Want to Present at a Conference? Listen to this

Going to my first APTA CSM as a student physical therapist was one of the coolest experiences ever.  It’s where I realized just how big & powerful the physical therapy profession is.  Perhaps coolest of all, it’s where I truly discovered oncology physical therapy for the first time – I truly wouldn’t be here without CSM.

While we didn’t get the chance to present at CSM this year, we’re definitely looking forward to attending & presenting next year.  So I turned to some 2023 presenters for some needed advice:

Meredith Stutz & Naomi Klingbeil are STUDENT PHYSICAL THERAPISTS & presented at APTA-CSM 2023 on their experience with the APTA Oncology Student & New Professional Mentorship Program.  They shared the behind-the-scenes of proposing, preparing, & presenting their very first CSM session, plus what they recommend for your future proposals.

Preparing a CSM session is a long-term commitment

Proposals are typically due just a couple weeks after CSM is over.  This means you have to know what you want to present on, who you want to present with, & more very quickly.  However, you don’t have to have a complete presentation in order to submit a proposal.

Truly, you just need the following info to submit a proposal:

  • Title, description, learning objectives
  • References, timed outline
  • Speaker info & bio

There’s a couple other things you’ll need like disclosure statements & recommended content level, but you can check out the details here.

Lots of doors open up when you present at CSM

Presenting at a conference can be a great way to open up doors for you professionally. It provides an opportunity to showcase your expertise and knowledge in front of a diverse group of professionals in your field. By sharing your ideas and insights, you can demonstrate your value and potentially attract new clients or collaborators. Additionally, conferences often provide networking opportunities that can lead to new connections and partnerships. 

Presenting at a conference can also enhance your reputation and credibility within your industry, potentially leading to new job opportunities or promotions. Overall, presenting at a conference can be a valuable experience that can help you advance your career and expand your professional network.  Who knows: you might end up speaking on TheOncoPT Podcast someday!

It’s Okay to Say “I’m Not Sure”

As I mentioned in our interview, I am so excited about our CSM 2024 presentation, but the thought of the audience Q&A portion scares the pants off me.  However, it shouldn’t scare you away from throwing your hat into the ring.  

Meredith & Naomi spoke about how there were definitely questions they didn’t know the answers to during the audience Q&A.  However, it is perfectly okay to not know the answer.  Don’t be afraid to say “you know, I’m not sure, but I can reach out when I have that information.”  

Especially as early career PT, we’re not expected to know all the information.  You don’t have to be an expert to present at CSM.  We need you & your experience!  So if you’re excited & interested about presenting at CSM or other conferences, get out there & submit.   

Mentorship is totally available to help you accomplish your career goals:

Learn more information about the APTA Oncology Student & New Professional Mentorship program here.

Want to present at APTA-CSM?

The APTA-CSM 2024 proposal deadline has been extended to 11:59pm Pacific Time on March 31, 2023 for sessions.  

Posters & platform proposals are due by 11:59pm Pacific Time on July 17, 2023.

For more info or for future CSM dates, check out APTA’s website.

Until next time, this is Elise with TheOncoPT. And remember you are exactly the physical therapist that your patients with cancer need. So let’s get to work.

About Meredith Stutz, SPT

Meredith is a current 3rd year physical therapy student at Duke University and will be graduating this May. Following graduation, Meredith will go on to be the next oncology physical therapy resident at The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at The Ohio State University. Meredith is the current Co-Director of Mentorship through the APTA Oncology Student and New Professional Subcommittee as well as Co-Chair of the APTA Oncology Mentorship Program. Outside of school, Meredith enjoys spending time with friends, family, her dog Josie and her fiancé Jared!

About Naomi Klingbeil, SPT

Naomi Klingbeil is a 3rd year Doctor of Physical Therapy Student at Duke University. She served as the co-director of the Oncology Student Interest Group at Duke DPT and as the Director of Membership for the APTA Oncology Student and New Professional Subcommittee. She is passionate about pediatric and AYA oncology rehabilitation.

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