CMEpalooza Limericks

Since haikus are so yesterday…

While we await your submissions
You should know there are conditions
Meet today’s deadline
And you’ll be just fine
Don’t ask for special provisions

And for those old schoolers…

There once was a man from Nantucket
Said: “CMEpalooza? Got it!
When are abstracts due?
Today?! Had no clue!
I guess I need to get right on it!”



CMEpalooza Spring’s Second Gold Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Decisions, Inc.

We’re thrilled to announce the second Gold-level sponsor for CMEpalooza Spring, Intelligent Medical Decisions, Inc. They join our previously announced gold sponsor, ArcheMedX, both as top-level sponsors of our spring event as well as new sponsors to CMEpalooza in general. You can get all of the details about Intelligent Medical Decisions, Inc., along with the other current sponsors of CMEpalooza Spring, on our Sponsors page. It’s already a great cross-section of the CME community.

Because of the perks that come with a gold-level sponsorship of our event (namely, the ability to work with Derek and I to develop a specially sponsored session), we are putting the lid on the top level of sponsorship for CMEpalooza Spring. So if it’s something you were considering for the Spring, well, talk to us and we’ll see what we can creatively come up with. Or lock in a gold-level sponsorship for the Fall, which is definitely still available. Lower tiers of sponsorship (Silver and Bronze) are both still available as well for the Spring event.

Stay tuned in the next few days for information about more sponsors of CMEpalooza. If it’s something you are considering, this is a great time to climb aboard. With the abstract selection process opening up in mere hours, we expect a lot of traffic on the CMEpalooza website (and hence, widespread exposure to the CME community).

If you are interested in joining as a sponsor of CMEpalooza Spring or Fall (or both), you can get all of the information on the Sponsor tab of our website.


You Got a Question? I Might Have an Answer

With the clock ticking toward the deadline for submission of CMEpalooza Spring abstracts (it’s Friday, in case you just crawled out from under a snowball), Derek and I have been fielding a veritable barrage of questions (at least 5) from interested parties. To make it easier on everyone, here are some rapid-fire responses:

When is CMEpalooza Spring again?

Wednesday, April 8. Starts at 9 a.m. ET, ends at 5 p.m. ET.

How do I submit an abstract?

Click here for the online submission form

Is (insert your idea here) a good idea for a proposed session?

That’s really not our call. We are not determining the agenda (more on that below). If you think your proposed session is going to be of interest to the broader CME community, then it is probably a good idea. If you don’t, it probably isn’t. This ain’t rocket science.

So wait, if you two aren’t deciding which sessions are approved, who is?

Everyone else. Once the abstract submission closes on Friday, we’ll be putting up descriptions of each proposed session on the CMEpalooza website and allowing everyone to vote for their favorite 5 sessions. The voting window will last for 1 week. The sessions that get the most votes will be included in the Spring lineup. It’s as simple as that.

C’mon, you don’t expect me to believe that you two are going to manipulate the results. 

This isn’t Stalin-era Russia. CMEpalooza is a Democracy. Power to the people.

Can’t you just tell me if you like my idea?




OK, fine. But do you have any general suggestions?

I suppose we’ll allow that.

1. Creativity with content and organization of your proposed session is STRONGLY encouraged. While we are not disallowing any proposed session or design, obviously, we’d love sessions that are interesting, fresh, and engaging.

2. Co-presenters are welcome and encouraged. You can have up to four co-presenters, in addition to yourself.

3. Use the abstract submission form to sell your idea. You are going to need to attract the mouse clicks of our community, so feel free to use really cool marketing language in your proposal. We’re not going to be editing these unless your spelling and grammar is really egregious.

Thanks. So if I follow those suggestions, will you approve my session?

I will hurt you.

Announcing ArcheMedX (Gold) & CMEology (Bronze) as First CMEpalooza Spring Sponsors

Despite the pending snowpocalypse in the northeast corridor of the country, CMEpalooza rolls on! We’re delighted to announce our first two sponsors for CMEpalooza Spring: CMEology, a bronze sponsor and returning sponsor from the Fall palooza; and ArcheMedX, a newcomer who I’m thrilled to announce will be a gold sponsor.

We will be working with ArcheMedX over the next few weeks to put together a lunchtime session for CMEpalooza Spring and will announce the details once they are finalized. I encourage you to visit our Sponsors page and check out the videos for both CMEology (Estimating Health Care Cost Savings from an Educational Intervention to Prevent Bleeding-Related Complications: The Outcomes Impact Analysis Model) and ArcheMedX (Natural Learning Actions Explanatory Video for CE Professionals). Interesting stuff from both!

Anyone interested in joining these two as a sponsor of CMEpalooza Spring or Fall (or both) can get all of the information on the Sponsor tab of our website.

Also, a reminder that abstracts for CMEpalooza Spring are due on Friday. Go submit now!

CMEpalooza Spring Wants You!





Yes, I know the paper I’m holding says “CMEpalooza Fall”; just work with me here. It’s all I had when I was forced against my will to enter the PlatformQ photo booth at the Alliance conference last week (Lies. I entered willingly. Scott refused and I think we’re all the better for it.) Anyhoo, happy Friday y’all! (Philadelphians, that’s Texan for “youse”. Pittsburghians, “yinz”.) You have one week to submit an abstract for CMEpalooza Spring. One of us may have told a few people the due date was January 31 when, in fact, it is actually January 30. I don’t think it’s important to dwell on the details of which one of us screwed up (hint: his name rhymes with Eric Yornick), but here is the link for submitting. Go do it now!





Grinding the Creative Gears

It was the last session of the day at last week’s ACEHP conference, deep in the early evening as the clock ticked toward 7 p.m. Maybe 15, maybe 20 people were in the room. Everyone else? Maybe at the bar, maybe in their rooms, maybe even already eating dinner.

Yet for the small group of us who stuck it out (I’m no hero here, by the way. I napped from 3-4 p.m. thank you very much), it was about as energizing a dynamic as you’ll find at a live conference. People from different professional sectors within CE — providers and grantors, writers and accreditation specialists, it really ran the gamut — talking through common case study scenarios. Everyone offered their input and viewpoints, running through the pros and cons of the tough decisions that need to be made every day in our world.

No one in the room was looking at their phones or checking their emails. They were all in the moment.

It’s what education is all about. While there are certainly other outstanding sessions each year at the annual Alliance conference (including my annual favorite session with Carol Havens, who controls a room like few other speakers I have ever seen), it’s the real-life discussions that make the education resonate. It’s what we strive for as professional educators — how can we reach learners in a manner that will really matter to them in their day-to-day world of patient care?

And it’s exactly the type of thing we’re striving for with CMEpalooza.

Admittedly, we’re taking a chance with our approach for the spring extravaganza. The program is only going to be as good as the abstracts that come our way. Derek and I have been poking and prodding to try to get people to think creatively, and yes, there are many who have promised they are putting something together to submit. We know the drill — the deadline for submissions is Jan. 30 (get all the info here). The majority of submissions will come in on Jan. 30. At 11:59. Pacific Time. And that’s OK.

As you think about a possible abstract for CMEpalooza Spring, think about the session I described earlier. It was hardly fancy — just a few simple real-world situations being discussed by a handful of folks who probably didn’t even know each other, at least not well. But fancy doesn’t mean ineffective. In fact, the simplest sessions are often the most effective.

CMEpalooza in Dallas


Look, I’m just going to come right out and say it — I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan. I was seduced to the dark side by little Wendi Jackson when I was an innocent 2nd grader growing up in lower Delaware. She casually mentioned on the school bus one day that she liked the Cowboys and quicker then you can say Ed “Too Tall” Jones, I tossed my Eagles fandom to the wayside and became a die-hard Cowpoke fan. I’m not particularly proud of this fact (though I still blame my parents for not offering better sports team loyalty guidance), but I have maintained my rooting interest in the team over the years, no easy matter considering I have lived in Philadelphia — the epicenter of Dallas Cowboys hatred — since 1996.

I share this with you now because as I write this blog post, I am in a supremely cranky mood. If you follow the National Football League with even just a passing interest, you are no doubt aware that the Cowboys lost an eminently winnable playoff game to the meat-packers from Green Bay just a few hours ago. Part of that loss featured an amazing 4th down catch by Dez Bryant late in the game in which he out-jumped a defender, CAUGHT THE BALL, fell down, stretched out towards the end zone, hit the ball on the ground, bobbled the ball, and then regained possession of the ball. Somehow, this was not considered a catch and the Cowboys lost and now I’m cranky and I’m supposed to write about the different CMEpalooza-related things happening at the Alliance for Continuing Education on the Health Professions’s 40th Annual Conference in…you guessed it…Dallas. I had this whole schtick I was going to do comparing the Cowboys and the Super Bowl and CMEpalooza and the “Super Bowl of CME conferences”, but now I’m not doing it because I’m pouting. I’m still going to write about the CMEpalooza stuff (because I’m rather proud of it), I’m just not going to do any witty football references or Chris Christie jokes along with it.

All that being said, CMEpalooza is going to be well represented at #acehp15. Here are some of the things Scott and I will be involved in this week:

Using Social Media in Medical Education: Are You Utilizing All Your Resources?
Technology Track: Thursday (1/15) Breakouts 10:30 – 11:30 AM
Texas Ballroom D
I (Derek) will be joining Brian McGowan and Alex Djuricich to talk about using social media in medical education (obvs). My role will be to talk about CMEpalooza and the role social media has played in the development and promotion of the program. 

Hanging with Mr. Google (On Air)
Technology Track: Thursday (1/15) Breakouts 1:15 – 2:15 PM
Texas Ballroom D
Hey, this is handy — you don’t even have to leave the room (unless you want lunch, but let’s face it — this is Texas and you’re probably going out for dinner the night before and having a steak the size of Rhode Island, so maybe skipping lunch isn’t such a bad idea, hmmm?) This session isn’t about CMEpalooza per se, but it does demonstrate how Scott and I use Google Hangouts, which is the framework behind CMEpalooza. Scott and I are doing this one together, which I am now regretting since Scott is a lifelong Eagles fan and I may or may not have made a few jokes at their expense in recent emails between the two of us.

ReachMD Lifelong Learning Series
To be honest, I don’t know too much about this, yet, other than that Scott and I are going to be interviewed by the ReachMD folks on Thursday about our Hanging with Mr. Google session. I’m told the interview will be available in multiple formats, including video, so, more details to follow when we know them. Personally, I just want to know where my dressing room will be and who I should deliver my contract rider to (gonna demand a bowl of only green M&M’s).

Besides the above, you can find Scott and I roaming aimlessly around the conference center, so feel free to stop us and ask any questions you may have. We are always happy to talk about CMEpalooza and I promise to be less cranky by then.

Why Sponsoring CMEpalooza Makes Good Business Sense

When I twisted Derek’s arm last summer to convince him to go after sponsors for our fall event, I had to pretend I was full of confidence. “Of course we’ll get people to sponsor this. We’re cool, we’re hip, we’re trendy, and besides, people like us.” Once I set aside the Stuart Smalley routine (random Saturday Night Live reference), I had to admit the truth. I really didn’t know. The few other people I told about the plan to try to sell sponsorships were dubious, even if they didn’t come right out to say it.

But then one sponsor signed on. And another. And another. We ended up with 10 sponsors and even came up with a few wrinkles along the way to add value to each sponsorship. There was information on our website, regular mentions on social media, and then brief shout-outs prior to the start of each of the live CMEpalooza Fall sessions (still archived for viewing here, by the way).

When we talked to our sponsors after the fall event ended, they all seemed pleased with the value they received. I’m not even sure they knew what to expect, but the traffic we were able to generate to the CMEpalooza website and the eyes and ears we had on our event hopefully meant a valuable trickle down to our sponsors. And it’s not like we were charging a king’s ransom either.

So we’re trying again in 2015, and adding in a few new wrinkles from the get-go. You can check out our Sponsorship prospectus on the Sponsor tab. You can also check out a cool infographic (from infograph-ed) that was produced to illustrate some of the key data points from the fall event.

Derek and I will be trolling the hallways in Dallas, er, Grapevine, during the upcoming ACEHP meeting and we’ll of course be happy to answer any questions about anything CMEpalooza. Derek will be writing in the next few days to whet your appetite for our Thursday afternoon session, Hangin’ with Mr. Google, which will certainly touch on CMEpalooza (along with other things).

But you don’t even have to wait until then if your company is interested in sponsoring CMEpalooza Spring, Fall, or both. You can be a sponsor today by filing out the form at the back of the prospectus. The earlier you sign up, the sooner and the more you’ll be recognized via our various social media channels. Maybe we’ll even create a secret hallway handshake for our early-bird sponsors. Because we’re cool, we’re hip, and… well, you know the rest.