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Jefferson Medical College Alpha Omega Alpha Guide to Research

Presenting Research

One of the most exciting aspects of working on a research project is the opportunity to present your work to colleagues in the field. There are many different forums in which discussions about research occur, and they can enhance your medical education and professional career in different ways. For example, there are opportunities on Jefferson’s campus to present research to classmates and faculty members. Sigma Xi Research Day (http://www.sigmaxi.org/chapters/lists/chapters.php) in the Spring and the AΩA Research Symposium (http://jeffline.jefferson.edu/JMCstudents/AOAresearch/Symposium) in the Fall are both venues in which you can share your work and see what your classmates have been working on. A number of Jefferson faculty members usually attend such events, and this is an opportunity to demonstrate to them your extracurricular interests and accomplishments.

Another option is to submit an abstract summarizing the results of your research project to the meeting of a relevant medical society or professional group (for example, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Annual Clinical Meeting or the American Academy of Pediatrics’ National Conference and Exhibition). Presenting your work at such a conference is a potential goal for a research project that you can discuss with the Principle Investigator of your project. Such meetings can be an opportunity to discuss your research findings with other physicians in the field, which may be very helpful as you write your paper. You may hear critiques of your reported results or be asked questions you will need to address in your discussion. Often, discussing research ahead of time makes you think more critically about your work and helps you write a better paper.

There are usually two formats for presenting work at these conferences: podium presentation and poster presentation. Podium presentations are usually Powerpoint based presentations of variable length that cover an Introduction, Background, Methodology, Results, and Conclusions. Many departments have a specific format for the Powerpoints they present at conferences. If you are responsible for preparing such a presentation, ask if someone can send you a template to work from. Examples of past presentations given by members of the department can also help you prepare your own in the way best suited to the department.

Poster presentations are usually 3 ½ feet tall by 5 feet long posters that display all of the relevant information about your study along with illustrative tables, graphs, and/or pictures. A poster will often include the abstract from the study, Background, Methodology, Results, and Conclusions. At most meetings, there is an assigned time when the primary author of a project is expected to stand next to the poster to answer questions as attendees of the meeting browse around the posters displayed. Again, examples of posters from past meetings are an excellent starting point for planning this stage of a research project. Departments also may have templates available for you. When it comes time to print the poster, ask if the department has a process they use for printing posters. Many departments have an account with Medical Media Services (http://jeffline.jefferson.edu/MMS, located in Jefferson Alumni Hall, 5th floor) or with JeffGraphics (http://www.jeffgraphics.com/about.htm, located in the Sheridan Building). Similar services are provided by FedEx Kinko’s ®: an electronic file can be emailed to the store, and the poster can be picked up from one of their locations.


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