Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

For those of you who were unable to watch yesterday’s CMEpalooza Company Spotlight raffle, here is the video. It is eight minutes of the most riveting content you will watch today, unless, like me and Scott, you are a Sixers fan and plan to be glued to your TV for the NBA Draft Lottery tonight (they have a 0.28% chance of getting the #1, #6, and #11 picks in the draft. In Hinkie we trust!) If you’re wondering who won, I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but I’ll give you a hint: It rhymes with Meducational Easures.

Here are five things to look for in the video:

  1. Unbeknownst to me, Scott showed up to the Hangout wearing a suit and tie. This made me laugh for a solid 5 minutes.
  2. Yes, that’s a Duff beer shirt I’m wearing. Keeping it classy as always.
  3. Scott apparently has no idea what a potluck is. He clearly didn’t grow up in a Mennonite home in Lancaster County like yours truly, where potlucks are a weekly occurrence at minimum.
  4. A fairly decent explanation of what our vision is for the Company Spotlights. Like the original CMEpalooza, we’re going to give it a try and see how it goes. Hopefully it turns out to be something beneficial for the CME/CE community.
  5. The hat hanging on the wall over my shoulder is different than the one hanging over my shoulder during CMEpalooza Spring. First person to correctly identify the difference wins the picture hanging behind Scott (I didn’t run this past him, but I’m sure he’ll be fine with it…)

How to Watch Today’s Raffle

At 1 p.m. ET today (Monday, May 18), we will be broadcasting a live drawing for a CMEpalooza Company Spotlight. All you need to do is go to the LIVE tab on this website to watch it.

There are 12 entries. The numbers attached to the entries here are the same ones that will be used in the drawing. We’ll be using a simple random number generator to select the winner.

  1. Global Education Group
  2. Intelligent Medical Decisions
  3. ArcheMedX
  4. CMEology
  5. Genentech
  6. Infograph-ed
  7. Decision Simulation
  8. CME Outfitters
  9. Improve CME
  10. Educational Measures
  11. Advanced Studies in Medicine
  12. Academy for Continued Healthcare Learning

Good luck to all.

CMEpalooza Company Spotlight Raffle

There are still a few dwindling hours to enter your organization in the raffle for a free CMEpalooza Company Spotlight (entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET today). We’re up to 10 entries so your odds are being selected are reasonably good. If you have been dilly dallying about to entering, just send me an email saying, “Scott, my company would like to enter” and you are in. We have pharma companies, online education platforms, medical education companies, and others all in the mix so far, so don’t be shy.

Using my advanced math skills (don’t try to duplicate my methods as it takes a very complex Excel formula involving derivatives, factors and other terms that you wouldn’t understand), our 10 current entries each have an equivalent 10.0% chance of being selected as the winner of our raffle. If we get more entrants, I’ll adjust the formula and let you know once my supercomputer is finished crunching numbers for an updated calculation on Monday.

We will be unveiling the winner of the CMEpalooza Company Spotlight raffle during a LIVE broadcast on Monday, May 18 at 1 p.m. ET so set your calendar as “busy” now to join the million of others around the world for this momentous moment. Unlike those other selection shows you may be used to seeing, we won’t take 59 minutes building suspense before choosing the winner. Figure on maybe 2-3 minutes explaining what this whole Company Spotlight is, going down the list of entrants and their assigned numbers, and then I’ll fire up a random number generator to choose the winner. You’ll be back checking for the latest celebrity news in 5 minutes.

A New Addition to the Family: CMEpalooza Company Spotlight

During our brief spurts of creativity and in between bites of cinnamon cronuts, Derek and I sit down periodically and try to come up with ways to improve the quality and value of CMEpalooza to the broader CME community. As much as I would like to take credit for it, a few months ago, Derek came up with what I thought was a good idea. I know, I was as surprised as you are.

But let me tell you about it…

Everyone knows that companies of every type — be they pharma, MECCs, hospitals, associations, service providers, etc. — have a story to tell, but it’s become more and more difficult to get anyone to listen to it. People simply aren’t interested in a “capabilities presentation.” And hey, I’ve been in them (Note from Derek: “Me too!”). From both sides of the fence. They are booorrring.

Some companies and organizations use the exhibit hall to get their message across. Problem is that fewer and fewer people are attending live conferences, and those who do may never set foot into the exhibit hall.

It’s not that there is a limit on innovative and interesting people in our field – we interact with many of them both through CMEpalooza and our “other” lives (indeed, Derek and I both actually have “real” jobs) – but there are not many innovative and interesting ways we have seen to allow these people to reach their prospective audience.

So, we thought, is there a way we can help? Nods yes.

So, we thought, do we want to help? Nods yes.

So, we thought, will anyone be interested in having us help? Shrugs shoulders and mumbles “Uh, I dunno.”

But we’re going to give this a try and see what happens. It’s called CMEpalooza Company Spotlight, and here is how it’ll work:

  1. You go to this link and complete the form expressing interest in being a “spotlighted” company (alas, these are not free, though they can be! – more on that later)
  2. We work with you to come up with a focus for your spotlight. Seeing as we are an external audience of sorts, hopefully we’ll be able to help you come up with issues that our broader Palooza audience would be interested in learning about. The last thing anyone wants is a snoozer presentation.
  3. You can have up to 4 people from your organization participate as panelists. You can create slides if you want. We’re flexible.
  4. We’ll schedule a time for your 30 minute spotlight. We’re planning on holding these from noon-12:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday afternoons. How many will we schedule? No idea. Could be 1, could be 10. Won’t be 500.
  5. We’ll use our social media channels to build interest and an audience. I will “moderate” the session based on a jointly agreed-upon discussion guide that highlights the value of your organization/company and is of prospective interest to our viewers.
  6. As with all CMEpalooza sessions, anyone can watch live. For free. Anyone can watch after the broadcast is over. For free. As an added bonus, you can take the video and embed it onto your website if you want. We’ll have a special tab set up on the CMEpalooza website so that people can watch these easily on our site whenever they want.

And because this is something new, we want to do something special and have the first ever CMEpalooza giveaway. So call right now and get this FREE set of Ginsu knives. You can use it to cut through a lead pipe and then cut a tomato, LIKE THIS.

Oops, sorry, wrong promo.

If you are interested in being considered for our inaugural CMEpalooza Company Spotlight, send me an email with your name and contact info by Friday, May 15. Everyone who “enters” will be assigned a number, and we’ll use a random number generator to pick one organization for a free broadcast. We’ll even broadcast the “lottery” live so that no one accuses us of any shenanigans (time and date TBA).

Anyone can enter, but only one entry per organization. If you aren’t selected, you aren’t obligated to purchase a later broadcast, though we certainly hope you will.

Will we get 5 entrants? Maybe. 10? Hopefully. 500? No chance.

And if this doesn’t work at all? Remember, it was Derek’s idea.

Who Wants to Pecha Kucha?


That’s what I imagine 99% of you saying when you read this title. Either that or “What the heck’s a pecha kucha?” In a nutshell, Pecha Kucha is a lean, mean, fightin’ machine presentation method. It has three core concepts:

  1. 20 slides. Not 19. Not 21. Exactly 20.
  2. 20 seconds per slide. Same deal as above. Exactly 20. How many of you are already feeling squeamish? Just wait…
  3. Slides automatically advance. I love this!

That gives you a total presentation time of…um…6 minutes and 40 seconds? Something like that. Basically, the goal is to force presenters to strip down their presentations to their core essence and cut out the endless blabbing. Count me in!

The inventors of the Pecha Kucha format are two architects who developed it because (and I quote) “architects talk too much!” Sound familiar? It sounds gimmicky, but the streamlined format is an attempt to make presenters tell a story rather than just throw up some bullet points and talk at length about their data. Ultimately, they are supposed to be fun. They’re supposed to be both entertaining and informative. Kind of like CMEpalooza.

The reason I’m wring about this is because [sound of trumpets] I want to do a Pecha Kucha at CMEpalooza Fall (Which will be on October 21. Yes, we’re already in planning mode) and I’m extending an open invitation to anyone interested in giving it a shot. The last session of the day will be reserved for CME Pecha Kucha and we’ll have 5 or 6 people lined up to present. Essentially what I’m looking for are people willing to loosen up a little and try something new. Tell us about something cool you and/or your organization is/are doing in CME. It can be a best practice. It can be an outcome study. It can be…whatever. But I want this to be a fun session that people will enjoy doing and watching. A fun way to close out CMEpalooza Fall.

So, if you are interested in participating in CME Pecha Kucha, let me know by completing the form below or emailing me at I only have a limited number of slots available, so try to let me know ASAP. My goal is to have all presenters finalized by May 8. Thanks everyone!

CMEpalooza Spring Recap

I have done three CMEpaloozas (CMEpaloozi?) now and it never fails to amaze me how exhausting they are. It’s not as if they’re physically demanding or anything, but at the end of the day, I feel completely spent. I just want to sit on the couch in a stupor and watch Sex in the City Game of Thrones reruns. But now that Scott and I have had some time to recover, we want to give a big thank you to everyone who contributed and participated in CMEpalooza Spring. Here’s a brief list of thank yous:

  • Thank you to our presenters who were fabulous. Whenever someone offers me a compliment on CMEpalooza, I always tell them we’re only as good as our presenters. Fortunately for us, they’ve been great.
  • Thank you to our sponsors (all 19 of you!) who make producing CMEpalooza much easier. A special thank you to our gold sponsors ArcheMedX and Intelligent Medical Decisions, Inc. for putting together two really excellent sessions.
  • Thank you to all of you who watched a CMEpalooza Spring session. We had a very nice turnout (more details below) and good interaction during Q&A time.
  • Thank you to my wife for making me a sandwich and coffee and sliding it to me off-screen. She’s a keeper!

So, how may people actually watched CMEpalooza Spring? Good question, Derek — I’m so glad you asked. YouTube has developed a nice analytics platform for the Hangout videos, both live and “on-demand”, which makes determining participation much easier. Below is the amount of Live Views for each session in the order they were presented (the amount of views each session received while it was “live”):

  • Bridging the Knowing-Doing Gap: Quality Improvement as a Path to Change – 147
  • Let the Sun Shine In: Perspectives and Insights on the Implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act – 151
  • Secrets of CME Outcome Assessment…Revealed – 151
  • Data-Driven and Agile Educational Design: Ensuring Your Courses Intelligently Evolve – 134
  • Achieving Level 7 Outcomes: A MEC Perspective – 72
  • 5 Tips to Make You a Survey Measurement Rock Star – 86
  • Revamping the Satellite Symposium: Enriching the Learner Experience – 142
  • Style and Substance: The Evolution of Content Presentation in Medical Education – 123
  • Why We Matter: Successful Strategies for Demonstrating the Value of CE within Your Own Organization – 104

I’m always thrilled that anyone watches, so, yes, I’m happy. The most disappointing thing about the entire CMEpalooza Spring experience was that we only received one joke on our survey :-(. Here it is:

A little boy wasn’t getting good marks in school. One day he tapped his teacher on the shoulder and said, “I don’t want to scare you, but my daddy says if I don’t get better grades, somebody is going to get a spanking.”

Hmmm…maybe it’s a good thing we didn’t get more.


5 Minutes With… Derek Warnick

When the first one came, I ignored it. Same with the second, and third, and fourth. But when the requests filled up my inbox and the hashtag #5minuteswithderek started trending on Twitter, I could deprive his fans no longer.

And so here it is… your “5 Minutes With Derek Warnick.”

Among the things you’ll learn:

  • Why he refused the award when People magazine told him he has been voted America’s Sexiest Man in 2011
  • How he maintains his status as a chess grandmaster despite a full-time job and family
  • What he has in common with President Obama

OK, you won’t learn any of those things. But it’s probably just because he doesn’t like talking about them. What will you learn then? You’ll have to watch.

Where Do I Watch CMEpalooza Spring?

Where do I watch CMEpalooza Spring?
You watch it on the LIVE page.

Will people be able to hear me on the Hangout?
No. You are not on the Hangout. You are only watching a video feed of the Hangout. You can sing Edelweiss at the top of your lungs and no one will hear you except your neighbors, who might call the police, who might interrupt you while watching CMEpalooza. So basically, don’t sing Edelweiss at the top of your lungs while watching CMEpalooza.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring at the office?

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring at home?

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring in a conference room with 20 other people?
Please do.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring at the gym?
Yes (show-off).

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring from the top of a volcano while doing the hula and eating a cheesesteak?
If the cheesesteak is wiz wit — sure. If not — no.

Do I have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza?
Good question. Let’s ask this guy.


Hmmm…seems a little high. The answer is no. You don’t have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza.

Do I have to pre-register or register?

Do I have to take a survey afterward?
Well, you don’t have to, but it would be nice if you did. It’s only six questions and shouldn’t take you more than 30 seconds. If it does take you more than 30 seconds, Scott will buy you a pony.

Do I have to watch all the sessions?
YES! No. Watch what interests you.

What if I’m busy during the day of the live broadcast?
All the sessions will be archived on the website, probably within 15 minutes of the conclusion of the session. How are we able to do it so fast? We have a new intern who is a real crackerjack on the interwebs. Here he is hard at work, writing our latest blog post.