Olivia Reed, DO
RSO Vice President
Norman Regional- Oklahoma

Are you thinking about entering your first FOEM competition? Not sure how to take that first step? I understand. I remember scrolling through the FOEM website feeling a little intimidated by the idea of entering a national competition. However, don’t let those first time jitters stop you! In 2016, I walked away with a first place win as a first time competitor, and I’ve written this “how to” guide to help you as you enter your first FOEM case study poster competition.

#1: Read the competition guidelines & ENTER:   

  • FOEM has created an exceedingly user friendly website. Take advantage of this resource. It includes deadlines, and most importantly, examples.
  • The deadline for entry is January 31st, 2018. As part of your entry you will need to write an abstract about your case study in less than 500 words.

#2: Write an abstract:

  • Never written an abstract? Me either. I started by reading the abstracts of the previous FOEM winners, and it was the most helpful resource I found.
  • After reading previous abstracts you will be able to create an outline of your own. For example:
    • Title
    • Introduction (short summary of your case)
    • Case details
    • Discussion and Conclusion
  • This abstract will serve as your road map to creating your poster. Spend your time developing a solid abstract, and it will serve you well.  If your abstract is accepted into the competition you will be notified by March 1st, 2018.

#3: Create your poster:

  • Congratulations, your abstract was accepted! Now what? Go back to the FOEM website and study the previous winner’s posters. Pick out what you like from each poster.
  • Readability is the most important part of creating a poster. We all like to be flashy, but don’t let it come at the expense of your case.
    • Make sure that from every angle, and in every light, your poster is readable and not too crowded.
    • Use fonts that are easily followed. While Brush Script MT” is fun, it doesn’t make for a quick read.
  • Graphics are a great addition to your poster, but they need to be high quality. Pay close attention to the detail. Are your graphics blurry and distorted?  Difficult to read graphics will distract from the content of your poster.

#4: Presenting your masterpiece:

  • Practice, Practice, Practice! If someone will listen to you talk about your case study, let them. Rehearsing your study and allowing others to ask you questions will help you refine your presentation, and anticipate questions the judges may have.  
  • If you are selected to present, make sure you arrive on time, dress professionally, and have fun presenting your hard work

A FOEM competition offers the opportunity to compete on a national platform and the chance to be published. By entering a FOEM competition you will build your resume, and gain invaluable experience. I hope you take advantage of this opportunity, as we miss all the chances we don’t take. Please feel free to reach out to me personally if I can provide you with any individual guidance.  

The deadline for the 2018 FOEM Case Study Poster Competion is January 31st! Submit your application here!

Click here to see a winning poster from the past!