Submission Type

Original Research




Oral case presentations (OP) provide an opportunity for medical students to practice clinical reasoning and communication skills, and for faculty to provide assessment. Specific teaching strategies are needed to improve students’ OP skills.


To compare the effectiveness of Virtual Coaching (VC) to Small Group (SG) discussion or Traditional Feedback (TF/control) in improving clinical reasoning during OP, using a validated PBEAR (Problem Representation, Background Evidence, Analysis, Recommendation) tool.


Students from two medical schools were randomly assigned to three groups during their inpatient pediatric clerkship. All completed an eLearning module about using illness scripts to promote clinical reasoning and presenting in the PBEAR format. TF/control students completed online “Aquifer” cases; VC students recorded abstracted data from the same cases with on-line faculty feedback and self-reflection; SG students attended faculty facilitated discussions of the same cases. Students were video recorded presenting pre- and post-curriculum cases. Reviewers blinded to assignment groups rated pre and post videos with the PBEAR OP tool.


The overall score and sub-scale scores improved for all groups. VC students significantly improved in the Analysis subscale compared to SG or controls. Students rated the SG teaching sessions as more enjoyable and effective in improving their clinical reasoning and presentation skills.


A blended learning curriculum using VC significantly improved students’ clinical reasoning as assessed by the Analysis subscale.



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