This resource is a curriculum designed to teach second-year medical students oral presentation skills. The curriculum was designed for use as a longitudinal thread within a preclinical skills course. The curriculum focuses on both the content and process of delivering an oral presentation, utilizing multiple instructional strategies that appeal to different learning styles. The use of nonphysicians to teach components of this curriculum frees up valuable clinician educator time to focus on other clinical skills. At our institution, the total time students spend on the task of learning to deliver oral presentations has actually increased, even though physician time spent teaching oral presentations has decreased. However, faculty time is now reserved for the more technical aspects of oral presentations and clinical reasoning, such as how to determine what data is relevant to include and how to formulate well-supported assessments and plans. This curriculum has been successfully deployed for 3 consecutive years in the Warren Alpert Medical School’s preclinical skills program. Students demonstrated significant improvement on the oral presentation component of their final objective structured clinical exams (OSCEs) from pre- to postcurriculum implementation. Course evaluations have consistently shown that students’ preferred method of learning is using standardized patients, with real cases from their mentor sites rated the next highest. Nonetheless, the written transcripts and videotaped medical interviews are still highly valued by different types of learners. Standardized patient cases are also the most expensive format for teaching oral presentations, and thus we reserve their use for the end of the curriculum after students have the foundational components of both the content and process aspects of delivering oral presentations well established.
- Describe the essential components and basic structure of an oral presentation.
- Synthesize information gathered during a patient encounter into a well-organized oral presentation according to a checklist that leads logically to a basic assessment, differential diagnosis, and plan.
- Begin to prioritize data gathered such that only relevant information is presented and irrelevant information is omitted.
- Demonstrate how to deliver an oral presentation that is stylistically polished and fluent, with good eye contact and without the use of filler words and distracting behaviors.
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