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Presentations in Medicine & Science: Three Types of Patient Presentation

Resources to help assist you make good presentations in different formats. Posters and oral presentations

Three Types of Patient Presentations

New Patient

New patients get the traditional History and Physical Exam (H&PE) with assessment and plan.

  • Give the chief complaint and a brief and pertinent History of Present Illness (HPI).
  • Next give important Past Medical History (PMH), Past Surgical History (PSH), etc. The Review of Systems (ROS) is often left out, as anything important was in the History of Present Illness (HPI).
  • The Physical Exam (PE) is reviewed. Only give pertinent positives and negatives.
  • The assessment and plan should include what you think is wrong and, briefly, why.
  • Then, state what you plan to do for the patient, including labs.
  • Be sure to know why things are being done since you will be asked.


The follow-up presentation differs from the presentation of a new patient.It is an abridged presentation, perhaps referencing major patient issues that have been previously presented, but focusing on new information about these issues and/or what has changed.

  • Give the patient’s name
  • Age
  • Date of admission
  • Briefly review the present illness, physical examination and admitting diagnosis.
  • Report any new finding, laboratory tests, diagnostic procedures and changes in medications.


The attending physician will ask the patient’s permission to have the student present their case. After making the proper introductions the attending will let the patient know they may offer input or ask questions at any point. When presenting at bedside the student should try to involve the patient.


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