Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2012 Indianapolis Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Does Evaluating Medical Students' Oral Case Presentations Affect Subsequent Presentations?

Gabriela Vargas, BS - Boston University School of Medicine; Linda O Lewin, MD - University of Maryland School of Medicine; Carrie Phillipi, MD, PhD - Oregon Health & Science University; Michael Dell, MD - Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; Colin Sox, MD, MS - Boston University School of Medicine


The oral case presentation is a critical communication skill medical students must learn during clinical clerkships. However, the ideal means of teaching this skill remains unknown.


Our objectives are to determine (1) if participating in a structured presentation evaluation session early in the pediatric clerkship improves medical students’ subsequent presentations, and (2) whether the quality of students’ presentations differs when faculty use a simple or detailed evaluation form.


We conducted a single-blinded randomized controlled trial with 3 study-arms: (1) a control group, (2) a “simple” intervention group, and (3) a “detailed” intervention group. Subjects in both intervention groups have presentations formally evaluated by faculty within ten days of beginning the clerkship, while control subjects do not participate in early oral presentation evaluation sessions. The “simple” group’s presentations were evaluated globally, while the “detailed” group’s presentations are evaluated using an 18-item form created with support from COMSEP. The study population includes medical students rotating in core pediatrics over a 1-year period at four schools: Boston University School of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The primary outcome is the quality of students’ presentations assessed at the end of the clerkship. Preliminary data analyses will include comparing the mean presentation quality scores using t-tests.


Analyses from preliminary data from 3 completed clerkships at 2 medical schools have found no significant difference in the quality of presentations between the control group (n=25; mean= 5.92 + 1.53) and either the “simple” intervention group (n=16, mean = 5.25 + 1.53, p>0.10) nor the “detailed” intervention group (n=16; mean = 6.56 + 1.21, p>0.10). We plan to update these preliminary results for the meeting with data from ongoing clerkships.


The preliminary findings from this multi-site RCT do not demonstrate that presentation quality is affected by formally evaluating students’ oral presentations early in pediatric clerkships, but these results are based on under powered preliminary analyses.