Building Key Communication Skills
Students often struggle with expectations regarding oral case presentations. In one study comparing the perceived expectations of third-year medical students and their preceptors, students “described and conducted the presentation as a rule-based, data-storage activity governed by order and structure”. Preceptors, on the other hand, viewed the presentation as a “flexible means of communication and a method for constructing the details of a case into a diagnostic or therapeutic plan.” [Haber RJ, Lingard LA. J Gen Int Med. 2001; 16(5):308]
Therefore, while certain rules are universal, the definition of a “good” oral presentation will depend on the situation. The complete oral presentation that you might give to a teaching attending in a classroom setting may not be very different from your written presentation, which details everything you know about your patient. Oral presentations on work rounds will be considerably shorter, however. Inpatient presentations may differ in style from those in the outpatient setting.
This course teaches the focused, problem-based inpatient case presentation given on work rounds, where a premium is placed on brevity and clinical decision-making.