Sharing research during COVID-19
Spring Pediatric Research Poster Session held virtuallyCristine Schmidt | Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute Sep 24, 2020
For more than a decade, pediatric residents, fellows and researchers have taken part in a “tradition”—the Pediatric Research Poster Session. Hosted by the Office of Medical Education in the Department of Pediatrics and the CCTSI, this session has always taken place at Children’s Hospital Colorado, featured lunch and provided opportunities for faculty and fellows to meet, exchange ideas and develop professional relationships.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the poster session this May made a dramatic pivot to take place completely online, and was held via Zoom for the first time ever.
Michael Baca, MHA in the Office of Medical Education took the lead in converting the session. “Residents and fellows have spent the past two years completing their research work and many of them were about to graduate. These physicians in training needed a platform to be able to display their work,” said Baca. “That was the drive for us to develop the poster session, to make sure residents and fellows were able to display their work in the pediatric community.”
There were two groups of presenters, fellows and residents, which were judged by a panel and had the opportunity to win recognition.
Researchers presented 106 posters via Zoom meetings. Twelve judges together awarded “the most outstanding poster” to residents in the categories of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
- 1st Year Honorable Mention - Jessica Kenny, MA
- 2nd Year Honorable Mention - Zachary Graff, MD
- 3rd Year Honorable Mention - Ryan Kammeyer, MD
Ten judges together awarded “the most outstanding poster” for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year fellows.
- 1st Year Fellow Poster Winner - Jennifer Day, MD
- 2nd Year Fellow Poster Winner - Rebecca Shay, MD
- 3rd Year Fellow Poster Winner - Ryan Fredericks, MD
Visitors were able to browse the posters on a new website and view as many as they wanted during the two-hour event. The website also featured the posters for one week after the event for those who were unable to attend the live session.
According to an evaluation conducted by the CU Denver Evaluation Center, though the poster session was virtual, users rated the experience as “above average.” Both the attendees and presenters were satisfied with the conference logistics, especially for submitting the posters on the website and the ease of registration. The majority of respondents also indicated their willingness to participate in other virtual poster sessions in the future.
Rebecca Shay, MD, winner of the 2nd Year Fellow Poster, said the online forum basically replicated the benefits of an in-person event. “I enjoyed the ability to review all of the posters online prior to the session in order to better understand the wonderful work occurring in our organization,” Shay said.
Planning and implementing the virtual session, however, was a challenging task-- especially since the success of a poster session relies on face-to-face interactions. At the end of the day, leaders from the CCTSI and the Department of Medicine decided it was better to provide an online opportunity than none at all.
“Having had other national conferences cancelled and losing the chance to collaborate and present my research, this was a nice opportunity to continue to get feedback and show my data at a local level,” said Zachary Graff, MD, 2nd Year Honorable Mention.
The next pediatric research poster session will take place on January 22, 2021—and will also be held virtually via Zoom. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for details on registration and more.