Developing and implementing universal guidelines for oral patient presentation skills

Teach Learn Med. 2005 Summer;17(3):263-7. doi: 10.1207/s15328015tlm1703_11.


Background: Oral case presentations are important for patient care and clinical education. Previously published attempts to improve oral presentation skills have been labor intensive and have focused primarily on medical students.

Description: We created a multifaceted intervention to improve oral case presentations of medical students and internal medicine residents. Our intervention included a written handout with detailed instructions, pocket cards, model presentations, and multiple teaching sessions. The intervention was developed by consensus, supported by the department of medicine and endorsed by key faculty within the department. In addition to soliciting feedback from students and residents, we evaluated our intervention with prospectively acquired ratings of student oral case presentation skills recorded on a standardized evaluation for the internal medicine clerkship.

Evaluation: Students, residents, and faculty gave positive feedback, although they noted some practical obstacles to effective oral case presentations. After dissemination of the guidelines, 44% of students (42/96) were rated as "excellent" in oral presentation skills on standardized evaluations of the internal medicine clerkship, compared to 30% in the previous academic year (33/111; odds ratio [OR]=1.8, 95% confidence interval=1.04-3.3; p=.036).

Conclusion: A multifaceted intervention improved medical student oral case presentation skills. Although participants noted barriers that need further attention, we demonstrated modest improvement in student performance.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / standards
  • Educational Measurement
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Speech*