, MD, chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York; Fei-Fei Liu, MD, chair, Radiation Medicine Program, University Health Network, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Benjamin Movsas, MD, chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan; Clifton D. Fuller, MD, PhD, associate professor, Division of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Charles R. Thomas, Jr., MD, chair, Department of Radiation Medicine, Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland

For more information about the concepts in this article, contact Dr. Holliday at emmaholliday@gmail.com.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s website (www.jhmonline.com).

© 2017 Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives
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