SMA's 2021 Annual Scientific Assembly

Lake Buena Vista, FL
October 28 - 30, 2021

Abstract Submissions are now OPEN!

PIT Call for Abstracts

Call for Abstracts - Digital Poster Presentations

Abstracts are now being solicited for SMA’s 112th Annual Scientific Assembly for digital poster presentations. This will be the only format for abstract presentations during this year’s Assembly. If your  submission is accepted, you will be allocated a total of 6 minutes (including 1 minute for questions and answers) to present your poster. Please review the guidelines carefully in order to prepare your presentation successfully. 

Who is Eligible to Submit?

Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows

What is the Deadline for Submission?

The deadline for submission of abstracts is July 23, 2021.

What is the Format for Presentation?

All presentations will include a “live” component. Presenters, at their designated presentation time, will have the option to:

  • Present live from the podium on-site;
  • Present live, via our virtual platform;
  • Virtual only: Pre-record the presentation and after it is displayed, be available to answer questions “live.”

What Types of Abstracts Are Not Eligible for Submission?

An abstract is ineligible for consideration if it reports work that has been accepted for publication as a manuscript (eg, full-length article, brief report, case report, concise communication or letter to the editor) prior to the SMA submission deadline of July 23, 2021, UNLESS written permission has been given from the entity that first published the work and is submitted to SMA ([email protected]) at the time of abstract submission.

Abstracts that appear as more than one version of a single study will not be considered (eg, dual submissions of the same study with slightly differing titles).

Content prepared or presented by an employee or agent of an ACCME-defined ineligible company (e.g., pharmaceutical or device company) is not eligible for submission or presentation, as this is an accredited CME activity. 

How is an Abstract Submitted?

All abstracts must be submitted online.

Registration Fees and Expenses

All presenting authors are required to register, pay the appropriate registration fee, and if attending on-site, are responsible for arranging travel and hotel accommodations. SMA does not have funds to assist with these expenses.

Important Dates to Remember

  • Submission Deadline: July 23, 2021
  • Acceptance Notifications: Will be emailed on or before August 30, 2021
  • Presenter Confirmation to Participate Due: September 6, 2021
  • Abstract Presenter Registration: On or before September 24, 2021
  • Abstract Presenters - Upload presentations: On or before September 24, 2021

Abstract Competition/Cash Awards

A “best presentation” competition will take place and $2,500 in cash will be divided between winners! Your choice to present live, on-site in Orlando or virtual will have no impact on scoring for best abstract awards. Additional competition details will be provided soon!

Abstract Information

All submissions must include an abstract of the presentation that will be reviewed by the Poster Program Committee for consideration.


By submitting your abstract, you are agreeing to register, and be available on the designated date and time to present the abstract and answer questions from our audience, if accepted for presentation. 

Hybrid Format: SMA’s Assembly will be presented in a hybrid format; meaning, you will have the option to present “live, in-person,” or “live, virtually,” during your designated time.

Presentation Format:  You will be given the following options to present your poster during your designated time, as follows: 

  • Present “live” (either in-person or virtually)
  • Provide a video recording, using Zoom format, which will be “played” during your designated presentation time. Note: If you choose this option, you MUST be available after the presentation is played to answer questions from the attendees.

As English is the designated language for the meeting, the presenting author is required to speak English when presenting. During the submission process, you will be asked your tentative plans about how you will attend and present your poster.

All abstract presentations will be recorded. Competition winners will be announced and highlighted on SMA’s social media platforms, website, and other published materials. By participating in the Assembly, you are granting permission to be recorded. Refer to the “Policies” tab on this website for additional information.

Submission or acceptance of an abstract does not register you or ensure hotel accommodations for the meeting. All presenting authors are required to register, pay the appropriate registration fee, and are responsible for arranging travel and hotel accommodations. SMA does not have funds to assist with these expenses.

Review and Notification

Abstract Review

  • After the submission deadline, completed abstracts will be peer-reviewed.
  • Incomplete abstracts cannot be processed and will not be reviewed.
  • To ensure the integrity of the review process, revisions to abstracts will not be accepted after the submission deadline – no exceptions.

Review Criteria

  • Clinical Relevance - Is the content concise and coherent? Is the focus and relevance clearly stated?
  • Scientific Merit - Does the research describe sound design and methodology? Is it likely to contribute to literature in the discipline or field?
  • Content - Is the context made clear? Are the goals, methods, objectives, results and conclusions available and clearly stated or described?
  • Originality/Uniqueness - Is the content interesting? Does it have the potential to create impact (e.g. change clinical or public health practice or policy, improve health, or change the course of science)? Is it novel or exciting?
  • Conclusions: Are the conclusions clear and concise? Do they reflect the learning objectives? Are they supported by the results presented? Are key study limitations acknowledged?
  • Overall Impression: Is the abstract free from grammatical and spelling errors? Is the abstract formatted correctly? Is the writing free of inaccuracies and easy to read?

Acceptance Notification

  • Presenting authors will be notified of acceptance or rejection of their abstract via email in late August, and must confirm attendance and participation by early September. Failure to confirm participation may result in removal of your presentation.
  • The acceptance notification email will include an assigned date and time to be presented.
  • The presenting author is the only author who will receive notification from the SMA. It is the presenting author’s responsibility to then notify all co-authors.
  • IMPORTANT: The presenting author is the sole point of contact for all abstract co-authors. The SMA will direct all co-author inquiries to the presenting author.

Presenting Author Responsibilities

At the time of submission, the person submitting the abstract must identify who will be designated as the presenting author. The presenting author will be the sole point of contact for information regarding the submission and is responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring each co-author is aware of the content of the abstract and that it supports its data. Failure to receive approval from each co-author will result in the abstract being disqualified.
  • Ensuring each co-author is aware of the disclosure requirements.
  • Adhering to the Abstract Disclosure Policy and obtaining disclosure information from all co-authors.
  • Forwarding abstract acceptance/rejection notifications and ACCME and SMA policies to each co-author.
  • Notifying each co-author of any changes to the program, as corresponded by the SMA, in a timely manner.
  • Responding to inquiries, providing presentation information, and registering for the Assembly on or before the designated deadlines.
  • Presenting the abstract in the accepted format, at the appointed date and time.  Note – Abstract presentation schedules cannot be changed to accommodate presenting author scheduling conflicts.
  • Appointing a co-author (must be a medical student, resident, or fellow) to present the abstract in your absence if a schedule conflict is identified before the meeting, and providing all information related to your presentation (including deadlines) to the appointee. 
  • Complying with stipulated responsibilities or be subject to corrective action as deemed appropriate by the SMA leadership.

Registration and Housing

  • Submission or acceptance of an abstract does not register you or ensure hotel accommodations for the meeting. All presenting authors are required to register and pay the appropriate registration fees and arrange hotel accommodations.
  • Scheduled abstract sessions will not be changed to accommodate travel schedules.
  • Registration is open and details/fees can be found at

Prepare The Following Information For Your On-line Submission

Submission type

Abstracts may be submitted ONLY as a digital poster presentation.

Submission category and topic

Abstracts are categorized as clinical science or case presentations and are grouped according to the broad area of the following topics.  Select the category and topic on the application.

  • Bioethics & Medical Education
  • Emergency & Disaster Medicine
  • Medicine & Medical Specialties
  • Mental Health
  • Public Health & Environmental Medicine
  • Quality Health Care, Patient Safety, & Best Practices
  • Surgery and Surgical Specialties
  • Women’s & Children’s Health

Presenting Author's Contact Details and Information

  • Name and degree
  • Email address
  • Full postal address
  • Phone number
  • Disclosure Information (including off-label discussions)

Co-Authors' Details

  • Co-authors’ names and degrees (there is no limit to the number of Co-authors)
  • Affiliation details: department, institution / hospital, city, state (if applicable)
  • Disclosure information

Abstract Title (limited to 20 words)

  • Title should be brief, clearly indicating the nature of the presentation.
  • Include only commonly used acronyms.
  • Enter the title in the “title” field only and do not enter the title in the body of the abstract.
  • Use mixed case (do not use all caps OR all lower case) and do not put a period at the end of the title.

Abstract Text (limited to 300 words)

  • Although the abstract should briefly address all elements necessary to define your goals and results to the reader, it is a short description of your presentation. It is not meant to be a complete and lengthy report of your work.
  • Abstracts should be narrative only. Do NOT include charts, figures, graphs, or other images/ supplemental information. 
  • The text of each abstract should consist of no more than 300 words. Do NOT include your title and author information as part of the abstract body. If you copy and paste text, it should be from wordpad/notepad, or other text document; anything other than Microsoft Word, as symbols sometimes do not transfer correctly.
  • Use standard abbreviations.
  • Place special or unusual abbreviations in parentheses after the first time the full word appears.
  • Use numerals to indicate numbers, except when beginning sentences.
  • Do not reference any company/product brand names, use generic names.
  • Abstracts must not contain any advertising, trade names, or a product-group message.

Clinical Submission – Organize as Follows:

  • Background/Knowledge Gap
  • Methods/Design
  • Results/Findings
  • Conclusions/Implication

Case Presentation – Organize as Follows:

  • Introduction
  • Case Presentation (include history, physical exam, differential diagnosis, tests, and results)
  • Final/Working Diagnosis
  • Management/Outcome/and or Follow-up

Work in Progress - Organize as Follows:

  • Provide a detailed description of the idea or project, including an introduction, and outline of the main goals and objectives.

Learning Objectives

  • Provide 2 or 3 objectives (what the learner is expected to “know” or “do” at the conclusion).  Objectives are not included in the abstract text limit of 300 words.

Additional Information Required as Part of the Submission

  • To be eligible to present, presenting authors will be required to confirm agreement with the following affirmation statements at the time of submission:
    • I confirm I had full access to all of the data in the study, and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis, and approved the data for presentation.
    • I confirm I made significant contributions to the study design, analysis or interpretation of results.
  • If the abstract reports results of a clinical trial not yet approved by a regulatory agency, you will be required to identify the trial phase.
  • Any work with human or animal subjects reported in submitted abstracts must comply with the guiding principles for experimental procedures found in the Declaration of Helsinki of the World Medical Association.

How to Create Your Digital Poster

This information outlines general parameters and expectations for preparation of your poster presentation. SMA will provide additional information/instructions with your acceptance letter.

Slide Format

  • Digital posters should be composed of up to 7 slides (including your title slide).
  • All slides should be landscape orientation with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Minimum photo resolution of 72 pixels per inch.
  • San serif fonts in a size greater than 18 points.
  • Animations and embedded videos should be avoided.
  • Poster language is English.

Include the following (Note - this is a guide only. Your slides should include content appropriate to your presentation): 

  • Cover slide – title, all authors and affiliations, contact details, photo of presenting author, and disclosure information (if you and your authors have no disclosures, state: Authors and Coauthors have no relevant financial relationships to disclose).
  • Introduction/Background/Content slides – include information viewers need to see to understand your content.

Clinical Submission
Background/Knowledge Gap
Results/Findings (including images and figures if applicable)
Conclusions/Impact off your work

Case Presentation
Case Presentation (include history, physical exam, differential diagnosis, tests, and results)
Final/Working Diagnosis
Management/Outcome/and or Follow-up

Note: You do not need to include your written abstract in the content of your slide.

**Optional: If you have prepared, or want to prepare a “traditional” one-slide image of the entire poster, you may include it at the end of your presentation when summarizing. This optional slide will NOT count towards your 7 slide maximum.


**Your last slide should display your cover slide while taking questions from the audience.

How Your Poster Will be Presented

Posters presented “live”from the podium at the hotel:

  • Create your presentation using PowerPoint. 
  • Your PowerPoint presentation should be uploaded on or before September 24, 2021
  • SMA Staff will pre-load your PowerPoint to a meeting room laptop to be displayed during your designated presentation time. 
  • You will be able to advance your slides from the podium.

Posters presented “live” virtually (Zoom platform):

  • Create your presentation using PowerPoint. 
  • Your PowerPoint presentation should be uploaded on or before September 24, 2021
  • SMA Staff will pre-load your PowerPoint to our online platform, and display and advance your slides for you during your presentation.
  • We request you turn on your video camera when presenting. 

Pre-recorded option for virtual presentations:

    • Virtual participants have an option to pre-record the presentation using Zoom.
    • Please turn on your video camera when preparing your recording. 
    • Your .mp4 video should be uploaded on or before September 24, 2021. 
    • SMA Staff will preload your video presentation to our online platform, and display your presentation during your designated time. It is not necessary to also upload your PowerPoint file from which your video is created. 
  • Immediately following your video presentation, you must be available to answer questions from our audience.
  • We request you turn on your video camera during your Q&A session.

Disclosure Policy

  • In accordance with ACCME requirements and SMA policy, abstracts selected for presentation must be free of commercial bias, and may not be prepared and/or presented by a commercial interest.
  • SMA requires that educational materials that are part of a CME activity, such as slides, abstracts and handouts, not contain any advertising, trade names or a product group message. Generic names may be referenced.
  • Disclosures for all authors and coauthors must be listed. State "no relevant financial relationships to disclose" if applicable.
  • SMA requires that all individuals who are in a position to control the content of an SMA CME Activity disclose:
  1. All relevant financial relationships with an ineligible company (companies producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by or used on patients) occurring over the past 24 months, and;
  2. Any inclusion in a presentation of a commercial product with an unlabeled use or an investigational use not yet approved by the FDA. 

Disclosure to Learners - SMA ensures that all attendees/participants of SMA CME activities are informed of relevant financial relationships (or “no” relationship) disclosed by individuals who are in a position to control the content prior to the beginning of an activity either in print, verbally, or by multimedia display. Conflicts of interest, if any exist, will be mitigated prior to the activity.

Abstract Embargo and Permission Policies

Accepted abstracts are made available to the public online in advance of the meeting and authors and titles are published in the onsite syllabus. In addition, the information/materials displayed and presented during this meeting are the property of SMA. Please contact [email protected] regarding the use of any content prior to the meeting.

Copyright Policy

The SMA Annual Scientific Assembly is a private event. Programs presented at the meeting are for the education of attendees as authorized by the Southern Medical Association. The information and materials displayed and presented during this meeting are the property of the SMA and the presenter and cannot be photographed, copied, photocopied, transformed to electronic format, reproduced, or distributed without written permission of the Southern Medical Association and the presenter. Any use of the program content for commercial purposes, which includes, but is not limited to oral presentations, audiovisual materials used by speakers, and program handouts without the written consent of the SMA is prohibited. This policy applies before, during and after the meeting.

The names, insignias, logos and acronyms of the SMA are proprietary marks. Use of the names in any fashion, by any entity, for any purpose, is prohibited without the express written permission of the Southern Medical Association.

Photographs and Video Recording Policy

When you participate in an SMA event, you are participating in an event where photography, video and audio recording may occur.

By participating in the SMA’s Assembly, you consent to interview(s), photography, audio recording, video recording and its/their release, publication, exhibition, or reproduction to be used for social media, webcasts, promotional purposes, telecasts, advertising, inclusion on web sites, or for any other purpose(s) that SMA’s Board, and/or staff representatives deems fit to use. You release SMA’s Board of Directors, its officers and employees, and each and all persons involved from any liability connected with the taking, recording, digitising, or publication of interviews, photographs, computer images, video and/or or sound recordings.

You have been fully informed of consent, waiver of liability, and release before participating in the SMA’s Assembly. 

Reproducing SMA Abstracts/SMA Posters

Contact SMA regarding the policy for reproducing or distributing abstract information.

Use of the SMA Name

The names, insignias, logos and acronyms of the SMA, are proprietary marks. Use of the names in any fashion, by any entity, for any purpose, is prohibited without the written permission of the SMA.

Use of the SMA Scientific Program Content

Information displayed or presented at all sessions during the annual assembly is the property of the SMA. Information may not be recorded, photographed, copied, photocopied, transferred to electronic format, reproduced or distributed without the written permission of the SMA and the presenter.

Any use of the program content, which includes but is not limited to oral presentations, audiovisual materials used by speakers and program handouts, without the written consent of the SMA is prohibited.

This policy applies before, during and after the meeting.

The SMA will enforce its intellectual property rights and penalize those who infringe upon it.

New Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education

The ACCME's new Standards were released in December 2020, replacing the Standards for Commercial Support. Please note the updates and changes related to disclosure outlined below.

Identification and Mitigation of Relevant Financial Relationships of Planners, Faculty, and Others

Disclosure Information:

Disclosure information must be completed by Planners, Faculty, and all Others Who May Control Educational Content of an accredited activity. It is SMA’s responsibility to determine which relationships are relevant. You must disclose all financial relationships that you have had in the past 24 months with ineligible companies (see definition below). For each financial relationship, you must provide the name of the ineligible company and the nature of the financial relationship(s). There is no minimum financial threshold; we ask that you disclose all financial relationships, regardless of the amount, with ineligible companies. You should disclose all financial relationships regardless of the potential relevance of each relationship to the education. The requirement of disclosing for a spouse/guest has been removed.

Ineligible companies are organizations that are not eligible for accreditation (formerly known as commercial interests). This new term is intended to clarify that eligibility for accreditation is not based on whether an organization is for-profit or nonprofit but is based on its primary mission and function. 

Upon receipt of your disclosure information, SMA staff will:

  • Review your submitted disclosure information. Please note that owners or employees of ineligible companies will be excluded from participating as planners, speakers, authors, or faculty. 
  • Determine whether your financial relationships with ineligible companies disclosed (if any), are relevant to the content of the education being planned. Financial relationships are relevant if the following three conditions are met for the prospective person who will control content of the education:
    • A financial relationship, in any amount, exists between the person in control of content and an ineligible company.
    • The content of the education is related to the products of an ineligible company with whom the person has a financial relationship.
    • The financial relationship existed during the past 24 months.
  • Choose a mitigation strategy: For any person who has a relevant financial relationship, a strategy to mitigate (formerly known as “resolve”) the conflict will be implemented by SMA staff before the person assumes their role. The following are examples of how the conflict may be mitigated:

Mitigation steps for planners:

✓ Divest the financial relationship
✓ Recusal from controlling aspects of planning and content with which there is a financial relationship
✓ Peer review of planning decisions by persons without relevant financial relationships

Mitigation steps for faculty, authors, and others

✓ Divest the financial relationship
✓ Peer review of content by persons without relevant financial relationships
✓ Attest that clinical recommendations are evidence-based and free of commercial bias (e.g., peer-reviewed literature, adhering to evidence-based practice guidelines)
✓ Use other methods (please describe):

Additional Information/Changes Related to Accredited Continuing Education

  • New: The term accredited continuing education replaces continuing medical education to be inclusive of all health professions. The word “accredited” is included to explicitly differentiate between accredited and nonaccredited education providers and education.
  • New: Individuals must disclose relationships with ineligible companies within the prior 24 months (changed from the current requirement of 12 months). 
  • Removed: Individuals no longer need to disclose the financial relationships of their spouse or partner. 
  • Clarified: Research grants from ineligible companies are financial relationships that should be disclosed, even if the funds go to the researcher’s institution and not to the individual researcher.  
  • Clarified: Owners or employees of ineligible companies must be excluded from controlling content.  
  • New: When disclosing relevant financial relationships to learners, accredited providers must include a statement that all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.