AOTW: Feedback for Medical Students

Posted on: October 29, 2014, by :

Feedback on Oral Presentations During Pediatric Clerkships

This article caught my interest because of our ongoing safety and communication initiatives, and our ongoing educational improvements.  The article and the study itself are fine in terms of intent, scope, design, analysis, at least for a feedback/survey-oriented study.  The results: not earth shattering.  If you want to teach med students how to present a standard H & P, gigivng generic feedback (“You did OK”) is not as good as going through a list of 18 elements that are considered important, and pointing out strengths and weaknesses.  Students taught by teachers using the list learned better, faster.

What’s important for us is: 1) they’re still teaching med students how to do the classic H & P, just like Hippocrates did.  This is good.  It helps form the correct mindset for young physicians. 2) We need to teach our students, residents, fellows, and yes, attending to think about, conceptualize, and communicate about their patients in a number of different ways, to a slew of different people, under different circumstances, many time for each patient during each clinical shift.  The standard presentation method is hardly ever useful for us.  We almost need to unlearn it to be effective. One of the things that we teach is how to do this. The ED is one of the few places to learn this stuff.

We’ve done a pretty good job using the SOUND mnemonic for our changeover huddles.  It will need and is going to get reinvigorated and reinforced and improved.  Perhaps we could come up with specific guidelines for our other presentation situations.  We sort of do this, and of course we all know how to do it.  Maybe we could come up with little card or desktop blurbs for trainees. “The five parts of a call to a consultant.”  “The Eight Things to say to the admitting resident.” “The three things never to say to the Admitting Resident.” And so on.

Mike Quinn

Katie Donnelly MD

Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow at Children's National Health System
Katie's research interests include medical education, trauma and injury prevention.Outside of the ED, Katie enjoys live sporting events, the National Zoo, and all the free museums here in DC!
Katie Donnelly MD

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