Rules for Thursday Mornings, and for Life
1. Presenting is an art. It is how you communicate with your colleagues, and will affect how they assess your
competence, savvy, skills, knowledge and judgment for the rest of your career.
2. Say only what is necessary to communicate your message. Stick to pertinent positives. “No murmurs, rubs
or gallops” is for medical students.
3. Don’t read your slides. The audience has read the whole thing before you get one quarter of the way
through a wordy slide.
4. Slides should be terse – “just the facts”; pertinent positives, important or unexpected negatives only.
5. Skip any prepositions, conjunctions, etc. Avoid complete sentences or even sentence fragments.
6. Spelling counts.
7. Take ownership of the material – even if you never met the patient, think about what should have been
included in the history and the physical exam and describe what was noted that is pertinent and then gently
mention what might have been looked for but either not done or not documented – it’s a teaching conference.
8. Show lab values that are pertinent, highlight all the abnormal values, and account for all of them.
9. High quality reading of EKGs differentiates cardiologists from non-specialists – show that you know what you
are looking at. You may be anxious to get to the really, really exciting thing about the case but treat the EKG
10. Show chest x-rays when applicable, and follow rule #9.
11. As a rule of thumb (there will be exceptions for purposes of the story thread), history before physical,
physical before labs, labs before EKG, EKG before images, x-ray/CT/MR before echo, echo before cath.
12. If showing cath data, hemodynamics before angiography. Make sure the hemodynamics are consistent with
life. Assume the computer is spitting out garbage – it usually is.
13. Show the tracings not just numbers. Try to put the whole right heart cath on one page – label the scale.
14. There is nothing sacred about coronary angiography. Show that you are not just a “coronary doctor”.
There is no reason to show 4 views of a normal coronary angiogram unless it is pertinent.
15. Question everything, including your attending. It’s a good rule – for life as well as conferences.
16. Early is better than late. Have the presentation ready by Tuesday. I will try to have one slot at 3 pm and
one at 5pm (Cath Conference is at 4) for one-on-one teaching. Be prepared to go over the FINAL PowerPoint
presentation – everything including graphics.
17. When the conference is over, feel proud of your presentation.
18. Cogito ergo sum - look it up if necessary.
Zoltan G. Turi, M.D.