Case Presentation Competition

Case Presentation Competition Introduction

Jeffrey Suchard, MD
CPC Coordinator
ACMT Education Committee

Int J Med Toxicol 2002; 5(3): 12


The 4th annual ACMT Case Presentation Competition (CPC) was held on September 24th in Palm Springs, in conjunction with the 2002 North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology. The CPC is intended to foster friendly competition between Medical Toxicology fellowship programs and to offer insight into the thought processes involved when our colleagues unravel puzzling cases.

All Medical Toxicology fellowship programs are invited and encouraged to participate in the CPC. Each program may submit one actual clinical case for consideration. Cases often fall into one of two categories:

  • An unusual presentation of a common toxicologic problem, or
  • A common presentation of an unusual toxicologic problem.

In addition, it was required that:

  • The case would be considered to be toxicologic in nature by a prudent Medical Toxicologist,
  • The case was solvable with the information provided, and
  • The case allowed for the generation of a differential diagnosis and discussion of clinical decision making.

Each participating program submits a case to be presented by a designated physician (usually a Fellow) along with the name of another brave physician (hopefully a distinguished Faculty member) to discuss the case from another fellowship program. The cases are reviewed by an ACMT Education Sub-Committee and sent as unknowns to the participating programs at least 8 weeks before the competition. At the competition, the case presenter has 5 minutes to describe their patient’s clinical history, physical examination, and supporting laboratory data. The case discussant then has 20 minutes to demonstrate their clinical approach, generate a differential diagnosis, and hopefully arrive at the correct diagnosis. The presenter then has an additional 5 minutes to provide a conclusion to the case with data supporting the actual final diagnosis.

To determine the CPC "winners", the case presenters and discussants are scored on several of their demonstrated skills as public speakers, educators, and diagnosticians. Admittedly, the scoring process is somewhat subjective, but it is the spirit of friendly competition that is the true goal of the CPC. It should also be noted that arriving at the correct diagnosis forms only a small part of the final score. In fact, the physician chosen this year as the Best Discussant did not arrive at the correct final diagnosis, but his elegant diagnostic approach was enough to distinguish himself among all excellent discussions.

The winners of last year’s CPC, who received commemorative plaques this year, were:

Best Presenter:

Aaron Schneir, MD
San Diego Division, California Poison Control System

Best Discussant:

Kevin Osterhoudt, MD
Childrens’ Hospital of Philadelphia

The participants in this year’s competition were:

Case

Presenter

Program

Discussant

Program

1

Steve Offerman

San Diego

Brent Furbee

Indiana

2

Eric Brush

Massachusetts

Saralyn Williams

San Diego

3

Louise Kao

Indiana

Christopher Linden

Massachusetts

The scoring for this year’s competition was extremely close. The winners were:

Best Presenter:

Louise Kao, MD
Indiana Poison Center

Best Discussant:

Christopher Linden, MD
University of Massachusetts Medical Center

I hope to see you all at next year’s CPC competition in Chicago. If you wish to submit a case for the CPC, or have any questions regarding the competition, please contact me (jsuchard@uci.edu) or my co-coordinator Joe Rella (sarason@pipeline.com).

Jeffrey Suchard, MD
CPC Coordinator
ACMT Education Committee



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