The Best and Worst of…Angelo Carter

Let’s face it — some people are good at public speaking and some are not.

I…am not.

Angelo Carter — moderator for our 10 a.m. CMEpalooza Fall session entitled Why Did My Grant Request Get Rejected? and subject of our most recent moderator interview — is. It’s a pleasure just to listen to him talk, even moreso when he’s talking about some of his best and worst experiences in CME (that, ladies and gentlemen, is what is known as a segue. Please hold your applause.)

Check out our conversation below and feel free to skip over the parts where I’m speaking. At the very least, be sure to listen to the section where Angelo describes a time when one of his superiors described his numbers supporting the value of CME as “hocus pocus.” It’s a great example of taking a potentially negative experience and turning it into something positive in the long term.

10 Reasons You Should Watch CMEpalooza Fall

10. It’s the same cost whether one person from your organization attends or 50 people from your organization attend: nothing.

9. Dude, have you seen our agenda? I mean, c’mon…

8. Tell your boss you won’t be in because you’re watching CMEpalooza Fall at home. Spend the day curled up on the couch with your laptop, pajamas, and a cup of fair-trade, locally roasted, recently ground, French-pressed coffee (or watch from your office in a suit with a cup of crappy Keurig coffee if that’s what floats your boat.)

7. So we can tell our sponsors that lots of people watched (hey – at least I’m being honest.)

6. Three words: CME. Pecha. Kucha. Or is that five words? Is it one word for each letter since CME is an acronym? Five words: C. M. E. Pecha. Kucha. Forget it, let’s move on…

5. No sessions with “QI” in the title. Look, by no means am I poo-pooing the QI movement currently sweeping CME nation, but it does seem like we go through phases where a certain subject is the “hot topic” of the moment and we get one session after another about it at the various conferences we go to. A few years ago it was REMS. More recently it was the Sunshine Act. Now it’s QI. When Scott and I were putting together the agenda, we purposely stayed away from any QI-centric sessions, just to give people a bit of a break.

4. The scuttlebutt around the water cooler has it that Scott will be doing a how-to demo of the “Nae Nae” during one of the sessions. I can’t comment on the accuracy of this report or predict during which session it might happen, but I recommend watching them all just in case.

3. Get a new perspective on common issues. Are you frustrated with your faculty? Annoyed with the grant review process? Confused by millennials? Clueless about patient education? Bored with Moore’s outcome levels? Stumped by grand rounds? CMEpalooza Fall will touch on each of these topics and, hopefully, bring some fresh ideas for you to put into practice.

2. Because it’s gonna be good. I promise.

1. Have I mentioned it’s free?

The Best and Worst of… Annette Donawa

In the “one take” land of CMEpalooza, there are no do-overs. When we make a mistake, we just go with it. It’s kind of our thing. Everything may not always be polished and flawless, but that’s what (at least we hope), makes us a bit more real.

You’ll see what I mean in our latest moderator interview when I continually butcher our moderator’s name. So sit back, grab yourself a box of Goobers, and enjoy “The Best and Worst of… Annette Donawa.”

Dr. Donawa will be moderating the anchor session of CMEpalooza Fall, entitled “Grand Rounds in the 21st Century: Fixing the Historical Model.” The session is being sponsored by Paradigm Medical Communications. It’s a session that came about as a result of learner comments from our Spring session, so don’t think we don’t listen to you!

Guess Who’s (Sorta, Kinda) Coming to Dinner?

In about 48 hours, Pope Francis is going to be at my door. OK, maybe he won’t quite make it to my front step, but he’ll be only a few blocks away from my house in downtown Philadelphia, which is close enough in my book.

While I have no specific vested interest in his visit, it’s been fascinating to see everything come together in recent months. It’s been an extraordinary, once-in-a-decade preparation. Some of my neighbors are up in arms at the inconveniences Pope Francis’ visit is causing them – road closures, school closures, etc. – while others are eagerly anticipating his visit to see exactly what this is going to bring to our city.

They are saying there will be 1 million-plus people flooding in on Sunday, and maybe half of that on Saturday for the public party on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Obviously, accommodating that many people takes a lot of planning and a lot of creativity. There have been many hiccups leading up to the event regarding communication to the public, but my hope is that, in the end, everyone will agree that, “You know what? That actually went pretty well and was pretty fun.”

In a much, much smaller way, it’s the same way that Derek and I approach CMEpalooza (for those of you wondering “How the heck is he going from the Pope to CMEpalooza?” there you go). We start planning months in advance, crossing our fingers that the CME community will allow us to intrude on their days to help us develop and deliver what we hope are fascinating events. It’s a little less that a month until CMEpalooza Fall on Wednesday, October 21, and we are both once again amazed with all of the creative ways our panels are working on their sessions.

You’ll be hearing more in coming weeks about a session that is entirely case based and another entirely driven by questions from learners. We’ll be trying out a flipped classroom session and another that uses a pecha kucha model. We guarantee that you won’t be bored, and we’re hoping for another “You know what? That actually went pretty well and was pretty fun” kind of event.

If it can happen for the pope, it can happen for us, right?


The Best and Worst of… Sandy Bihlmeyer

Like any mature, sophisticated man, nothing brings out the 4-year-old in me like some good potty humor. And so, while recording our moderator interview with Sandy Bihlmeyer, MEd, you can imagine my level of excitement when she started talking about a “hands-in” (her phrase, not mine) educational initiative focused on digital rectal exams.

The awful puns continued with things like “without further adieu-doo,” “butts in the seats,” and other gems. Feel free to come up with other inappropriate lines and add them to our comments if you want to entertain yourself.

Alas, the session Sandy is moderating, our kickoff to CMEpalooza Fall entitled “You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But You Can Get What You Need (From Faculty),” is unlikely to be quite so juvenile, so you’ll have to get your chuckles out now while you can.

Back By Popular Demand: CMEpalooza Haiku!

only six weeks ‘til
cmepalooza fall
here’s the agenda

faculty problems?
sandy, denise, anne, and eve
are here to help you

have questions about
why your grant was rejected?
watch at 10 am

get prepared today
for learners of tomorrow
some born yesterday

join us at lunchtime
to learn about patient ed
no sandwich required

why yes Virginia
there really is more than moore’s
(levels of outcomes)

twenty slides, twenty
seconds each, auto-advance
that’s pecha kucha

are your grand rounds still
speaker, slide deck, and donut?
time to make a change

Shaking Off the Rust

With only about 6 weeks to go until CMEpalooza Fall and summer vacation officially over, our internal promotion team will be furiously working over the course of the next few weeks to give you a flavor of what to expect on Wednesday, October 21. Expect to see airplanes with colorful banners trailing behind in a city near you.

But first, we have our initial moderator interview with Erik Brady, PhD, CHCP, of Clinical Care Options ready to whet your appetite. The theme for this year’s interviews is “The Best and Worst of…” where you’ll hear a little bit about our moderators’ best (and worst) experiences in CME. This may entail a project that went fantastically well (or flopped miserably), a presentation of their own that rocked (or rolled), or something else along those lines. We give people latitude to interpret the theme as they see fit.

During these interviews, we’ll also be knocking off a little bit of the rust from our production team, as you may note from some of the spotty camerawork. Hey, that’s what you get when these are recorded the day before a holiday weekend.

Derek’s Commodore 64 finally crapped out so he was unable to join us for this broadcast, but in happier news, if you are in the market for a circa-1987 floppy disk drive, he’ll sell you one for cheap!

LAST CHANCE: Submit Grant Review Questions by Monday

I am not even going to attempt to top Scott’s A Few Good Men parody from last week. I briefly considered re-enacting this classic scene from Billy Madison, but then reconsidered upon reflecting that perhaps not everyone has as much appreciation of the oeuvre of Adam Sandler as I do.

On to other things. We have had a really nice response to our call for questions for our “Why Did My Grant Request Get Rejected?” panel with 20+ questions submitted thus far. We’re setting a deadline of end of day on Monday, August 24 for question submissions. If you have a question for our panel, please submit it by then. You can do so below.

Are we clear?


CMEpalooza Channels “A Few Good Men”

When Derek sent over his most recent post for me to rewrite entirely (I am nice and often just claim I “edit” his work), I was in a punchy mood. That’s what happens when you work from home and your closest conversation buddy is a Phillie Phanatic pillow.

Anyway, Derek asked people to submit questions for our upcoming CMEpalooza Fall session entitled “Why Did My Grant Request Get Rejected?” (incidentally, still plenty of time to submit yours by going here) and what follows is the first thing I thought of.

Maybe you’ll laugh. Maybe you won’t. Just don’t ask me to act out the scene. It’s been done poorly by too many others too many times. Just imagine the voices in your head.

You want answers?

I think I’m entitled.

You want answers?!

I want the truth!

You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world where grant requests get rejected every day. The education of an industry… no, the future of medicine and the health of the world is in my hands. I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. Who’s gonna educate our current and future healthcare workers? You, McGowan? You, Perez?

The truth is that you don’t want to know why your grant request got rejected because deep down in those places you don’t talk about at the Alliance meeting, you know that your gaps were flimsy, your educational design was laughable, and your outcomes were unmeasurable.

In our world, we use words like “needs assessment,” “quality improvement,” and “Level 7 outcomes.” We use these words as the backbone of a life improving patient outcomes. You use them as a punchline for CME knock knock jokes.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who supports his family thanks to my funding his $75,000 grant request. I would rather you just filed your outcomes report and reconciliation on time and be on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you fund your own educational activities. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

Next month: We recreate one of the most memorable scenes from “Alf”  when we ask you to complete a brief survey or two from some of our other Fall panels.

CMEpalooza Survey: Submit Your Questions For Our Grant Review Panel

Our 10 a.m. ET session at CMEpalooza Fall is titled “Why Did My Grant Request Get Rejected?” which, I think, is pretty direct and self-explanatory. Our panel’s goal for this session is to answer as many of your questions as possible about the grant review process. In order to do so, we would love to try and get a bunch of questions from the CME community ahead of time so we can see some of the common themes and know how to best prepare our panelists. We really want this to be a participant-driven session and our panel will do their best to directly address as many of the questions as they can.

If you have ever had a question about the grant review process — be it about the budget, application, outcomes, etc. — now is your chance to ask it. Just fill out the (extremely) simple survey below. And no, smart guy, your question cannot be “Why did my grant request get rejected?”