Do you know your I:E ratio?
There is no question that it takes a certain type of person to pursue a career in medicine. Learning medicine is a challenge and it requires hard work and high intellectual capacity to be successful. Once we enter the field and start having a direct impact on our patients and team members, not only does it require you to be knowledgeable, but it will also test your personal skills, mental strength and emotional intelligence. When discussing the I:E ratio, it is interesting to discuss the philosophy as pertaining to clinicians. The I:E ratio does stand for inspiratory to expiratory ratio, but I would also like to discuss the “intelligence to ego ratio” which is a problem with medical some providers.
Intelligence to Ego Ratio & How it may affect your success.
I:E Ratio – High Intelligence, High Ego.
The intelligence to ego ratio varies. If you have a provider who is very intelligent and has a very high ego, they will typically do well. These are people who are truly knowledgeable and have a high capacity for understanding medicine, but they also know it and aren’t afraid to use that to their . So, they end up being both smart and a bit cocky. They will do fine in medicine.
Success Rate – High.
I:E Ratio – Moderate Intelligence, Moderate Ego.
There are also people with a relatively low “I:E” ratio. This means they are not quite the smartest clinician, yet they are also humbled and do not try to display a big ego. They will do fine in medicine as well! They will admit to not knowing something and will not backdown to ask someone smarter than they are.
Success Rate – High.
I:E Ratio – High Intelligence, Low Ego.
Now, you may also meet a provider who is a mismatch. Their intelligence is much higher than their ego, which means their capabilities are high end, but they just do not have the confidence. Sometimes these providers can improve their success as their clinical experience builds. Typically the more experience you have, the more your self-confidence and decision making skills will improve.
Success Rate – Relatively High, Need for progression.
I:E Ratio – Low Intelligence, High Ego.
What causes bad things to happen is when people have an I:E ratio where their intelligence is low, but their ego is high. These are people who are cocky and think they know a whole lot more than they actually do. They have a tendency to not ask for help when outside their comfort zone. This can get them into a lot of trouble and ultimately have a negative effect on the quality of patient care they provide. We all know the patient is most important when is comes to working in medicine.
Success Rate – Low.
Where do you fall on the I:E ratio? What can we do to improve as clinicians each day, even if you are the smartest provider in the room?
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