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Scientific Competition

Abstract Guidelines

SURGICON is an international congress with English as the official language. Being a surgical congress, each scientific paper should be related to the surgical field and be included in one of the 3 main scientific categories listed below. In order to submit a scientific paper, you should be registered as an Active participant, send your abstract prior to the deadline, and wait for the accepted abstracts to be announced. Each abstract can be submitted once per category (Oral Presentation, Poster or Debate) and only by one author who will register as an Active participant and will be the presenting author. In the case that the registered presenting author will not be able to present during the Congress, one of his co-authors can present the paper (only if the co-author is already registered as a passive participant and meets the eligibility criteria for active participation). In this situation, the registered presenting author must notify the OrganisingCommittee of this change by sending an e-mail to scientific@surgicon.ro. Failure to do so in maximum 24 hours prior to the congress will result in failure to receive the certificate. It is not allowed for two or more participants to send the same abstract. There is a maximum of 4 co-authors for each paper.

All accepted abstracts will be included in the Abstract Book. Scientific papers already presented during previous conferences will not be accepted. Each participant can send a maximum of 2 abstracts, one in the Debate Section and the other one for Oral/Poster Presentation.

What types of studies can you present?

The following types of presentations are accepted:

  • Original research/ Cohort study/ Clinical study
  • Review/ Meta-analysis
  • Case report

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

It answers a wide variety of questions regarding the body's response to current or potential health problems. The purpose of this qualitative research is to describe, explore and explain the health phenomena studied. In this particular type of presentation, the introduction should explain the reason for performing this study. The Materials & Methods should present how the data about the population involved in the study (human or animal test) was obtained. In the results section, you should include the outcome and the conclusions should emphasise the particularity of this original study.

COHORT STUDY

It involves identifying a group that is already under a particular treatment or subject to certain factors, tracking them over time and then comparing the results with those of a similar group that was not affected by the treatment or exposure during the study (control group).

CLINICAL STUDY

It is a collection of reports regarding the treatment of individual patients, thus a control group is not used, resulting in a study with little statistical valability.

REVIEW

It focuses on a clinical topic and answers a targeted question. An extensive search in the literature is directed at identifying articles that address the topic concerned. The studies are to be examined, evaluated based on their quality which includes or excludes them from the review and the results summarised in accordance with the initial hypothesis. In order for a review to be eligible as a scientific paper in SURGICON 2023 you must provide the references that you used (at least 10 articles published in peer-reviewed journals included in the data).

META-ANALYSIS

It is a statistical analysis that mathematically combines the results of multiple valid scientific studies on the same subject and reports their findings with a higher statistical power. In order for a meta-analysis to be eligible as a scientific paper in SURGICON 2023 you must provide the raw data and proof of the statistical work behind your paper.

CASE REPORT

It is a descriptive study where the observation of one or more patients allows the discussion of some interesting aspects of pathogenesis, diagnosis or treatment. The objective of the presentation is not to test a hypothesis, but to assert qualities of clinical research and to provide some useful data to peers. It should describe a particular case that encourages further research on the matter discussed and should include a short introduction, patient data, symptoms and diagnosis (both presumptive and definitive), treatment plans (components, administration, results/prognosis) and a conclusion.

Abstract Evaluation Criteria

Original research/ Cohort study/ Clinical study

CRITERIA SUBCRITERIA FOR ORIGINAL STUDIES
ORGANIZATION & SCIENTIFIC CONTENT (100 points) Title is scientifically accurate & easy to understand (shorter than 12 words) 8 points
Title is identified as any type of original study - observational or interventional 2 points - this does not enter the word count
Introduction is clear and brief, appropriate for the subject - explicit statement of the main objective or question
RELEVANT Inclusion AND Exclusion criteria of the patients are specified in a clear manner 10 points
ONLY Inclusion OR Exclusion criteria are specified 5 points
Present the key elements of the study design
Describe setting, locations, relevant dates - including periods of recruitment, exposure, follow-up, data collection, complications of interventions or anything that applies
Describe parameters followed and evolution of the patients
Describe all the statistical methods used
Specify the methods used to present and synthesise information, specify any potential confounders or effect modifiers and especially BIAS risk evaluation
Set up primary and secondary objectives
Results - report the number of patients, the eligible number of patients, patients that completed follow up and analysed
Results:
Include descriptive data: demographic information, clinical or social
Outcome data: describe the number of events of each outcome
Main results: give the estimates and precision (95% CI) and, if applicable, mention statistical inference markers
Report any subgroup analysis
Conclusion and Discussions
Summarise primary, secondary and safety outcomes
Discuss the limitations of the study
Give warning over results which may have been affected by any confounding factors
The information is presented in a clear and concise manner, grammatically correct, the word number limit is respected - if any is missing deduct all points.
Relevance of the subject should be paramount - if the subject doesn’t revolve around important surgical information - surgical anatomy, surgical procedures, interventional techniques and everything else that qualifies deduct all points.

Review/ Meta-analysis

CRITERIA SUBCRITERIA FOR REVIEW/META-ANALYSIS
ORGANIZATION & SCIENTIFIC CONTENT (100 points) Title is scientifically accurate & easy to understand (shorter than 12 words) 8 points
Title is identified as any type of review (systematic, literature, scoping, review of reviews, etc) 2 points
Introduction is clear and brief, appropriate for the subject - explicit statement of the main objective or question
RELEVANT Inclusion AND Exclusion criteria are specified in a clear manner 10 points
ONLY Inclusion OR Exclusion criteria are specified 5 points
If irrelevant deduct all points
Information sources AND Temporal frame specified 10 points
ONLY Information sources OR Temporal frame specified 5 points
If the temporal frame is older than 5 years deduct 1 point if relevant ( e.g. well studied techniques which suffered recent modifications should not include studies older than 5 years) - unless a landmark study is included
If the temporal frame is older than 10 years deduct 3 points if relevant - unless a landmark study is included
Specify the methods used to present and synthesise information
In Results include the total number of studies and participants - if in M&M deduct all points
Present results for main outcomes. If comparison is made show which procedure or group is being favoured, indicate the direction of the effect.
If statistics are included AND statistical inference shown 10 points
If statistics are included without statistical inference deduct 5 points.
If relevant: in the case of opposing opinions about the topic, deduct 3 points for lack of mentioning
Provide a general interpretation of the results and important implications and in relationship with the subject.
If any limitations are known or observed and not mentioned, deduct 4 points.
If the conclusion brings new unspecified before information deduct 7 points.
The abstract shows a good grip of the information and is well researched - if there are any landmark studies they should be included.
The information is presented in a clear and concise manner, grammatically correct, the word number limit is respected if any is missing deduct all points.
Relevance of the subject should be paramount - if the subject doesn’t revolve around important surgical information - surgical anatomy, surgical procedures, interventional techniques and everything else that qualifies deduct all points.
Special Mention: If the Inclusion OR Exclusion criteria are established for patient inclusion and NOT for the selected studies, deduct 15 points from the final point count

Case report

CRITERIA SUBCRITERIA FOR CASE PRESENTATION
ORGANIZATION & SCIENTIFIC CONTENT (100 points) Title is scientifically accurate & easy to understand - the diagnosis or intervention of primary focus should be stated clearly (shorter than 12 words) - 8 points
Title is identified as a Case Presentation 2 points - this expression does not fall under the rule of the word count
Introduction
Sets up a background using literature references - 2 points
Briefly summarises why the case is unique and what does it add to the literature in pertinent manner - 8 points
Case Presentation - Patient Information and Timeline
De-identified patient specific information and main concerns and symptoms of the patient - 4 points
The following items will be evaluated based on RELEVANCE:
• medical, family, psychosocial, racial, genetic information - 2 points
• past interventions and outcomes - 2 points
• well organised timeline of the current episode or disease - 2 points
Case Presentation - Clinical Findings
Describe significant physical examination or anamnestic findings and important clinical findings
If normal or irrelevant findings mentioned deduct 5 points
Case Presentation - Diagnostic Assessment
Diagnostic methods employed, diagnostic challenges, differential or presumptive diagnosis and, when applicable, prognostic characteristics - 10 points
If normal or irrelevant manoeuvres mentioned deduct 5 points
Case Presentation - Therapeutic Intervention
Types of therapeutic interventions employed, administration of intervention, changes in therapy with explanations - 10 points
Due to the word limit if explanation for changes is not mentioned do not deduct points
Case Presentation - Follow-Up and Outcomes
Clinician- and patient-assessed outcomes if available, important follow-up diagnostic tests, intervention adherence and tolerability 5 points
Complications, adverse effects and unanticipated events 5 points
If follow up was not done, it should be mentioned - if not mentioned deduct 5 points. If this criterion sums up to less than 5 points, deduct only the points for this criterion.
Discussion and Conclusions
Strengths and limitations in your approach, the rationale for your conclusions but with no inference on the general population due to statistical weakness, take away lessons 10 points
If the conclusions are strongly stated and indicate inference deduct 8 points
The abstract shows a good grip of the case and therapeutic interventions 10 points
Word count more than 350 - deduct all points
Relevance and uniqueness of the case. Does it bring anything new to the literature?

Abstract Structure

The presentation type should be selected during the submission process. The Scientific Department reserves the right to change the Oral presentations to Poster presentations, with prior notification of the presenting author through email according to the availability of the Scientific Programme and the results of abstract evaluation by the specialists in the scientific committee.

All abstracts must have up to 300 words (the only exception being the abstracts for the Debate Competition, in which case the limit is 600 words) and respect one of the following structures:

CASE REPORT

  • Introduction:   this includes the purpose of the presentation and general data about the patient's pathology: informative data aiming at reminding the notions of embryology, anatomy, physiology;
  • Case Presentation:  case presentation, differential diagnosis, presumptive and definitive diagnosis, pathophysiology, treatment/management and the patient’s evolution;
  • Conclusion:   the conclusion should emphasise the learning points and particularities of the case;
  • Keywords.

ORIGINAL STUDY/ COHORT STUDY/ CLINICAL STUDY

  • Introduction:  it should present the background of the work that has been carried out and should lead to a clearly stated hypothesis or set of objectives;
  • Materials & Methods:  the researcher should specify exactly what was done experimentally and what experimental techniques were used;
  • Results:  authors should consider how to present their data. There should be sufficient information for the reader to understand the obtained results, but they should be summarised;
  • Limitations:  in this section, you should present the eventual shortcomings of your study and how they can be improved in the future;
  • Conclusion:  has to be based on the presented facts and should be limited to minimal speculation about the significance of the work;
  • Keywords.

REVIEW/ META-ANALYSIS

  • Introduction: a brief presentation of what is known about the subject under discussion and what is the primary aim of the review/meta-analysis;
  • Materials & Methods:
    • Review: you should specify information related to the sources you used, search terms, inclusion criteria for articles, the period from the oldest study to the most recent one and other information related to data selection;
    • Meta-analysis: you should specify information related to the sources you used, inclusion/ exclusion criteria for patients, distribution in subgroups, the period from the oldest study to the most recent one, variables taken into account and how the raw data was processed and interpreted;
  • Results: include the number of articles analysed in the paper and the number of articles selected. Each of the ideas presented in the "Results" section must be consistent with those in "Materials and Methods". The actual real data collected from the articles that are linked to the conclusions are summarised here. Present the assessment of risk of bias for each included study. Also, this section of the abstract should not contain tables or diagrams;
  • Conclusion: the conclusions have to be based on the presented facts and should be limited to minimal speculation about the significance of the work;
  • Keywords;
  • References (only for Reviews): in order for a review to be eligible as a scientific paper in SURGICON 2023 Congress you must provide the references that you used (at least 10 articles published in peer-reviewed journals included in the data).

SCIENTIFIC DEBATE SESSIONS

  • Introduction: a general presentation of the subject of debate and stating the 2 arguments of your team and the methods you used to research them.
  • Argument 1 and 2: you must present each argument, outlining the most important points, the details remaining to be discussed during your presentation.
  • Conclusion: summary of the most important point in both arguments and your general view on the technique that you are trying to convey as a team.
  • Keywords.

Oral Presentation

The oral presentation should be clear, concise, coherent (following a logical line of presentation), non-redundant, non-contradictory. Each session has a jury, consisting of acknowledged physicians in the specific field.

This year, all oral presentations will be held onsite.

Rules

  • Presenting time: 7 minutes with 3 minutes of questions and discussions; any extension beyond this time limit will result in a subtraction of points from the final score;
  • Labelling: images and graphs have to be clear, with labels explaining each item in the graph. Each image and graph will have a number and title, centered and placed under each figure.
  • Tables: if used they should have a centered title placed either above or below the table.
  • Personal data protection: it is widely accepted that the identity of the patient or the information that allows his/her identification should not be disclosed. The most frequent ways to avoid disclosure of personal data is to cover the name, address or distinctive characters with a black band or blur effect. For pictures showing the face of the patient, cover the eyes with a black band or use a blur effect.
  • Speech: the presenting author must speak freely; any written support except the actual presentation is forbidden;
  • Delivery: the presenting author must deliver his/her oral presentation in English; no other language is accepted.

Tips and tricks

The following guidelines are meant to be considered recommendations from the Scientific Department of SURGICON and by no means are they compulsory or will hinder your presentation if not followed. We strongly encourage originality and new approaches, but we prefer to give active participants a strong base.

  • Animations  are attractive, but try to avoid overusing them.
  • Fonts need to be visible. The title of the presentation should be at least 30 and the body text of the slide should be at least 20. Sans serif (e.g. Arial, Helvetica, Calibri) fonts are generally best suited for PowerPoint presentations.
  • Bullet points should be kept at a maximum of 3-4 per slide. It is advisable to split a loaded slide into 2 different slides.
  • The colour scheme should have a light background and dark text to assure a good level of contrast and make the text easy to read.

Recommended structure

  • Title of the presentation, name of the presenting author, co-author(s) and scientific coordinator(s) (first slide)
  • Introduction (1-2 slides)
  • Table of contents (1 slide)
  • Intermediate slides (10-15 slides)
  • Conclusion (1-2 slides)
  • References (1 slide)

Poster presentation

For this year's edition, the Poster Section of the Student Scientific Competition will be held onsite. The posters will be displayed at the main scientific venue and in the designated section of our website the entire duration of our congress.

A poster is a document which can synthetically communicate the results of one’s scientific work. Participants should keep in mind that they have 5 minutes for presenting their posters, so it is recommended to make presentations as synthetic as possible.

How to register for the Poster section of the Scientific Competition?

  • Send your abstract and select your preference for the Poster Competition of the Scientific Competition.
  • After you receive an email that your abstract has been accepted for the Poster Competition, you must send the e-poster in .jpeg, .jpg, .pdf format to scientific@surgicon.ro until 20th of October.

The posters will be posted in the designated section of our website the entire duration of our congress. The participants will have the opportunity to vote their favourite presenting author, deciding thus the winner of this section.

Rules

  • Presentation time:  5 minutes.
  • Labelling:  images and graphs have to be clear, with labels explaining each item in the graph. Each image and graph will have a number and title, centered and placed under that figure.
  • Tables: if used they should have a centered title placed either above or below the table.
  • Personal data protection: it is widely accepted that the identity of the patient or the information that allows his/her identification should not be disclosed. The most frequent ways to avoid disclosure of personal data is to cover the name, address or distinctive characters with a black band or blur effect. For pictures showing the face of the patient, cover the eyes with a black band or use a blur effect.
  • All posters must have one page only.

Tips and tricks

The following guidelines are meant to be considered recommendations from the Scientific Department of SURGICON 2023 and by no means are they compulsory or will hinder your presentation if not followed. We strongly encourage originality and new approaches, but we prefer to give those less experimented active participants a strong base.

  • Size: Choose a poster size of either A0 portrait, or A1 landscape.
  • Colours: Choose a colour scheme of 2-3 colours and use it consistently. If you use too many colours, the reader will assume you used these colours for a reason. Too many colours can also weaken the message of the illustrations.
  • Font Dimension: The posters should be easy to read from a distance of about two meters. The font size can be as follows: 85pt for the title, 36–44pt for the headers, and 24–34pt for the body text. These dimensions are not mandatory.
  • Font Style: Sans serif (Arial, Helvetica, Calibri) fonts are generally best suited for this type of visual presentations, as they can be easily read from a distance as well.
  • Frames: If you decide to use the borders, make sure you leave enough space between the content and the border itself.
  • Highlights: Use the highlight technique with moderation. You have the right to highlight the text using bold or italic, but do not underline as it reduces readability.

Debate Competition

As a doctor, one of the most important skills to have is guiding your patients to the right treatment for their needs. To do this, you need to show confidence, bring sensible arguments for your decision and present everything as clearly as possible in a short time. All of these qualities sound more like the arsenal of a public speaker or a debater than a doctor, but debating ideas and convincing people is the everyday hustle of all medical professionals.

SURGICON is the place where young minds come to discuss ideas, share experiences and form networks. In the spirit of this belief, we are hosting one Scientific Debate Competition. This section presents the opportunity to put face-to-face two different techniques in order to compare them or weigh the PROs and CONs of a surgical treatment.

What happens during a Debate Competition?

There will be a moderator who will host the event and give the participants the right to speak. The moderator is also going to present a background story, an introduction or a short description of what is going to be discussed in order to set the status quo.

There will be 4 active participants per session grouped into 2 teams - each team presenting arguments for a different side.

They will take turns presenting their arguments (team A – team B – team A – team B). Each participant has 7 minutes to present their idea/argument and 3 more minutes to answer questions from the public and the opposing team. After all the participants present their arguments there will be a general round of questions that members from both teams will have to answer, regarding comparisons between the 2 presented techniques and particular situations in which one of them can prove to be more or less beneficial than the other.

In the end, one team will be selected as the winner by the jury and the public will vote for the best speaker who will be awarded a separate prize.

How do I submit the abstract for the Debate Competition?

In order to join the Debate Competition, you must find a friend and register on our website as active participants. Both of you should register an abstract of no more than 600 words, describing the arguments and ideas you are going to present. In the Abstract submission form, both teammates must be mentioned by their full-name and in the order in which they will be presenting.

In the abstract, you must present the side you chose and the 2 arguments that will be the basis of your presentation. For more details regarding the required structure of the abstract please see the ‘’Abstract Guidelines’’ tab.

Rules

  • Presentation:  all active participants are required to have a PowerPoint presentation to enhance their discourse or to better highlight their data.
  • Duration:  each participant has 7 minutes for their speech; if you pass your allocated time with more than 30 seconds, the moderator will stop the presentation.
  • Questions:  all questions addressed by an active participant should be related to the medical data and should not be considered by any member of the jury or the moderator a direct attack to another active participant. If so, the organisers reserve the right to act accordingly and apply whatever penalties they see fit.
  • Template:  all active participants in the Debate Competition are required to use the template given by the SURGICON Scientific Department via email.

Tips and tricks

  • Remember that in a debate match you are not trying to prove that you are right, you are trying to persuade your audience.
  • Active participants and the audience are free to ask questions – the moderator can ask you to speed it up if you are taking too long.
  • You are free to decide how you are going to envision your presentation together with your teammate; we recommend that the first speaker presents the stronger argument, while the second is going to present another argument and draw a conclusion from what has been showcased by your team.
  • Remember, you are a team, you want to have a central idea that both of your presentations will cover. That idea should be the minimum with which any person in the room should leave after your presentations.