Preparing a Scientific Poster LuAnn Wilkerson, Ed.D. Sr. Assoc. Dean for Medical Education Special Thanks to Alan LeFor, M.D. and Michael Galinda, MD Overview Planning a Poster Presentation Preparing the Poster “The Science” “The Mechanics” Critique some Posters Putting it all together The Science: Planning your Poster State a research question Determine your purpose State the question that guided your research Check the literature Share it with several people Are any of the terms vague? Does it seem important? Interesting? Refine Know your audience Professional specialty Placement in the meeting Probable attendees for this session Level of expertise with this topic Interests Setting Determine your main points Distill to a single story supported by 3-4 facts. Be selective. Leave room for Introduction Examples and explanations Visual displays Summary Plan for a visual impact Readable from 5-6 feet away Does/Does Not Test Clear organization Stress of main points Visual illustration Charts, graphs, pictures Color for emphasis Special features Abstract is NOT generally included Reference list is not required or limited Case Report Learning objective Case description -- brief and riveting Discussion Implication -- single sentence linked to objective Literature Review Begin with the “problem” or case Group by findings Use first author name et al, date. Hand out list. Common Problems Inappropriate level for the audience Disorganized format Too much detail included Poor visuals No interaction with the viewers The Mechanics Title Introduction Methods Results Conclusions Title Select a title that communicates Brief Attention grabbing Author and mentor Institution Introduction Why is this question important? Current perspective in the literature Readability Bullet points A few sentences Methods Amount of detail is determined by how common the methodology is used Photograph of any special equipment Readability Divide into sample, instrumentation, analysis Bullet points are fine Results Highest readability Clear statement of key findings Bullet points or single sentences Consider use of color Graphs / Charts Data Tables Limit to essential cells If you include a large table, consider a “blow up” of the essential cells Conclusions Implications Patient care Changed scientific understandings Future research Readability Succinct Bulletted My Special Patient Stella Resident, MD, with Michael Galinda, MD Internal Medicine Residency Program, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Learning Objectives • Use action verbs describing your learning goals Discussion for the reader, usually recognize, diagnose, manage, etc. Case Description • An exquisitely brief and riveting synopsis of the case. • Adhere to the standard sequence of HPI -> PMH -> Fam/SocHx -> PE -> Labs -> Studies. However, not all of the above are necessarily relevant, and may not all be included. Planningof the poster Preparing •Lessons that the case has to teach, and how a case like this should change the way doctors think drives the structure of the entire poster. • Break your discussion into several headings. E.g. Pathophysiology, Epidemiology, Clinical Findings, Diagnostic Workup, Treatment Options. • If a common presentation of an uncommon disease, explain how it’s like other cases. Figure 1. Chest X-ray • Consider breaking the case into sections (e.g. HPI, PMH, PE). Use visual dividers to separate sections. • If an uncommon presentation of a common disease, explain how it is special. • Discuss what factors might have led to this unusual presentation. • Avoid bold controversial recommendations. • Use tables and charts to highlight key points. • Not all of your scholarship needs to be in the poster, but you should be ready to quote the important literature as needed when they ask you questions • Do not include an abstract or references in the poster!! • ROS should be included in the HPI only when it contributes to making the presentation interesting. Implications • Give a brief description of the treatment course and finish with the patient’s last known outcome. Figure 2. EKG • Wrap up the points on how your case should impact clinical practice • Are there broader policy considerations that make your case even more compelling? Mechanical Factors Know the dimensions you are allowed Bring your own tacks! Use an appropriate font size. ALWAYS use a sans serif font (e.g. Arial vs Times). Don’t MIX fonts Format choices Individual slides in landscape orientation mounted on poster board with banner title Single banner poster Cost Poster board, spray mount: About $15 One piece professionally printed: $3651 (see Class of 2012 STTP website) A well-done poster session: Priceless!!!!! Putting It All Together Posters from a surgical meeting Photographs by Alan Lefor, MD Get ready…Go! Interact with your audience Ask if you can tell them more. Describe the purpose in one sentence Describe the methodology concisely. Stress the unique contributions Be on the watch for new ideas!