How to present clinical cases
Presenting a patient is an essential skill that is rarely taught
Clinical presenting is the language that doctors use to communicate with each other every day of their working lives. Effective communication between doctors is crucial, considering the collaborative nature of medicine. As a medical student and later as a doctor you will be expected to present cases to peers and senior colleagues. This may be in the setting of handovers, referring a patient to another specialty, or requesting an opinion on a patient.
A well delivered case presentation will facilitate patient care, act a stimulus for timely intervention, and help identify individual and group learning needs.1 Case presentations are also used as a tool for assessing clinical competencies at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Medical students are taught how to take histories, examine, and communicate effectively with patients. However, we are expected to learn how to present effectively by observation, trial, and error.
Remember that the purpose of the case presentation