Department of Medical Education Research, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
Emotions are universal in academic and clinical settings. A student is likely to hope for success,
maybe be worried about failure, or may feel comfortable after an exam. These feelings undoubtedly
affect his/her motivation, effort, academic performance, and progress. This study aimed to investigate
the role of emotion in the learning and performance of medical students and its mechanism. This
study was a scoping review conducted in 2022 to examine the role of emotions in medical education.
The three databases PubMed, ERIC, and Science Direct and the search engine Google Scholar
were searched using the following keywords: “emotion,” “medical student,” “teaching,” “learning,”
and “medical education.” English articles published from 2010 to 2022 were reviewed, and finally,
34 articles that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Review of the selected articles showed that
there was a significant relationship between the cognitive system and emotions in the brain. The
conceptual framework of the relationship between cognition and emotion can be explained in the
form of dimensional and discrete views of emotions and based on cognitive load theory. Emotions
affect cognition with the four mechanisms of memory, cognitive resources, cognitive strategies,
and motivation and can be effective in learning self‑regulation, clinical reasoning, and academic
achievement of medical students. Emotions in medical education is a double‑edged sword. In other
words, it is highly recommended to divide emotions into activating and inactivating, instead of dividing
them into positive and negative ones. In this context, medical educators can use the positive aspects
of nearly all emotions to improve the quality of their teaching.
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