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Abstract Submission

Call for Abstracts

The Global Health and Surgery Student Alliance invites undergraduate and medical students, residents, and fellows to submit an abstract for presentation at the 2024 GSSA National Symposium on Saturday, April 27th at the Shalala Center at the University of Miami in Miami, FL. 


This meeting’s theme is Operating in an Uncertain World: responding to natural and man-made disasters. Anyone interested in the delivery of global medicine and surgery as well as improvements in health equity is invited to submit an abstract. Join us and help shape the program for the 2024 National GSSA Symposium!

Abstract submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis until at 11:59pm EST on February 4th, 2024. Abstracts will either be selected for poster or oral presentation. Presenting authors should expect to be notified within 1-2 weeks of submission with final decisions being made by February 19th, 2024. Judges will be present on the day of the symposium and winners will be selected from each category. Suggestions for abstract topics include but are not limited to:

  • Surgical techniques and innovations

  • Interventions in global surgery and/or medicine

  • Global medicine policy and oversight

  • Clinical care of special patient populations

  • Efficient and collaborative leadership

  • Global health workforce challenges

  • Intersection of surgery and global health


Abstract Guidelines

Abstracts must include a Title, a list of Authors and Affiliations, and the following sections:

  • Introduction (500 characters)

  • Methods (400 characters)

  • Results (750 characters)

  • Discussion/Conclusion (400 characters)


You will receive immediate confirmation of successful abstract submission. Please note that authors whose abstracts are accepted for presentation will be expected to attend the meeting and give their presentation.


Abstracts will be categorized into 5 main themes. Upon submitting your abstract, you will be asked to select 1-2 of the following themes that are most relevant to your research. Please see the list below for reference:

Primary Care Delivery 

  • Multidisciplinary Care and Care Transitions

  • Hospital, Community and Primary Care Services

  • Improvements in Care Delivery within the Community

  • Improving System Efficiency and Health Outcomes

  • Restructuring Care Delivery and Enhancing the Value of Care

  • Measuring and Evaluating Costs and Outcomes

  • Utilizing Health Care Information and Technology


Surgery and/or Natural Disaster Response

  • Surgical Techniques and Innovations

  • Global Surgery Advancements 

  • Effectiveness of Simulation Exercises in Surgical Education 

  • Improvements in Natural Disaster Response

  • Global Health Workforce Challenges

  • Intersections of Surgery and Global Health

  • Natural Disaster Response Education


Vulnerable Populations and Populations at Risk

  • Frail Elderly, Dementia and End of Life Care 

  • Children and Young People 

  • Mental Health Care 

  • Drug and Alcohol Users 

  • Refugee and Asylum Seekers 

  • Remote and Rural Populations 

  • Indigenous Communities, Ethnic and Racial Minorities


Population Health Management 

  • Inequalities and Social Determinants of Health

  • Improving Population Health Outcomes

  • Risk Stratification within Populations

  • Strategy Development, Partnerships & Leadership

  • Measuring & Evaluating Costs and Outcomes

  • Policy and Oversight Improvements 


Medical and Global Health Education 

  • Improving Communication and Teamwork Skills

  • Integration of Technology into Surgical Education

  • Education Programs that Address Local Health Disparities

  • Improvements in Health Literacy

  • Impact and Design of Health Promotion Programs 

  • Health Promotion and Disease prevention 

Example Abstract 

Title: One-on-one Care May Increase the Graduation Rates of Phase 2 Cardiac Rehabilitation

Authors: Brett M. Colbert BS [1]*, Rachael Chait BS [2], Julia Ossi BS [2], Eric Huang BS [2], Juilann Gilchrist MS [2], Thais Garcia DPT [3], Sharon Andrade-Bucknor MD, FACC [4]*

Affiliations: 1. Medical Scientist Training Program, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine; 2. University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine; 3. Department of Physical Therapy, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine; 4. Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiology Division, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine

Introduction: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is an effective way to prevent morbidity and mortality related to cardiac events. CR operates in a dose-dependent manner: the more sessions completed, the more benefit to the patient, with the greatest benefit coming from completing the 12 weeks of Phase 2 rehab. Yet completion rates are low, averaging between 20-30%. Institutional factors are known to influence completion rates. Here we leveraged institutional changes that occurred as a result of COVID-19 to assess the effect of group size on CR completion outcomes and six-minute walk test performance.

Methods: We utilized retrospective analysis of patients in CR during 17 months before and 17 months after COVID-19-related closure (March - May 2020) in the CR department of an academic center. Variables analyzed included 6-minute walk test (6MWT), completion rate, and patient-to-provider ratio.

Results: There were 204 patients pre-COVID-19 and 51 patients post-COVID-19. Patient characteristics and demographics were similar in the pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 groups. The change in 6MWT distance from baseline to after CR for patients who graduated pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 was equivalent (+377.9 ft. [n=47; SD, 275.67 ft.] vs. +346.9 ft. [n=38; SD, 196.27 ft.]; p=0.59). The completion rate was higher post-COVID-19 than pre-COVID-19 (75% vs. 21%; OR, 10.9 [95%CI, 5.3-21.3, p<0.0001]). There were fewer patients per provider post- COVID-19 compared to pre-COVID-19 (0.4 patients/provider [SD, 0.12] vs. 2.8 patients/provider [SD, 0.74]; p<0.0001).

Discussion/Conclusions: Graduating CR before or after COVID-19 did not influence the functional outcomes of graduates as measured by 6MWT. However, it did have an effect on the completion rate, with participants post-COVID-19 being more likely to complete the program. This may be attributable to the lower patient-to-provider ratio post-COVID-19. This suggests that a more personalized CR program results in better completion rates.





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