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Getting Started: Follow These Steps to Craft an Excellent Abstract

Dhruvil Radadiya, MD, is a GI fellow at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He did his internal medicine residency at East Tennessee State University and wishes to pursue a career in advanced endoscopy. Dr. Radadiya has been actively involved in clinical outcomes research and systemic reviews in gastroenterology, and has peer-reviewed many high-impact GI journals. His research interests include the outcomes of endoscopic procedures in GI bleeding, Barrett’s esophagus and pancreaticobiliary disorders. Dr. Radadiya is passionate about the application of a particular branch of artificial intelligence — machine-learning in predicting inpatient health care outcomes. Find him on Twitter @DRadadiyaMD.


Dhruvil Radadiya, MD

Starting your abstract submission for Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) 2023 can be a daunting task, especially if this is your first time. Before you even begin to write, you need to carefully consider your topic and audience. I’ve outlined six steps to follow to help you craft an abstract that will be accepted to DDW. Don’t forget to set a reminder for the submission deadline — abstracts are due Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.

Step 1: Identify your target audiences. While DDW attendees are your ultimate target audience, you should first consider the review committee’s point of view while preparing the abstract. Before you draft your abstract, consider what will appeal to the experts reviewing your abstract.

Step 2: Choose a topic in which you are an expert or have a different viewpoint. DDW offers scientific a variety of abstract categories. When picking an abstract topic, choose the area that most closely relates to your work.

Step 3: Pose a good clinical question encountered in routine clinical care. Your abstract should pose a clinical or basic science question in a simple manner that attendees or reviewers can relate to. In the body of the abstract, elaborate on how your research solves or identifies a potential fix for that question. Most reviewers are looking for topics or research that explores and answers to persistent challenges in the field.

Step 4: Present an original idea or a different take on previous work. Reviewers are looking for new ideas and hot topics in the field where there is more speculation and less data to accept or refute a particular treatment or intervention. You can review the previous year’s abstracts to gauge popular topics from last year and try to predict what will be novel this year. Abstracts that were accepted for DDW 2022 are available to read in online supplements to Gastroenterology and GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Step 5: Prepare informative content rather than promotional. Write the abstract in a scientific manner without overselling your research. Consider how your research will help to inspire new ideas in the field. Provide clear takeaways from your work.

Step 6: Seek feedback. You can easily find colleagues or mentors who have submitted many abstracts to DDW over the years and know what reviewers are looking for. Once you have a draft complete, you should reach out to them and see if they can spot a mistake you might be overlooking.

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