Each year, the UMD dietetic interns are tasked with creating an abstract poster related to a project completed during the internship. These posters are then presented at various professional gatherings and workshops in the spring. These abstract poster sessions ended up being a great way for me to practice my public speaking skills and network with health professionals in the DC/Maryland area.
After completing my rotation at USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), I chose to write my abstract about the research I had conducted on “Mommy Bloggers” and how they can be of use to dietitians. For some background information on my abstract, see the infographic below. To read my full abstract related to “Mommy Bloggers”, check out my internship portfolio.
Although writing an abstract may seem daunting at first, choosing a topic you are truly passionate about will make things easier and more enjoyable in the long run. My internship director helped me with every step along the way to ensure that the final poster was the best it could be. In addition to the help from my internship director, my technology preceptors taught me about the relationship between the design and organization of a poster and its success among peers. Abstract posters should be clean, professional, and eye-catching in order to grab the reader’s attention.
I have unquestionably gotten a lot of use out of my poster these past few weeks. On April 10, I had the opportunity to participate in the abstract poster session at the District of Columbia Metropolitan Association of Nutrition and Dietetics (DCMAND) annual meeting. This year’s meeting focused on Evolution or Revolution and facilitating change in nutrition practice. I even got a shout out from the first speaker, Priyank Shah PhD, for my innovative “Mommy Blogger” abstract! After Dr. Shah’s speech, I had numerous people come up to my poster asking questions. This experience taught me it is extremely important to be knowledgeable about the topic you choose to research in order to better explain the abstract to other health professionals at the poster sessions.
Last week, I attended the Maryland Dietetics in Health Care Communities (MD-DHCC) spring workshop and had the opportunity to network with a wide array of healthcare professionals from long-term care facilities in the state of Maryland. At this meeting I was invited to present my abstract, MOMMY BLOGGER: A Powerful Tech Tool for Dietitians Targeting Moms, for over 150 attendees at the workshop.
Creating an abstract poster with the help of my internship director and preceptors helped me become more comfortable putting together presentations for other Registered Dietitians and members of the healthcare team. I now feel confident enough to write abstracts all on my own and have even submitted an abstract up for consideration at this year’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Nashville, TN.