Background: Although the case presentation is a frequent activity, little is known about the attributes that faculty members use when assessing case presentation ability. Purpose: Define the dimensions used by faculty when assessing students' case presentation abilities. Methods: Eleven internal medicine faculty members independently assessed the same 17 videotaped student case presentations. Raters used an evaluation form assembled with 4 descriptors of content and 6 attributes of communication style. For each evaluator, correlation analyses were used to examine associations among the individual descriptors and a student's overall evaluation. Results: Despite efforts toward uniform scoring, faculty evaluators varied in their application of rating criteria. The majority of raters had significant (p < .01) correlation between 4 of the 10 dimensions and the overall score. These 4 were history of present illness and three communication skills: economy, fluency, and precision of language. Conclusions: Faculty members' assessment of case presentations is based on both the facts presented and communication style. These identified performance dimensions can facilitate teaching students to present cases and allow more informative feedback on their abilities.
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