Quantitative analysis of the outpatient oral case presentation: Piloting a method

John T. Kihm, J. Trig Brown, George W. Divine, Mark Linzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To measure the content of oral outpatient case presentations and to assess the correlation of objective assessments of this content with subjective ratings provided by the clinic attending physician. Design: Blinded assessment via audiotape of 36 oral case presentations of new patient evaluations by 23 medical residents. Setting: Outpatient general medical clinic. Participants: Duke University Medical Center medical residents during their outpatient rotation. Measurements and main results: Important deficiencies were found in oral case presentation content. Specifically, psychosocial data were often missing (employment history was mentioned in 28% of presentations; illicit drug use, in 17%; household social structure, in 11%; sexual history, in 6%). An assessment and a plan were mentioned only 56% and 69% of the time, respectively. No correlation was seen between an objective “content score” and the attending physician’s subjective rating of the quality of the presentation (r=0.09). Conclusions: 1) The outpatient case presentation can be quantitatively assessed in a simple, straightforward manner; 2) outpatient case presentations have important deficiencies in content; and 3) preceptors’ evaluations of case presentations may be based upon factors other than content of the presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-236
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1991


  • communication
  • oral case presentations
  • outpatients
  • psychosocial

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