Flobber

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When an attending tells you to give one of these and says "no papers, no write-ups, just an informal talk" what do you guys generally do? I always took this to mean just what it sounds like, but everyone else seems to feel that it means that they need to type up a multi-page outline with 5+ citations...

I got one of these bad boys coming up this week and I'm thinking about *gasp* just giving an informal talk. Am I missing some sort of secret attending-to-gunner decoder ring that deciphers these kind of statements?
 

Hard24Get

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When an attending tells you to give one of these and says "no papers, no write-ups, just an informal talk" what do you guys generally do? I always took this to mean just what it sounds like, but everyone else seems to feel that it means that they need to type up a multi-page outline with 5+ citations...

I got one of these bad boys coming up this week and I'm thinking about *gasp* just giving an informal talk. Am I missing some sort of secret attending-to-gunner decoder ring that deciphers these kind of statements?

Wouldn't over-think it. Ask if you need clarification. My version of an informal talk is usually a one page "at a glance" schematicized handout on the subject, which I only make because I have a terrible memory and am otherwise disorganized.
 
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funkless

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You guys must be high.

If you value your grade at all, you should interpret "prepare an informal presentation" as "prepare a formal presentation, but feel free to speak in an informal tone."

No matter how 'informal' the proceedings, your attending will still be asking plenty of questions to which he will expect answers; if you can't provide those answers, you're going to look unprepared/uninformed/unconcerned.
 

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When an attending tells you to give one of these and says "no papers, no write-ups, just an informal talk" what do you guys generally do? I always took this to mean just what it sounds like, but everyone else seems to feel that it means that they need to type up a multi-page outline with 5+ citations...

I got one of these bad boys coming up this week and I'm thinking about *gasp* just giving an informal talk. Am I missing some sort of secret attending-to-gunner decoder ring that deciphers these kind of statements?

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

You guys must be high.

If you value your grade at all, you should interpret "prepare an informal presentation" as "prepare a formal presentation, but feel free to speak in an informal tone."

No matter how 'informal' the proceedings, your attending will still be asking plenty of questions to which he will expect answers; if you can't provide those answers, you're going to look unprepared/uninformed/unconcerned.

very true. if they dont want handouts or anything just try to present the highlights of the topic but be prepared to answer at least a couple of questions from the attending or residents and have a good source. just a tip, always focus the talk on your patient if you can. ie, a talk on common lung tumors should include why your patient with the peripheral lung mass on CT most likely has so and so rather than x.
 

edmadison

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LOL, informal presentation means that you don't have to wear a tuxedo.

Consider the following and interpret:

"you can go home, if you want to"
"you can scrub in, if you want to"
"you can go lie down, if you want to"

Ed
 

Duckie24

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LOL, informal presentation means that you don't have to wear a tuxedo.

Consider the following and interpret:

"you can go home, if you want to"
"you can scrub in, if you want to"
"you can go lie down, if you want to"

Ed

Of course the meaning of these changes dramatically depending on if I'm an MS3 or MS4 when hearing them. :D
 

Flobber

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LOL, informal presentation means that you don't have to wear a tuxedo.

Consider the following and interpret:

"you can go home, if you want to"
"you can scrub in, if you want to"
"you can go lie down, if you want to"

Ed

Bah, I jump at the opportunity when given any of those options. Haven't had any bad evals yet. Although, I guess I would give pause if they added the "if you want to" part... that just seems like a trap waiting to be sprung.
 

Flobber

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:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:



very true. if they dont want handouts or anything just try to present the highlights of the topic but be prepared to answer at least a couple of questions from the attending or residents and have a good source. just a tip, always focus the talk on your patient if you can. ie, a talk on common lung tumors should include why your patient with the peripheral lung mass on CT most likely has so and so rather than x.

Hehe, obviously I wasn't planning on just walking in and saying "peripheral lung masses on CT BLOW man. they just plain BLOW." i figured i'd print out the requisite uptodate article and use it as an outline.
 

QuinnB

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Just a thought, has an attending ever told you to do a "formal presentation?" Basically, I assumed that an "informal" one was really what we as students would consider a "formal" talk and a "formal" talk to the attending is a powerpoint with references every other slide to some esoteric paper from 26 years ago (aka first and second year of med school).
 

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man, some gunners on here. informal, at least at my institution, means you give a 5 minute talk without notes (i.e., without reading your notes to the group for 5 minutes without pause). short 1 page outlines are optional. bring in a good review article for everyone is optional. basically, digest the uptodate article for the group so we can all get 3-4 take home points from it. who remembers more than that from a 5 minute talk? using this approach i've managed to do very well on my evals. implicit in this is that you know everything in that uptodate article cold, so in case any questions come up, you have a reasonable chance of answering them, giving an educated guess, or referring the questioner to appropriate literature. seriously, you're an ms3, you're not expect to know much. the more complicated you try to make it, especially by loading it with random papers, the more it will look like you're uninformed and presenting irrelevant information. or worse you may not cover the fundamentals well enough because you were distracted by minutiae. it is better to have small successes rather than big failures.
 

dynx

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Depends. If you are rotating in the specialty that you are going to apply to, do a full on presentation with references. If not, wing it. Up-to-date handouts all around! Paraphrase and read it straight off the sheet so you don't waste any precious free time memorizing crap you're never gonna use again. Bonus points if you bore the **** out of them cause they probably wont have you present again.
 

Flobber

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Depends. If you are rotating in the specialty that you are going to apply to, do a full on presentation with references. If not, wing it. Up-to-date handouts all around! Paraphrase and read it straight off the sheet so you don't waste any precious free time memorizing crap you're never gonna use again. Bonus points if you bore the **** out of them cause they probably wont have you present again.

Nice.
 
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I've done both and actually get better feedback when it is 'informal,' meaning no notes. This means discussing it as if you understand it and throwing out insights into the topic or something that you think might interest the attending, adding clinical guidelines or recent groundbreaking papers that add to the topic. These get easier the more you do them.
 

Duckie24

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I think it comes off best if, when the attending asks you the next day about the topic, you can give the talk like you were chatting with some of your friends about something that actually interests you. To me, the more conversational the better. I feel like the residents like it that way too, because I've seen some formal "informal" talks where half the residents on the team look like they want to kill themselves.
 

enanareina

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I think it comes off best if, when the attending asks you the next day about the topic, you can give the talk like you were chatting with some of your friends about something that actually interests you. To me, the more conversational the better. I feel like the residents like it that way too, because I've seen some formal "informal" talks where half the residents on the team look like they want to kill themselves.

Oh God, yes. When the attending picks up your MKSAP book off the table and starts flipping through it during your talk, it's generally not a good sign...
 

dynx

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Oh God, yes. When the attending picks up your MKSAP book off the table and starts flipping through it during your talk, it's generally not a good sign...

I disagee...see my post above. Chances are the next time that attending thinks.."thats a good question he should do a presentation on that" he'll catch himself and realize he'd rather shoot himself than hear you present again = no more work for you. you win.
 

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If an attending assigns you a talk, I would try to learn as much as you can about his expectations. Even if he says "informal," I would try to pin him down on some key information. "When should I give the talk?" "How long would you like me to talk for?" Where do you want me to give the talk - in the hall or in the conference room? Do you want me to give an overview of heart failure or focus on a particular aspect of heart failure?

I know this sounds like basic information but, having worked with and advised many students, you would be surprised how often students don't have this information before they prepare their talk. Without it, it can be difficult to tailor the talk to the needs of the attending/team.

As far as giving a talk with or without notes, it is certainly more impressive to do it without your notes. After hearing hundreds of talks, I can count on my hand the number of students who didn't read their talks.

If a student gives a great talk, I will comment on this in the evaluation form. I will also file it away for future reference. If the student asks me for a letter of recommendation, I will definitely comment on this in my letter.

Finally, attending evaluations can be significantly influenced by the quality of a student's talk.
 

funkless

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Of course you should tailor your talk to your attending/team, but my general rule of thumb for "informal presentations" is to prepare formally, deliver informally.
 

Duckie24

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Of course you should tailor your talk to your attending/team, but my general rule of thumb for "informal presentations" is to prepare formally, deliver informally.

Agreed. I mean come on, the purpose of these talks isn't to educate the rest of the team......most of the residents aren't paying attention anyway, and are only thinking about the amount of work they have left to do. The purpose is for the attending to make sure the student can (and does) read on a topic and give an intelligent summary. Unless it's the very first day of the rotation, hopefully the student will know the specifics of how/where the talk is going on....and if not, your fellow students should be relaying this info amongst each other anyway. If there are surprises, it's because your class isn't working together.
 

Sharkfan

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man, some gunners on here. informal, at least at my institution, means you give a 5 minute talk without notes (i.e., without reading your notes to the group for 5 minutes without pause). short 1 page outlines are optional. bring in a good review article for everyone is optional. basically, digest the uptodate article for the group so we can all get 3-4 take home points from it. who remembers more than that from a 5 minute talk? using this approach i've managed to do very well on my evals. implicit in this is that you know everything in that uptodate article cold, so in case any questions come up, you have a reasonable chance of answering them, giving an educated guess, or referring the questioner to appropriate literature. seriously, you're an ms3, you're not expect to know much. the more complicated you try to make it, especially by loading it with random papers, the more it will look like you're uninformed and presenting irrelevant information. or worse you may not cover the fundamentals well enough because you were distracted by minutiae. it is better to have small successes rather than big failures.

Just to counter this, there's an attending at my school who is infamous for asking students to do a "brief informal" presentation. Unless the student has been warned about him from those who got burned before him/her, he/she gives the quick, organized 5 minute deal described above only to get "is that it??" from the attending and a "you need to do more, how about another topic to work on and present in a few days." So beware. Ask anyone you can what the attending REALLY means. :confused:
 

m1234d

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Also, if there are other students, check in on what they plan to do, and do everyone a favor and all do the same. We were told 5-7 minutes, pref. note free, no handouts. then the [email protected]$$ gunner of our 3 brought an "AWESOME" (per attg) handout, which actually was complete crap, but potentially awesome b/c me and the other didn't.

the point is not that a handout should be made when the attg says "no handouts or anything", but to discuss with your fellow students and all do the same. teamwork / a united front is a good thing. there's no reason to burn each other. (even if we did all agree, and then he burned us anyway, hopefully your classmates aren't as um, not nice)
 
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