Learning Through Presentations

CEO 4.6 Effectively prepare and deliver educational materials to individuals and groups

One of my greatest areas of growth in medical school has been interpersonal communication. I have always been a timid individual when it comes to public speaking. Part of my dislike of presentations is the overwhelming anxiety they bring me. In order to prepare for presentations, I have a habit of writing down everything I am going to say when presenting and trying to memorize it by practicing several times before giving the presentation.   I believe this is partially due to my fear of being wrong.


Medical school has forced me to confront my fear of public speaking. When I had to complete case presentations in LG, I would always choose to present the history of present illness or the behavioral sciences portion. I would not volunteer to present the basic science section as I did not have the confidence necessary to believe I could present the basic sciences section well.


Throughout M3 and M4, I grew accustomed to presenting patients on rounds, participating in small informal presentations aimed at educating my peers, and case presentations. The first time I had to present a patient was on my pediatric cardiology rotation, where I had to present to a large team of interdisciplinary providers. I remember the anxiety I felt at delivering this important clinical information. Afterwards I remember the relief I felt. I also remember feeling proud of myself for being able to present. At the conclusion of the rotation, I remember getting positive feedback regarding the organization of my presentations. This positive feedback helped me to feel confident in my presentation skills. I slowly started to become more comfortable with the act of public speaking.


One presentation that stood out to me was a presentation where I was required to talk about appendicitis during my surgical rotation. I practiced several times so that I could deliver the presentation confidently. From this formal presentation, I understood the important role research played into delivering a presentation. I spent time researching appendicitis so that I could effectively deliver the pathophysiology during the presentation. While I knew basic management skills of appendicitis, researching information is always important to ensure that the most current information is used. During my preparation, I was able to learn about the Alvarado score used when there is clinical suspicion of appendicitis. I also learned how the use of Powerpoint can help to organize information in a manner that can be disseminate easily.

I am currently in a radiology elective. One of the requirements of the course is to develop a presentation of a critically appraised topic. My topic is determining when to use CT scans in a patient with altered mental status.  While I have not yet delivered my presentation, I will use the skills I have gained through medical school to effectively gather the information, as well as confidently teach my peers on a topic that is clinically relevant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *