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Preparing Abstracts and Poster Presentations. Keri T. Holmes- Maybank , MD Division of Hospital Medicine Medical University of South Carolina. Learning Objectives. Residents will learn to prepare an abstract for submission to a scientific conference.

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preparing abstracts and poster presentations

Preparing Abstracts and Poster Presentations

Keri T. Holmes-Maybank, MD

Division of Hospital Medicine

Medical University of South Carolina

learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Residents will learn to prepare an abstract for submission to a scientific conference.
  • Residents will learn to prepare a poster for presentation at a scientific conference.
  • Residents will identify elements of successful abstracts and posters.
  • Residents will identify pitfalls of unsuccessful abstracts and posters.
key messages
Key Messages
  • Successful abstracts and posters are heavily edited.
  • Successful abstracts and posters follow the guidelines and goals of the scientific conference.
  • Successful abstracts and posters are concise and focus on a few key points.
  • Successful abstracts and posters have clearly linked learning objectives and conclusions.
why give a presentation
Why give a presentation?
  • Share knowledge
  • Experience presenting
  • Preparation for manuscript publication(34-77% of posters are published in p-r journals)
  • Feedback and criticism
  • ACGME requires residents to participate in scholarly activity
  • Separate yourself from other employment or fellow candidates
what should be presented
What should be presented?
  • Clinical practice, education, or research
  • Common diagnostic, therapeutic, or management dilemmas
  • Unique or important teaching points
  • Increases awareness of condition
  • EBM
  • Unusual presentation, complication, management
  • Proper or new diagnostic strategy
  • Cost effective approach
  • Rare
where to present
Where to present?
  • Society of General Internal Medicine
  • Southern Society of General Internal Medicine
  • American College of Physicians
  • South Carolina Chapter American College of Physicians
  • Society of Hospital Medicine
  • Subspecialty organizations
  • Very concise statement/summary of the major elements of your vignette, research, or innovation
  • Submit to scientific organization for consideration of presentation at the organization’s conference
poster vs oral
Poster vs. Oral
  • Oral
    • Only top abstracts
    • Usually 8 minutes followed by question and answer
  • Poster
    • Large formatted
    • Set up with other presenters in lecture hall
    • Set time – attendees will walk by and have opportunity to discuss poster
getting started
Getting started…
  • Ask your attending if good case
  • Collect history and physical, progress notes, relevant labs and imaging
  • Do literature review
  • Start by writing what made you interested
  • Write the case presentation
  • Each organization has its own specifications
    • Length
    • Format
  • Read directions!!!!
writing an abstract 4 c s
Writing an abstract – 4 C’s
  • Concise – no excess wordiness or information
  • Clear – readable, well-organized
  • Cohesive – flows
  • Complete – covers the major points
abstract tips
Abstract Tips
  • Active voice, consistent and correct verb tenses
  • Simple, short sentences
  • Grammar correct - The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers
  • Eliminate unnecessary words
  • Avoid medical jargon
  • Generic RX
  • Don’t use >3 abbreviations-spell out first,common
  • NEVER “first case ever reported”
abstract content tips
Abstract Content Tips
  • Clear take home message
  • Design around 1-3 key points/objectives
  • Simple and concise
  • Don’t be emotionally attached to details
  • Omit details not essential to the main message
  • Want your audience to understand why your case is of interest to them
scientific abstract
Scientific Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
innovations abstract
Innovations Abstract
  • Statement of Problem or Question
  • Objectives of Program/Intervention
  • Description of Program/Intervention
  • Findings to Date
  • Key Lessons Learned
ssgim vignette abstract
SSGIM – Vignette Abstract
  • Learning Objectives
  • Case Presentation
  • Discussion
acp vignette abstract
ACP – Vignette Abstract
  • Introduction (can omit and go straight to case)
  • Case description
  • Discussion
shm vignette abstract
SHM – Vignette Abstract
  • Case Presentation
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Interesting
  • Short
  • Descriptive
  • Summary
  • Do not give everything away
  • Presenter should be first author
  • Attending should be last author
  • Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina


TemeiaMartin,MD (Resident); William Moran, MD

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

ssgim learning objectives
SSGIM - Learning Objectives
  • Only 1-3 objectives
  • Clear, concise
  • Clear link to conclusions
  • Action-oriented
    • Recognize
    • Diagnose
    • Assess
    • Treat
    • Distinguish
    • Manage
    • Identify
  • NOT – know or understand
acp introduction
ACP - Introduction
  • Describes context of the case and explains relevance and importance
  • Usually 3-ish sentences
case presentation
Case Presentation
  • BRIEFLY describe case
    • Pertinent HPI, ROS pos/neg, PMHx, SocHx, FamHx, Rx
    • Pertinent PE findings pos/neg, diagnostic studies, interventions/treatment
    • Patient outcome
  • Only PERTINENT info
  • Emphasize key points
  • Importance of this case
  • Different/unique
  • Implications: teaching, practice, research?
  • Future: do differently?
  • ****Make sure is clearly linked to objectives****
  • Concise
ssgim abstract criteria
SSGIM Abstract Criteria
  • Clarity of presentation
    • Concise, complete, organized, well-written, focused objectives
  • Significance/relevance to general internal medicine
    • Unique, interesting. Contextualizes and describes impact on clinical practice in internal medicine, teaching/education or future research
  • Teaching value
    • Offers important diagnosis, physical examination, or management pearls
why not accepted
Why not accepted?
  • Poor presentation
  • Weak discussion
  • Lack of originality
  • Inadequate support
  • Conclusions not tied to learning objectives
  • Objectives not clearly stated
successful abstracts
Successful Abstracts
  • Follow the guidelines/directions
  • Well-written
  • Meets goals of conference
  • Basis of future work
poster presentations
  • To distill down to a brief presentation effectively requires clear thinking, careful planning, and concise, efficient communication.
  • Best clinical vignette posters are those that make a small number of points(even just one) clearly and succinctly.
poster content tips
Poster Content Tips
  • Clear take home message
  • Clear why your case is of interest to audience
  • Design around 1-3 key points
  • Don’t be emotionally attached to the details
  • Omit details not essential to the main message
  • Do not include abstract unless required - redundant
poster construction
Poster Construction
  • Abstract is the basis
  • Judicious use of more detail
poster tips
Poster Tips
  • BULLET POINTS – simple and concise - PHRASES
  • Orderly, left to right
  • Organized - Easy to follow flow of info
  • Use white space – not overly dense with text
  • AVOID CLUTTER – simple, user friendly
  • Use no more than 4 colors
  • No more than 3 sizes of font
  • No smaller than 24 point
  • San Serif fonts: ARIAL, Trebuchet MS, Helvetica
  • Make it visual – images, tables
  • Anyone who views your poster walks away with key information
  • 10-10 rule (10 seconds from 10 meters) - Draw them in
  • Goal to share information and have many viewers
poster outline
Poster Outline
  • Title
  • Authors, institution, location
  • Follows abstract outline plus conclusions
  • Center, All caps, Largest font on poster
  • Smaller font for author, institution, city, and state
  • Upper and lower case for author, institution, city and state
acp introduction1
ACP Introduction
  • Describe the clinical context and relevance
  • 1-3 sentences/phrases
  • Bullet points if possible
case presentation1
Case Presentation
  • Clear, concise
  • Only pertinent info
  • Do NOT be emotionally attached to details
  • Omit any information not relevant to main message
case presentation2
Case Presentation
  • Brief
  • Relevant HPI
  • RelevantPMHx, SocHx, FamHx
  • Ros pertinent positive/negative
  • PE pertinent positive/negative
  • Pertinent Laboratory, biopsy, and imaging
  • Hospital course
  • Treatment
  • Importance of this case to audience
  • Support your conclusions
  • Lessons learned
  • Subheadings for your main message:
    • diagnostic criteria, diagnostic modalities, unusual presentation, description of biopsy results, treatments, guidelines, possible mechanisms
  • May be all your audience sees
  • Emphasize key points
  • ***Real draw to attendees in vignettes***
  • ***Center, top (under title) of poster***
  • Large, clear
  • Use arrows
  • Review with radiologist
figures and tables
Figures and Tables
  • Use graphs for a purpose NOT to dress up
  • Emphasize learning points
  • Simple - Not too many columns or rows
  • Label graphs very clearly
  • Horizontal labels
  • Really small font
  • If necessary can print on separate sheet and attach to bottom right corner
  • Have your attending review your poster
  • Provide constructive feedback
  • Rehearse your overview
  • Practice for judges questions
getting your poster made
Getting Your Poster Made
  • Lisa Fennessy, Art Services
  • Send the proof to Lisa Fennessy by email – no pdf
  • Lisa will print proof same day
  • Edit proof (maybe several times)
  • Final proof
  • Send the final one week before need poster
  • Prepare a 1-2 minute summary of your poster
  • Dress professionally
  • Stand by poster – expected by mtg coordinators
  • Be prepared to answer questions from the judges
  • Wait for readers to finish
  • Make eye contact - Put down any food or drink when discussing poster
  • Know the flow of your poster and refer to it
  • Don’t get tipsy before or during presentation
acp poster judging criteria
ACP Poster Judging Criteria
  • Significance – increase understanding of a disease, improve the diagnosis or treatment
  • Presentation – logical, interesting, clearly written, free of grammatical problems
  • Visual impact – effective, value of figure and graph
  • Interview – knowledgeable, conversant
ssgim poster judging criteria
SSGIM Poster Judging Criteria
  • Poster Presentation – outstanding organization, excellent poster format, effective illustrations, appropriate amount of words
  • Learning objectives – clearly stated learning objectives, tied to conclusions, supported by data
  • Content – clear, concise case description, all RELEVANT patient information, info well organized
  • Teaching/educational value – valuable to internists, increases understanding of disease, improves diagnosis or treatment of disease state
  • Overall
ssgim most common pitfalls
SSGIM Most Common Pitfalls
  • Objectives not clearly stated (content)
  • Inappropriate amount of words(too many)
  • Conclusions are not tied into learning objectives (conclusions)******

Insert Poster Title Here

Your name here

Your institution’s name here



Figure 1..

Figure 2.




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