SMA's Physicians-in-Training Leadership Conference

April 16-18, 2021
We Are Going Virtual!
Join us from the comfort of your home or office!


Because of the current state of the SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) pandemic, this inaugural PIT Leadership Conference and Abstract Competition will be conducted over a virtual platform. 

To allow for adequate planning time, we have extended the abstract submission deadline to January 15, 2021 at 4:30 pm CST.

We have now announced prizes for the top presentations and posters.

See below for more information.

Call for Abstracts 

You are invited to participate in the SMA's Inaugural Physicians-in-Training Leadership Virtual Live Conference! We are excited to announce this meeting which will be fully planned by physicians-in-training, and will feature digital posters, oral presentations, and other interactive sessions currently under development.

Please Note: This Conference was originally scheduled to take place at Tulane University in New Orleans. Because of the current public health situation, the decision has been made to move this meeting to a live, virtual event.

Who is Eligible to Submit?

Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows

What is the Deadline for Submission?

The deadline for submission of abstracts is January 15, 2021, 4:30 pm Central time.

UPDATE: Are there Prizes?

Yes! There will be six prizes total, divided between the top oral presentations and digital posters.

  • 1st place: $600
  • 2nd place: $450
  • 3rd place: $200

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 January 15, 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 commercial interest (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.

ATTENTION! COVID-19 Virtual Meeting Statement

In light of on-going developments with COVID-19, SMA has decided to move the inaugural Physicians-in-Training Leadership Conference from an on-site meeting in New Orleans to an online, virtual experience that will take place live on April 16-18, 2021. We believe this is the safest approach for the well-being of our audience of healthcare providers and we are excited that a virtual event makes it possible to broaden the learning opportunities and engagement at this time.

Attendees, connecting from the comfort and safety of their home or office, will be able to participate in question and answer sessions and engage with the speakers through our virtual conference platform.

Best of all, all of the educational sessions will be easily accessible on-demand post-meeting to view at your convenience, if you are unable to attend the live virtual event.

Abstract Information

All submissions must include an abstract of the presentation that will be reviewed by the Physicians-in-Training Program Committee for consideration.


By submitting your abstract, you are agreeing to be available on the designated date and time to present the abstract if accepted for presentation as a poster abstract at the Leadership Conference. 

As English is the designated language for the meeting, the presenting author is required to speak English when presenting.

During the submission process, you must attest that if accepted, you will make plans to attend and present your abstract. 

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 mid-February, and must confirm attendance and participation by a designated deadline. 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 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 coauthors.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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 fee, and are responsible for travel and hotel expenses. SMA does not have funds available to assist with these expenses. Please do not submit if you are unable to attend.
  • Notification of acceptance will be emailed mid-February and at that time, please visit the website to register for the meeting and book your hotel accommodations.
  • Scheduled abstract sessions will not be changed to accommodate travel schedules.
  • A registration link will be emailed under separate cover to all presenters.

Prepare The Following Information For Your On-line Submission

Submission type

Abstracts may be submitted as:

  • A digital poster presentation (approximately 5 minutes in length)
  • An oral presentation (approximately 10-12 minutes in length)

Submission Categories/Topics

Abstracts are categorized and 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
  • Global Healthcare

Submission Content Categories:

  • Case Presentation - A clinical scenario with discussion of a patient

  • Clinical Science Presentation - A well-defined basic or clinical research project

  • Community Project - A personal experience working on a community-based initiative to improve the health of a specific population. Student/resident applicant(s) must have served in a leadership role in the planning and execution of the project.

  • Health System Science - Health care delivery, improving the quality of healthcare for patients and populations, and/or business of medicine.

  • Work in Progress: Any type of project or idea that is in process which does not have established results. Student/resident applicant(s) must be actively involved in the development of the idea, and/or the planning and execution of the project.

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 (there is no limit)

  • Co-authors’ names and degrees
  • 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 

  • 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.
  • Separately upload charts or grafts in the designated space.

Clinical Science Submission – Organize as Follows:

  • Background/Purpose
  • Goals
  • 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

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 350 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.
  • 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.

Important Notice! 

  •  Students, Residents and Fellows must attest that arrangements will be made to attend and present the abstract, if accepted. Please do not be a no-show!  

Formatting Tips

  • Create your presentation using PowerPoint, following the tips below as guidelines for formatting and content to make the most of your presentation. 
  • Less is more. Be clear and concise with design and content. Too much text makes it difficult to read.
  • Include the title of the presentation, names of authors and coauthors with their affiliations, and disclosure information.
  • Provide clear labels or headings for each section of your presentation (e.g., Introduction, Purpose, Methods, Figures/Charts, Results, Conclusions, References).
  • Put light-colored fonts on dark backgrounds and dark-colored fonts on light backgrounds so viewers can see your text clearly.
  • Graphics/photos should be high-quality (minimum resolution of 72 pixels per inch). 
    • Digital posters should be composed of a maximum of 6 slides (not including the title slide).
    • Oral presentations should be comprised of no more than 15 slides (not including the title slide).
    • All slides should be landscape orientation with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
    • Use San Serif Fonts (e.g., Calibri), in a size greater than 18 points.
    • Use the manual mode to move through the slides for your presentation.
    • Poster language is English.

Organizing Content

    • Cover slide – title, authors and affiliations, contact details.
    • Disclosure slide (if authors have no disclosures, state: The authors have no relevant financial relationships to disclose).
    • Introduction/Background slide – what information viewers need to see to understand your content.
  • Content Samples:
    • Clinical Submission
      • Background/Purpose 
      • Goals
      • Methods/Design
      • Results/Findings (including images and figures if applicable)
      • Conclusions/Impact of your work
      • References
    • Case Presentation
      • Introduction
      • Case Presentation - include history, physical exam, differential diagnosis, tests, and results Final/Working Diagnosis
      • Management/Outcome/and or Follow-up
      • References

Ask yourself the following:

  • Have I provided all the obvious information?
  • Will the audience understand my major findings after my 5-minute presentation?
  • Will a more careful reader learn enough to ask informed questions?
  • What would I need to know if I were viewing this material for the first time?

Visual Tips

  • Use large fonts and limit text to essential information.
  • Keep content simple and communicate clearly.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. Imaginative use of captioned illustrations, photographs, graphs, or other types of visually appealing material are extremely effective at communicating during a poster presentation.
  • Make your final conclusions or summary a concise statement of your most important findings.

How Posters and Oral Presentations Will be Presented

  • Poster authors do not need to print out paper-based posters. 
  • You will present your digital poster or oral abstract presentation from a computer, projecting to a large screen in a meeting room, at a designated time. 
  • Your poster/PowerPoint presentation will be pre-loaded by event staff for viewing on the screen.
  • During your assigned time you will have 5 minutes to showcase and discuss your poster (including questions and answers from the audience); or 10-12 minutes to present your oral presentation.

Submission of Final Presentation

  • Deadline for emailing your final presentation:  March 29, 2021.
  • Make sure to bring your presentation on a flash drive to the meeting.  
  • 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.

Disclosure Policy

In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education’s (ACCME) Standards for Commercial Support and Policies, SMA requires that all individuals who are in a position to control the content of an SMA CME Activity disclose:

  • Any relevant financial relationships with a commercial interest producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by or used on patients occurring over the past twelve months, and;
  • Any inclusion in a presentation of a commercial product with an unlabeled use or an investigational use not yet approved by the FDA. Any individual who does not comply with this policy will NOT be permitted to participate in SMA’s CME Activity.

Disclosure to Learners - SMA ensures that all attendees/participants of SMA CME activities are informed of all 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.

Resolution of Conflict of Interest (COI) Policy

Live CME:  Speakers – The speakers’ disclosure information, along with the provided content (slides, abstracts, etc.), will be reviewed either internally, by the activity chairperson, or by a reviewer from SMA’s Content Review Committee. If during this process a COI is identified, SMA Staff will provide direction to correct the conflict. Corrective measures will be documented in the activity file.

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

This Conference is a private event. Activities 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

As a courtesy to our presenters, SMA policy does not permit photographs or recordings during educational sessions, including poster sessions. The only exception to this is for registered media and SMA staff.

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 event is the property of the SMA or the presenter. 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.

Commercial Interest

The ACCME defines a “commercial interest” as any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services, consumed by, or used on, patients. The ACCME does not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests. For more information, see

Financial Relationships

Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected. ACCME considers relationships of the person involved in the CME activity to include financial relationships of a spouse or partner.

Relevant Financial Relationships

ACCME focuses on financial relationships with commercial interests in the 12-month period preceding the time that the individual is being asked to assume a role controlling content of the CME activity. ACCME has not set a minimal dollar amount for relationships to be significant. Inherent in any amount is the incentive to maintain or increase the value of the relationship. The ACCME defines “’relevant’ financial relationships” as financial relationships in any amount occurring within the past 12 months that create a conflict of interest.

Conflict of Interest

Circumstances create a conflict of interest when an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content regarding products or services of a commercial interest with which he/she has a financial relationship.