Table of contents hosting a Residents’ Competition Tool-Kit First Steps

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Hosting a Residents’ Competition Tool-Kit

First Steps

Timeline 2
Types of competitions

ACP Resources to help members draft abstracts 4

Sample abstract guidelines and information 6
Soliciting Abstracts

Sample promotional Email/Letters to Residents and Program Directors 8
Tracking Abstract Submissions

Sample abstract submission rules/submission forms 10
Selecting Reviewers/Judges

selecting Judges to Participate 13

Generic Criteria and Scoring Forms 14

Onsite Preparations

sample agenda/schedule 17

sample onsite brochure 18

elect resident representative to serve on the board 19

Guidelines for Residents Preparing Posters 20

Guidelines to incorporate local winners into the TXACP Annual Meeting Competition 20
Following Event
After the Competition

To-Do List…After the Regional Event 21

Deadline for forwarding Regional winners to the TXACP 22
Hosting a Regional Abstract Competition Timeline & Checklist

Program Director & Staff

12 weeks prior

  • Prepare a Call for Abstracts (See Procedures for Local Abstract Competition to finalize logistics of abstract submission)

10 weeks prior

  • Identify Abstract Coordinator for receipt of abstract submissions. Determine if this person will also coordinate judging, scoring process and onsite logistics.

  • Send Call for Abstracts mailing/email to Program Directors to encourage participation.

8 weeks prior

  • Identify potential judges/reviewer

  • Send invitation and RSVP form to judges

  • Set-up Tracking System

  • Save all incoming abstracts electronically (ongoing)

  • Assign staff person to serve as main point of contact for event

  • Identify a task force (if needed) to handle responsibilities of competition (ie. Specific tasks –Chief Residents, staff, program chairs)

7 weeks prior

  • Send a blast email for the upcoming deadline reminder.

  • Send email confirmation to Residents who submitted an abstract (ongoing)

  • Invite ACP Governor and TXACP Board Members to attend event

  • Confirm ACP Member Representative (Governor, Board Member) to speak on behalf of ACP and membership recruitment

6 weeks prior

  • Investigate pricing for poster board displays

  • Confirm location/time for event and send to chapter staff

  • If Preliminary Judging

  • Deadline for abstract competition

  • Assign Team of Judges to review abstracts

  • Prepare abstract packets for judging

5 weeks prior

  • If Preliminary Judging

  • Send abstract packets to Judges

  • If requesting buzzer system for Doctor’s Dilemma Competition, request from Chapter staff

4 weeks prior

  • Prepare Promotional Flyer/Agenda and send to all programs to attend (include Map, Parking Directions and applicable information and RSVP Requests)

  • If Preliminary Judging

  • Review abstract scores from Judges

  • Calculate results

  • Notify all winners with registration form and instructions for presenting

(oral vs. poster)

  • Notify all non-winners

3 weeks prior

  • Prepare Certificates for Winner

  • Confirm onsite Judges

  • Submit grant application to chapter staff –deadline: 21 days prior to competition

  • Send email to all Residency programs to submit a Resident name for election to the TXACP Board of Directors (Must be ACP Member)

  • Create signage (directional)

  • Confirm details for food & beverage (if applicable)

  • Confirm details for A/V (if applicable)

  1. weeks prior

  • Contact onsite Judges to provide them with the details of the competition, i.e.-specific date, time when they need to arrive.

  • Send list of Residents in competition to chapter staff to confirm resident ACP Membership

  • Send email to Resident reps of the Board to invite them to give a 2-minute address to the attendees

  • Assign poster board numbers to presenters (to include in onsite program and to direct presenters onsite)

  • Create name badges for presenters and invited guests

  • Confirm volunteers, staff and judges

  • Recruit volunteer photographer to take photos (encourage attendees to share photos with Chapter Staff for newsletter, social media)

Day of Meeting

  • Set-up meeting poster boards

  • Inform all participants of activities associated with the abstract competition

  • Present Awards

1 week after

  • Submit Name of Winning Abstract Competition to State Chapter-deadline within 30 days following meeting

  • Contact Winners with instructions to submit abstract to state

  • Send winners information to Chapter Staff

  • Create Certificates for winners

  • Thank you letters to all Judges and Participants

  • Send photos taken at the event to chapter staff to include in website

ACP Resources to Help Members Draft Abstracts
If you receive questions from Residents about writing an abstract, ACP has developed resources on the entire scientific communication process, from writing the abstract to delivering the poster or oral presentation. Just direct them to the ACP Web site at

Types of Competitions

These standard designations are:

Clinical Vignette
A clinical vignette is a report of one or more cases that illustrates a new disease entity, or a prominent or unusual clinical feature of an established disease. It may include a summary of pertinent patient history, physical findings, laboratory data, or management description.

ACP guidelines to writing a Clinical Vignette.

Clinical Research

Patient-oriented research. Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. This area of research includes: mechanisms of human disease; therapeutic interventions; clinical trials; development of new technologies; analysis of existing datasets; epidemiologic and behavioral studies; outcomes research and health services research.

ACP guidelines to writing a Research Abstract.
Quality Improvement-Patient Safety

Submissions can report on efforts to improve patient safety or outcomes measurement. Such efforts may be projects developed and initiated to promote patient safety and/or processes that have improved or created a safer environment for patients. Abstracts may also be submitted that relate to the use of outcome data, how to measure and convert data into information.

The Pennsylvania Chapter has developed the following criteria for quality improvement abstracts that you might want to adopt:

  • Brief description of context: relevant details of staff and function of department, team, unit, patient group

  • Outline of problem: what were you trying to accomplish?

  • Key measures for improvement: what would constitute improvement in the view of patients/clients?

  • Process of gathering information: methods used to assess problems

  • Analysis and interpretation: how did this information help your understanding of the problem?

  • Strategy for change: what actual changes were made, how were they implemented and who was involved in the change process?

  • Effects of change: did this lead to improvement for patients/clients – how did you know?

  • Next steps: what have you learned/achieved and how will you take this forward?

Doctor's Dilemma

Doctors’ Dilemma is much like the TV show Jeopardy.  Questions are presented as answers and teams buzz in to answer the question in the form of a question.  There is a moderator asking the questions and each team has a buzzer. The team that buzzes in first has the chance to answer the question and depending on whether or not their answer is correct, they may/may not have the opportunity to pick a category and advance onto the next question. 

Sample Abstract Guidelines and Information
Abstract Eligibility: Original abstracts that either have or have not been presented at other meetings will be considered. Presentation of original work at the chapter meeting may, however, jeopardize presentation before another society. Abstracts are eligible if they have been published; however, abstracts based upon full papers that have been published are not eligible.
Author Eligibility: The first author of an abstract must be an ACP Resident.
You are encouraged to write your abstract in a format similar to that used in scientific papers so that it may be cited in curriculum vitae or submitted as evidence of scholarly activity when your are preparing to advance to Fellowship in the American College of Physicians.

  1. Abstracts must be submitted on the official abstract form, or a photocopy of the form, single spaced within the border using a 10 point font.

  2. Title, typed in all caps, should be brief and clearly state content of paper.

  3. Presenting author must list name first.

  4. List name and one degree only, e.g., MD, DO for each author. Indicate their status within ACP. (Associate, Member, or Fellow), if applicable. Professional title of positions should not be included.

  5. List names of authors’ institution(s), city, and state.

Note: The format used in the Annals of Internal Medicine is also encouraged.
The body of the abstract should be organized as follows:

  1. Purpose for study (one sentence if possible).

  2. Simple statement of methods.

  3. Summary of results (adequate to support conclusions).

  4. Statement of conclusions (Do not use phrases such as “The results will be discussed.”)

Style: Write for clarity and directness. Avoid the use of medical jargon or stock empty phrases. A table may be used if its fits within the border lines. Keep in mind that grammar will be taken into consideration. Please proofread your abstract carefully.

Abbreviations, Symbols, and Nomenclature:

Usage should conform as closely as possible to that recommended in CBE Style Manual, (6th edition., 1994), published by the Council of Biology Editors, and available from CBE Secretariat, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814. Nonstandard abbreviations must be kept to a minimum and must be explained when used. Generic names of drugs are preferred: a proprietary name may be given only with the first use of the generic name.

Units of measurement should be metric (SI), including those for height of length, mass (weight), and body temperature. Preferred concentration units in clinical chemical measurements are those recommended by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry: for substances of known, pure composition, millimoles/milliliter or millimoles/liter; for mixtures of substances where exact composition is not known, grams/liter.
Submission Form/ Competitions:

Please submit the abstract with accompanying information on the submission form included and attach an electronic copy of the body of the abstract to the submission form.

Formats for Presentation:

There will be three competitions, an oral competition and two poster competitions (one for research and one for clinical vignettes). Oral Presentations will be 10 minutes in duration with 5 minutes for questions. Program Directors will be asked to choose only one resident per program to compete in the oral competition for a chance to win a trip to the Texas Chapter of the ACP annual meeting. All others will be entered into the poster competition. Please limit one entry for either competition per first author.

Soliciting Abstracts
Once the type of competition has been selected, the process of soliciting abstracts should take place. A few possible strategies include:

  • Emailing a “Call for Abstracts” Residents in the region

  • Sending a letter to all program directors in the Region, asking them to promote the competitions in their hospitals and supplying them with materials to distribute to their Residents.

  • Distributing posters/flyers to local program directors or other local contacts for posting in hospitals.

Please note that a sample of all these options are available.

When publicizing the competition, the following information should be relayed:

  • type of competition (clinical, Research, QI Vignettes, Oral Vignette, Doctor’s Dilemma)

  • deadline date for submission

  • contact person, email address submission of abstracts

  • approximate date of notification of results to first author

  • awards, and obligations of winners


To: Directors, Chief Residents, and Program Administrators

From: Host Program Director


It is our pleasure to announce the YEAR NAME OF THE EVENT to be held on DATE at the LOCATION. This meeting has provided a forum for the presentation of research projects and clinical vignettes (COMPETITIONS NAMES) by outstanding Internal Medicine residents throughout REGION. Invitations this year are extended to PROGRAMS INVITED.

Residents participating in this event must be ACP Residents. Otherwise, their entries will be rejected.
Each residency program will select a maximum of NUMBER abstracts in the following NUMBER categories:

  1. Podium Competition:

    1. Clinical vignette: NUMBER abstract per residency program for oral presentation.

    2. Clinical or Basic Science Research: NUMBER abstract per residency program for oral presentation.

  2. Poster Competition:

    1. Clinical or Basic Science Research: NUMBER abstract per residency program for poster competition.

    2. Clinical Vignette: NUMBER abstracts per residency program for poster competition.

    3. QI/Patient Safety: NUMBER abstracts per residency program for poster competition

  3. Non-Competition Posters:

    1. NUMBER clinical vignettes and/or clinical/basic science research abstracts per residency program.

  4. On Being a Doctor” Essay/Poetry Competition:

    1. Topic: “TITLE OF TOPIC

- A reflection on developing trust with patient's in the medical misinformation age.

    1. Up to NUMBER entries per residency program

    2. Essay length – 500-1000 words, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 font

    3. Poetry – no word limit, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 font

  1. Doctor’s Dilemma:

    1. One team of three (3) residents per residency program.

  2. Quality Improvement – Patient Safety

    1. NUMBER abstracts per residency program for poster competition

By TIME, DATE: Each program director will submit all entries in the above NUMBER categories to EMAIL. Abstracts should be submitted using the abstract submission form, a fillable word document; only electronic abstracts will be accepted.
By TIME, DATE: “On Being a Doctor” submissions should be emailed directly to NAME, EMAIL.
TIME, DATE: Each program director will submit the Power Point presentations for both podium competitions and the electronic version of all competition and non-competition posters to EMAIL.
Each word or Power Point file must be labeled using the following format: last name of the resident, type of presentation, program and a brief title. Examples: Doe Research Podium SAUSHEC Pruritis; or Doe CV Podium UT Harlingen Needle in Throat.
Finally, CHIEF RESIDENT, PROGRAM and NAME Resident, PROGRAM will coordinate the annual Doctor’s Dilemma Competition. Each team will consist of 3 residents of any PGY level. Please have your chief residents contact them at EMAIL; PHONE.
We are looking forward to this meeting as each year the excellence of research presentations grows. I hope that you will encourage as many of your residents and staff as possible to participate and attend this meeting. Further details on the meeting place and time will be sent as the date approaches.
Please contact me if you have any questions.



  1. All residents submitting abstracts and presenting at the YEAR EVENT NAME must be resident members of the American College of Physicians.

  2. All submissions must have a faculty sponsor.

  3. All abstracts must be submitted electronically using the submission form.

  4. Incomplete abstract submission forms and/or failure to abide by any other submission rule will be grounds for disqualification.

  5. Any modification to the abstract submission form is ground for disqualification.

  6. There a 450 word limit for the abstract. Please use a Times Roman 11 point typeset.

  7. Abstracts previously presented at a local, regional, or national ACP meeting are not eligible for the research/clinical vignette competition.

  8. All abstracts must include:

    1. A title, all words in upper case letters;

    2. The author’s names and their ACP membership in parenthesis; and

    3. The institutional affiliation


TITLE - Name, MD (ACP Resident), Name, Jr., MD (ACP Member), Name and Name, DO, FACP, Program, City, Texas.

  1. Clinical and basic science research or Quality Improvement/Patient Safety must have the following subheadings:

    1. Introduction:

    2. Methods:

    3. Results:

    4. Discussion/Conclusion:

  2. Clinical vignettes must have the following subheadings:

    1. Introduction:

    2. Case Description:

    3. Conclusion:

  3. For guidance please review “Guide to Preparing for the Abstract Competition”


Abstract Submission Form

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