Background: Residents demonstrate scholarly activity by presenting posters at academic meetings. Although recommendations from national organizations are available, evidence identifying which components are most important is not. OBJECTIVE: To develop and test an evaluation tool to measure the quality of case report posters and identify the specific components most in need of improvement. DESIGN: Faculty evaluators reviewed case report posters and provided on-site feedback to presenters at poster sessions of four annual academic general internal medicine meetings. A newly developed ten-item evaluation form measured poster quality for specific components of content, discussion, and format (5-point Likert scale, 1 = lowest, 5 = highest). Main outcome measure(s): Evaluation tool performance, including Cronbach alpha and inter-rater reliability, overall poster scores, differences across meetings and evaluators and specific components of the posters most in need of improvement. RESULTS: Forty-five evaluators from 20 medical institutions reviewed 347 posters. Cronbach's alpha of the evaluation form was 0.84 and inter-rater reliability, Spearman's rho 0.49 (p∈<∈0.001). The median score was 4.1 (Q1 -Q3, 3.7-4.6)(Q1∈=∈25th, Q3∈=∈75th percentile). The national meeting median score was higher than the regional meetings (4.4 vs, 4.0, P∈<∈0.001). We found no difference in faculty scores. The following areas were identified as most needing improvement: clearly state learning objectives, tie conclusions to learning objectives, and use appropriate amount of words. CONCLUSIONS: Our evaluation tool provides empirical data to guide trainees as they prepare posters for presentation which may improve poster quality and enhance their scholarly productivity. © 2008 Society of General Internal Medicine.