Date of Award



© 2019 Christopher Carlin

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Brianna Parsons

Third Advisor

Mary Riepenhoff


The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine the perceptions of physician assistant faculty about emotional intelligence. The study sought to determine PA educators’ familiarity with EI as a construct and to elicit perceived barriers in implementing EI within PA educational programs. The data were collected from a both a focus group of physician assistant faculty was convened from a university in New England and an online cross-sectional survey of randomized physician assistant faculty throughout the United States. The quantitative portion of the research investigated the perceptions faculty held about emotional intelligence. Additionally, the survey asked participants to identify the professional competencies students struggle with most often. Finally, the survey asked about faculty perceptions of barriers to implementing curriculum that addresses the development of emotional intelligence. Findings from the research determined physician assistant faculty were aware of emotional intelligence as a concept. The focus group and those participating in the online survey perceived professionalism as the most significant struggle for students. Additionally, both groups identified time as the greatest barrier in adopting emotional intelligence as a construct within the curriculum. The findings contribute to the gap of knowledge that exists in physician assistant educational literature on emotional intelligence and its use in graduate medical programs. The research serves as a springboard to examine ways to efficiently implement emotional intelligence training within the graduate medical school curriculum.


Ed.D. Dissertation