SOMA 2024

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Call for Labs, Presentations, Clinical Vignettes, and Research

    • The call for Labs, Presentations & Clinical Vignette submissions opened on September 8th. The deadline for submission for Labs is December 1, 2023.
    • The deadline for submission of Presentations & Clinical Vignettes is December 15, 2023.

    • The call for Research opened on October 2nd. The deadline for submission is December 15, 2023.

    • Our guidelines on how to submit a lab proposal, podium presentation, or clinical vignette will be posted soon.

The SOMA Program Committee is seeking high-quality submissions for labs, podium presentations, clinical vignettes in a variety of areas that address important medical challenges and issues, increase the knowledge and skills of SOF and civilian prehospital providers, and promote the development of new best practices and technologies for the following session types:

Labs:  SOMA is seeking high-quality lab submissions (educational and training programs) that enhance the skills and knowledge of SOF medics and those working in austere environments.  Submissions can be for skill levels that range from basic to advanced.  Please indicate your intended audience and recommended skill level for participation to maximize course participant experiences. 

Labs are educational/training programs that enhance the skills or provide certifications to a wide array of SOMA participants. This may include students that come from DoD, SOF, civilian, tactical, or international agencies with skill levels ranging from the medic to senior surgeons. Labs offer either a certification or CME/CE/CAPCE as specified in the published program.  Programs can also be designed and hosted by specific units for additional offsite training opportunities (for example Non-Trauma Module requirements and specialized certifications such as Advanced Burn Life Support or Advanced Hazmat Life Support). 

Presentation proposals: Podium Presentations or Clinical Vignettes

Podium presentations are categorized into the following educational tracks:

    • Austere Resuscitative Surgical Care: The ARSC track is seeking high-quality submissions about emergency resuscitative care within the austere environment. These presentations can include but are not limited to novel methods of surgical team implementation and integration, novel techniques adapted for austere environments, after-action reports related to high-profile events, new projects or developments in your ARSC unit, and strategic level overview of the ARSC units.  This is open to military and civilians working in this unique environment.  Submissions of relevant presentations accepted at other national meetings with our partners are also encouraged.

    • Human Performance and Resiliency: The HP track is seeking high-quality submissions that provide real-life examples and/or evidence-based reviews of technology, data, and best practices to optimize performance, reduce injuries, speed recovery times, and foster physical, mental, and emotional wellness.

    • International: The international track is seeking high-quality submissions pertaining to SOF medicine at all levels of care. Proposals are welcome from tactical/support medics (e.g. NSOCM/NSOMT, etc), physicians, and other personnel working in the SOF medicine environment.

    • Military Special Operations Forces: The MilSOF track is seeking high-quality submissions about military special operations medic forces both within US military and the international community. Submissions are encouraged from both active SOF medics and leaders in the field.  Submissions from the Operators and/or the battlefield end users, from across the Combatant Commands are highly encouraged.

    • Tactical Emergency Medical Services: The TEMS track is seeking high-quality submissions about emergency medical care within the civilian tactical environment. These presentations can include but are not limited to novel methods of TEMS delivery in the civilian world, after-action reports related to high-profile events, new projects or developments in your TEMS unit, an overview of the TEMS unit at your department including the command structure, one or two high profile “saves”, strengths, weaknesses, and overall design and delivery. Submissions of relevant presentations accepted at other national meetings with our partners are also encouraged.

  • Medical Support to Irregular Warfare (MSIW): The MSIW track is seeking high quality submissions about Medical Support to Irregular Warfare efforts both within the US military and international community at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.  Irregular warfare is defined as a form of warfare in which states and non-state actors campaign to assure or coerce other groups through indirect, non-attributable, or asymmetric activities (from Joint Publication 1, Vol 1, signed August 2023). IW activities, such as resistance operations, pose unique challenges to providing medical support that the joint force has not encountered in recent history.  This track is intended to help shift focus from the last two decades of counterterrorism operations and toward future conflict scenarios.  Areas of focus for this year are analysis, concept and strategy development, and medical support to IW activities vignettes, although submissions outside this focus will be considered.  Relevant submissions from individuals and organizations with applicable experience(s) are highly encouraged.

 Sub Tracks include:

Brain and Spine Health: Dedicated to exploring cutting-edge research, innovative techniques, and best practices for maintaining and improving brain and spine health in high-stress operational environments. This track brings together leading experts, medical professionals, and researchers to share knowledge, insights, and advancements in the field.

Field to Table (from the Good Idea to the Kit): The track is designed to discuss the basics of establishing a corporation to support the development of an innovative medical product, establish an understanding of the value of an innovative idea/product in the commercial space, and develop a plan to establish funding, protect intellectual property, and contract engineering during the development of an innovative product. Every attempt will be made to devoid this track of commercial interests and all participants will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Operational Health Engagement (OHE): The OHE track will highlight programs that establish, reconstitute, maintain, and improve capabilities through interactions between US military medics and those of a Partner Nation, in coordination with other U.S. organizations; and will demonstrate how building trust and confidence, coordinating mutual actions, maintaining influence, and achieving interoperability with Partner Nations support U.S. military strategy.

Call for Research

The SOMA Research Committee is seeking high-quality research with a near-term impact on our ability to provide forward medical care in future operating environments for SOMA 2024. The call for podium presentations and posters is open from October 2, 2023 – December 15, 2023.

Research Guidelines:

Abstract submissions will be considered for the following types of sessions:

    • Oral podium presentation (15-20 minutes)

    • Poster Submission

The SOMSA Research Track’s goal is to disseminate emerging and ongoing research initiatives, in addition to enabling scholarly collaboration among colleagues and members of prehospital/operational medicine.  The research needs to address important medical challenges and issues, increase the knowledge and skills of SOF and civilian prehospital providers, and promote the development of new best practices and technologies.

Medics and forward providers are encouraged to co-author/co-present relevant submissions, and preference will be given to submissions with medic collaborators. Studies in progress are welcome to submit abstracts, provided at least pilot and/or preliminary analyses are complete by May 2023.

In particular, we seek and strongly encourage abstract submissions addressing:

    • Research directly aimed at improvements in operational medicine procedures for special operations medic-operators or civilian first responders in austere, hostile, and/or contested environments.

    • Practice advancement (in particular, prolonged casualty care advancements/technologies and virtual health/telemedicine)

    • Research-driven training (in particular, using internet and social networking platforms, studies examining simulation vs live-tissue training, etc.)

    • Biomedical/engineering breakthroughs (in particular, proof-of-concept and/or nascent devices, technologies, pharmacotherapies, blood products, etc.)

    • Studies that advance our understanding and ability to build the resiliency of our tactical operators. 

Submission

There is no limit to the number of submissions per author. 

1. The abstract body may contain up to 2250 characters.  No figures, tables, images, or symbols may be used except <, >, = and the like.  The following components should be included:

    • Abstract Title

    • Introduction/Background

    • Methods

    • Results

    • Conclusion/Discussion

    • Track – Please select the track this research best aligns with:
      • MilSOF: The MilSOF Track is uniquely tailored to discussions and presentations of past, present, and possible future use of military special operations medic forces both within US military and international partners. Presenters and panel discussants encompass the full spectrum of active SOF medics to world renowned leaders in the field.
      • Human Performance: The Human Performance Track strives to bring together leaders from the fields of Strength and Conditioning, Sports Medicine, and Sports Nutrition in supporting the tactical athletes of special operations.  Learn how technology, data, and best practices are being used in the real world to optimize performance, reduce injuries, speed recovery times, and foster overall physical, mental, and emotional wellness.
      • TEMS: The Civilian Tactical EMS Track brings high yield information about emergency medical care within the civilian tactical environment. These presentations can include but are not limited to novel methods of TEMS delivery in the civilian world, after action reports related to high profile events, new projects or developments in civilian TEMS and most importantly meaningful conversations about the direction of this young and dynamically changing field. Previous submissions have included an in-depth look at national and international after-action reports such as the Tham Luang Cave rescue, the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, a look at the US Marshals SOG team, the 2020 police riots across the nation, a look into the United States Secret Service and much more.
      • ARSC: The Austere Resuscitative Surgical Care (ARSC) track represents those providing advanced emergency and surgical resuscitation outside of the normal surgical environment and with limited resources.  These presentations highlight the care, techniques and partnership between medics and physicians while in austere environments.  This capability has rapidly expanded over the past decade and now both military and civilian providers are supporting operations in remote areas outside of normal evacuation timelines. 
      • International: The International track provides a forum for presentations and discussion on topics relevant to the international SOF medical community. Presenters will include tactical medical personnel such as NATO SOCM’s and SOMT’s, physicians, and other experts in the field.

2. For all author(s) please provide rank, name, credentials, position, organization, city, state, country.

3. Please complete the disclosure and release tab and provide acknowledgements of funding, prior presentations, conflicts of interest, any scientific or ethical oversight and recording consent. 

4. Preference for oral presentation, poster presentation, or either. 

Poster presentations are less formal, but notless rigorous or substantive, than oral presentations.  Rather than delivering an address before an assembled audience, poster authors present their work interactively to small groups of interested people with the aid of a visual display that summarizes research findings or information presented.  Posters are displayed in a central location so that attendees can peruse the posters and converse with the authors.  Poster presenters will receive presentation guidelines to help best display their research.  

Submissions must adhere to the following guidelines:

    • “Expert panels” or consensus-based approaches to SOF medicine are ineligible for consideration as research.  

    • If the study device is not already on the market, the abstract must include a clear plan for FDA approval within the next 2 years and how the device will be affordable by the military. 

    • The abstract must clearly state how their study is applicable to the Role 1 phase of care. 

    • Animal studies may be selected for podium presentation on a select basis and limited to large animal models only.

Selection

The Research Committee will evaluate an abstract’s relevance and value to SOMA target audiences as well as the source, depth, and quality of the content represented using these criteria:

1.  RELEVANCE:  Contribution to Special Operations Medicine

2.  CLARITY:  Clarity of the study question/hypothesis/objective

3.  STRENGTH:  Strength of the study design

4.  DATA ANALYSIS:  Appropriateness of the data analysis

5.  RESULTS:  Explanation of results and analysis

6.  CONCLUSIONS:  Consistency of conclusions with the results

7.  QUALITY:  Literary quality

Final abstract selection for the 2023 program will be made by mid-January.  Authors will be notified about the status of their abstract(s) via email shortly thereafter. 

Awards

Awards will be presented during the assembly to both the best overall oral and poster presentations and to the best oral and poster presentations submitted/presented by a SOF operator as judged by a review committee onsite.

How do I submit my abstract?

If you are new to the SOMA submission site, Catalyst, you must create an account. If you submitted a proposal for SOMA 2023, please log in with your credentials.  

Questions? Please contact SOMA Staff at [email protected].