Student Scientific Competition

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, 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 Organising Committee 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 emphasize 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 treatment or exposure during the study.

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, and the results will be summarized in accordance with the initial hypothesis. In order for a review to be eligible as a scientific paper in SURGICON 2020 Congress you must provide the references that you used (at least 10 articles published in peer-reviewed journals included in the data) by filling in the References section in the Abstract submission form. Failure to do so will result in your abstract not being considered eligible for the Scientific Competition.

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 2020 Congress you must provide the raw data and proof of the statistical work behind your paper by sending the proof of data analysis at scientific@surgicon.ro. Failure to do so will result in your abstract not being considered eligible for the Scientific Competition.

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 get an immediate certification or to test a hypothesis, but to assert qualities of clinical research and to provide some useful data to colleagues. It should describe a particular case useful for giving ideas for other research studies and should include a short introduction, patient data, symptoms/ problems and diagnosis, treatment plans (components, administration, results/ prognosis) and conclusions.

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, pathophysiology, treatment/ management and and the patient’s evolution;
  • Conclusion:  the conclusion should emphasize the learning points and particularities of the case;
  • Keywords.

ORIGINAL STUDY/ COHORT STUDY/ CLINICAL STUDY

  • Introduction:  the introduction should present the background to the work that has been carried out and should lead to a clearly stated hypothesis or set of objectives;
  • Materials & Methods:  in this field, 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 must be presented without details;
  • Limitations:  in this section, you should present the eventual shortcomings of your study and how they can be improved in the future;
  • Conclusion:  the conclusions have to be based on the facts in evidence and should be limited to minimal speculation about the significance of the work;
  • Keywords.

REVIEW/ META-ANALYSIS

  • Introduction: it is a brief presentation of what is known about the subject under discussion, what other articles say about this topic and what the primary target of the review is;
  • Materials & Methods:
    • Review: in this field, you should specify information related to your sources, search terms, inclusion criteria for articles, number of articles selected/ the number of articles analysed in the paper, the period from the oldest study to the most recent one and other information related to data selection;
    • Meta-analysis: in this field, you should specify information related to your sources, 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: 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 summarized here. Also, this section of the abstract should not contain tables or diagrams;
  • Conclusion: The conclusions have to be based on the facts in evidence 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 2020 Congress you must provide the references that you used (at least 10 articles published in peer-reviewed journals included in the data).

For the SCIENTIFIC DEBATE

  • Introduction: a general presentation of the subject of debate and stating the 2 arguments of your team and the methods you used to research for 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: a 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.

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.

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 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 blush 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 mean are they compulsory or will hinder your presentation if not followed. We strongly encourage originality and new approaches, but we prefer to give those unexperimented active participants a strong base.

  • Animations  are attractive, but try to avoid overusing them.
  • Fonts  need to be visible. The title of the presentation is usually at least 30 and the body text of the slide is at least 20. Sans serif (Arial, Helvetica, Calibri) fonts are generally best suited for PowerPoint presentations.
  • Bullet points  should be kept at a maximum of 3-4/ slide.
  • The colour scheme  should have an open background and dark text to keep the contrast and make the text easy to read.

Recommended structure:

  • Title of the presentation, name of the presenter and coordinators (first slide)
  • Introduction (1-2 slides)
  • Content (1 slide)
  • Intermediate slides (10-15 slides)
  • Conclusion (1-2 slides)
  • References (1 slide)

For this year's online edition, the Poster Section of the Student Scientific Competition will become an e-poster section during the congress. Abstracts selected for this category will be available electronically in the E-poster section of our website. Each e-poster will be accompanied by a 5 min presentation held by the presenting author. 

An e-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 e-poster section of the scientific competition?

  1. Send your abstract and select your preference for the Poster Competition of the Scientific Competition.
  2. 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 16th of October and a video presentation of your poster in format .mp4, .mpv, .mov, .avi with a duration of up to 5 minutes. 

The e-posters will be posted in the designated section of our website the entire duration of our congress October, 22nd - October, 25th. The presenting authors of the e-posters will have a chance to answer questions from the other participants during a dedicated slot with live Q&A and during which there will also be a public vote, that will decide the winners 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 e-posters must have one page only.

Tips and tricks

The following guidelines are meant to be considered recommendations from the Scientific Department of SURGICON 2020 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 with 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: As a reference, in the offline version of the congress, the posters should have been 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.

  • 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.

As a doctor, one of the most important skills to have is to guide your patients to the right treatment for their needs. In order to do this, you need to show confidence, bring sensible arguments for your decision and present everything as clearly as possible in a short period of 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 a Scientific Debate Competition, which will last one hour. This section presents the opportunity to put face-to-face two different techniques to compare them or weigh the PROs and CONs of a surgical treatment.

The topics for this year's online edition are:
1. Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele: Prenatal versus Postnatal Surgical Treatment (Team A: Prenatal, Team B: Postnatal).
2. Non-Life Saving Organ Transplantation in Young Patients - Hand Transplantation: PROs & CONs (Team A: PROs, Team B: CONs).

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 (technique A – B – A – 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.

At the end, one team will be selected as the winner by the jury and the public will vote for the best speaker which 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 comprised 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 technique you chose (A or B) 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 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 penalisations 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. Both teams will be given by the Scientific Committee of the congress a template to work on.

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.