Case studies | Healthcare | Liberty


Liberty University

Amid growing evidence that emotional intelligence fuels physician success and positive outcomes for patients, Liberty University decided to measure its medical students’ EQ as they went through the university’s program.


Situation: The data linking emotional intelligence to physician success and patient outcomes is strong. But very little data exists about medical students’ emotional intelligence and how it changes during medical school. Liberty University wanted to find out.

Solution: Liberty University administered the SEI, Six Seconds’ flagship emotional intelligence assessment, to students at the beginning of the program and again after Year 2. Then administrators compared the results.

Results: Emotional intelligence declined across the board, including decreases in empathy, consequential thinking, and optimism.

“Because we want to develop high EQ doctors, it is important to know when the erosion of EQ begins or if medical students lack high EQ at the beginning of medical school. Then we can integrate EQ training into the curriculum.”

Dr. Linda Mintle

Chair, Division of Behavioral Health, Liberty University


A growing body of evidence shows that physicians’ emotional intelligence skills predict their personal and professional success and have a direct effect on patient outcomes. Dr. Linda Mintle and her team at Liberty University, convinced by the data on emotional intelligence, wanted to gather its own data on its medical students’ EQ and how medical school impacted it.


Liberty tested 62 medical students’ EQ when they arrived on campus for orientation, and then again after Year 2. They used the SEI, Six Seconds’ flagship emotional intelligence assessment used by over 250,000 people worldwide. They compared the pre- and post- test, including breakdowns of each of the 8 competencies in the Six Seconds Model of EQ.


Emotional intelligence declined across the board. Of the 8 emotional intelligence competencies measured in the study, 6 declined and the other 2 stayed the same. Check out the Six Seconds Model of EQ to read about the 8 core skills of emotional intelligence measured in the study. Among the skills that declined are the ability to exercise optimism, evaluate the costs and benefits of choices, and practice empathy.

Products Delivered

EQ Skills

SEI – Six Seconds’ Emotional Intelligence Assessment is a validated psychometric tool for measuring emotional intelligence, used with over 250k people worldwide. Read more about SEI. 

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