Concise, informative, convenient: ePoster presenters applaud new format
A virtual reconfiguration to an Optometry’s Meeting® staple fostered greater participation and elevated the profession’s engagement in optometric research, factors fueling the AOA’s current call for abstracts.
Clinicians, faculty and optometry students are encouraged to submit abstracts of interesting case reports and unique optometric research for consideration in the AOA’s ePoster Sessions, a hybrid research showcase happening both prior to and during Optometry’s Meeting in Washington, D.C. But do so quickly as all poster abstracts must be submitted electronically and received by Monday, Feb. 13.
Last year, the AOA reconfigured its traditional poster session into a hybrid engagement opportunity that leveraged the AOA EyeLearn Professional Development Hub for greater participation and visibility of presenters’ work. Erik Mothersbaugh, O.D., ePoster Session moderator and liaison, says the format drew a record number of submissions and participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
“These virtual sessions were concise and informative,” Dr. Mothersbaugh says. “It was especially rewarding to see so many students and new doctors participate with the support of their mentors—really a phenomenal opportunity to build their presentation skills with a national audience.”
Building on the resounding success of 2022, the AOA ePoster Sessions return this year with a virtual component hosted on AOA EyeLearn, June 13-14, followed by a Top-5 Posters continuing education (CE) session at Optometry’s Meeting, on Saturday, June 24, from 1-3 p.m.
“Whether you’re working on a research project or have a cool case you want to share, the AOA would love to showcase the amazing things our members are up to,” Dr. Mothersbaugh adds. “This is a great format to get exposure for your work and connect with colleagues who have similar interests.”
View all the presentations from last year’s AOA ePoster Sessions on-demand at AOA EyeLearn.
The AOA caught up with several presenters from last year’s novel format to get their take on the ePoster Sessions and the importance of highlighting optometric research.
Kevin Chan, O.D., presented the poster, “Assessing Effectiveness of a Clinical Algorithm for Myopia Progression (CAMP) Treatment Strategy in Real-World Practice Settings.”
Lynn Greenspan, O.D., whose poster, “The Effects of Long-Haul COVID-19 on Vision; Similarities to Post-Concussion Vision Symptoms and Findings,” was selected for the Top-5 Posters CE at Optometry’s Meeting in Chicago.
Araba Otoo, O.D., presented a pair of posters, “The Role of Gas Permeable Contact Lenses in the Management of Pathological Myopia,” and “Vision Tales: An Intersection of Art, Public Health and Optometry to Improve Visual Health Literacy.”
Drs. Chan and Otoo, both of you presented significant posters at last year’s AOA ePoster Session. What intrigued you most about the AOA’s ePoster Session and what motivated you to present last year?
Dr. Chan: With the rapid development of clinical research, I think that having the ePoster Session held by the AOA has provided practitioners and clinicians a one-stop opportunity for a comprehensive glimpse of what highlighted topics are considered clinically important and relevant in optometry today. The ePoster format was very intuitive and effective in sharing ideas with a large group audience. The attendees had the flexibility to sign up for topics of interest and attend the sessions in a rapid-fire format. As a presenter last year, I was motivated and honored to share key, three-year retrospective findings of how to strategize treatment modalities for myopia management. Attendees and peers found the ePoster Sessions more practical in this virtual, roundtable setting.
Dr. Otoo: The session was open to all, irrespective of their stage in the profession, and the allowable topics were broad. These were both motivational factors that led to our abstract submissions and subsequent presentations on a clinical case, as well as my work intersecting public health and optometry.
Speaking of that virtual format, how do the ePoster Sessions—hosted on the AOA EyeLearn Professional Development Hub—help facilitate a greater conversation and awareness for these clinical topics? Dr. Greenspan, you also presented at last year’s ePoster Session; what is your opinion here?
“It isn’t rare if it’s in your chair,” is the saying that comes immediately to mind. We can all think of our top-5 cases, the ones that challenged us, stumped us, made us call our colleagues, made us call the patient several times—it goes on and on. What did we learn from that case? Shouldn’t we share it with others? One case doesn’t always make the headlines in large journals, but here is an opportunity to highlight an individual patient case with unique comorbidities or rare diagnoses that affect the visual system. Sometimes it only takes a small number of cases to begin shining a spotlight of awareness on a troublesome health care or vision condition.
Drs. Otoo and Chan, do you care to elaborate on what Dr. Greenspan shared, about why these kinds of clinical conversations are so important?
Dr. Otoo: I find value in the process of making a poster, where I refer to notes, relearn what I have forgotten and research to find the most up-to-date material, so that I can adequately inform an audience or converse with a knowledgeable expert. Poster sessions serve as grounds for content sharing that can set off ideas on how to address optometric problems and consequentially advance the profession.
Dr. Chan: There has long been a misconception that doing posters or research is largely limited and relevant to researchers only. That said, I think it is equally important for clinicians to get exposure to clinical research and bring the latest technological advances back to the chairside for patients. In fact, for clinicians, sharing posters and disseminating new ideas is the most direct route to stay engaged with the optometric research community. I was grateful to have the opportunity to share tailored treatment approaches for pediatric myopia care that yielded greater than 78% success! For me, it is one of the most rewarding experiences that I can directly bring the research insight and share how it can benefit our patients.
Dr. Greenspan, why it is so important to present abstracts and research, especially with such an opportunity for mass engagement and participation as the AOA’s ePoster Sessions?
Abstracts and posters presented in the ePoster format allow more agile dissemination of information, which can introduce like-minded, potential researchers to each other and promote collaboration on future larger research studies. Optometric research is expanding rapidly and there are growing opportunities for collaborative studies on new devices, new techniques and for gathering normative data. The ePoster format allows for a wide variety of topics and creates a forum for discussion with the potential for future collaborative research opportunities.
In summary, Dr. Greenspan, what would you say to encourage your colleagues to submit an abstract and participate in the ePoster Sessions, June 13-14, on AOA EyeLearn?
Optometry students are accustomed to peer learning through regularly scheduled grand-rounds case presentations and clinical problem-solving sessions; however, after graduation these learning mechanisms become less readily available. The ePoster Sessions bring back that familiar learning medium and provide convenience and efficiency for both the presenter and the learner. The presenter performs all of the necessary investigative reading and writing on their presentation topic; they organize the information with unlimited edits, even up to the last minute before speaking, for the perfect teaching package. The ePoster delivery model removes stressors, too. The presenter who feels more secure speaking from their home office can speak comfortably with this virtual model. The learning also benefits from a time-efficient poster review session with the opportunity to view poster titles at their convenience, and to choose a poster session on their topic of interest. It’s also an ideal option for those with travel hesitations as it can be accessed remotely.
Have questions? Please contact AOA Education Center staff for further information.
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Get your research or case studies noticed. Submit an abstract!
Submit your abstract now for consideration in the AOA’s ePoster Sessions, a hybrid research showcase occurring prior to and during Optometry’s Meeting® in Washington, D.C. The deadline for submissions is Monday, Feb. 13.
Registration and housing for Optometry’s Meeting®, June 21-24, in Washington, D.C., are now open. See why doctors, paraoptometrics and optometry students can all benefit from the members’ meeting.