5 Questions With…Jan Perez

Over the next couple months leading up to CMEpalooza Fall, we will be doing a series of short interviews (approximately 10 minutes) with each of the session moderators. We thought this might be a nice way for everyone to get to know the faculty a little better and also provide an overview of the individual sessions. Each interview will consist of 5 questions ranging from why they are optimistic about the future of CME to why participants should tune in to their session — plus, a special bonus question at the end.

First up is Jan Perez, Managing Partner at CME Outfitters and moderator of the Death of the MECC: Fact or Fiction? session. Here are a few snippets from the interview:

On the future of CME:

I’m very optimistic about the future of CME. I think we’ve learned a lot of lessons over the past three years, which have been really tough for a lot of folks – MEC’s especially. I think if we take those lessons and we learn from them, then we have a tremendous opportunity to grow.

On what she worries about most regarding CME:

What I’m most worried about is that, as accredited providers, not that we can’t adapt and move forward, but I am a little concerned that commercial supporters will say, ‘You know what? I just don’t want to deal with this [CME and Sunshine Act]’ and funding will be cut even more.

On what she believes to be an important change to CME over the past 5 years:

We have evolved in our outcomes from the perspective of…our expectation now is that we measure what we do. And that has become, rather than something we are striving for, that has become our baseline.

You can watch the full interview below.



Announcing three new sponsors: Imedex, Impact Education, & RedMedEd

I just wanted to take a brief moment to publicly acknowledge our three most recent CMEpalooza Fall sponsors: Imedex, Impact Education, and RedMedEd. Imedex is our first Silver Level sponsor, specifically sponsoring the 1:00 PM  What Do Supporters Do With Outcomes Data? session, which will be moderated by John Ruggiero, PhD, CCMEP, Senior Medical Education Manager, Independent Medical Education Department, Genentech.

Please be sure to visit the Sponsors page for more information on these organizations, contact details, and to watch Imedex’s video, Imedex on 21st Century Television. A big thank you to all of them for their support of CMEpalooza Fall and for helping us make this a great educational event for the CME/CE community!

For more information on how you can be a sponsor, please click here for the Sponsorship Prospectus.

UPDATE: You can now also watch Impact Education’s video, Impact Education — Managed Care Roundtable Demo, on the Sponsors page.

A Palooza Quiz for All

Everyone has their time-sucking Web site, that page you visit when your brain needs a 5-minute break at work or home. For several years, mine has been Sporcle. It’s not quite the brainless entertainment as, say, People.com (apologies to the wife), so I don’t feel too guilty when I’m on there.

Sporcle is a repository of quizzes using a variety of different formats that focus on thousands of different topics and themes. You can find a quiz on just about anything. The “Featured” quizzes on the homepage are either written by staff or nominated from those developed by the public.

For about a year, I’ve been trying to think of ways to incorporate a Sporcle quiz into an educational activity (Can you put a post-test up on here? Hmm…) but haven’t actually tried it yet.

I did, however, create a Palooza quiz just for our upcoming event. So when your brain needs a break, check out this link. I’m guessing the average score will come in at around 50%. You’ll be able to see how others answered on each question when you’re done. Maybe you’ll even learn something.

What can you learn on GHOA?

Quite obviously, Derek and I are big proponents of Google Hangout On Air (GHOA). GHOA was used as the platform that for the inaugural CMEpalooza in the spring and will be used in for CMEpalooza Fall on October 15. And yet I don’t get the sense that many people have a very good sense of all that is offered that may be of both personal and professional interest on GHOA. That will hopefully soon be changing, as I am giving a talk about GHOA in October at the annual meeting of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), with additional talks from Derek and I hopefully coming up soon as well.

At any given moment, there are dozens of different live broadcasts open to the world. Even without searching, I am quite sure you would be able to get amateur World Cup analysis from nearly every country in the world every day this week. But if that’s not your cup of tea…

And that is just scratching the surface. President Obama has been a Hangout guest several times, and there are often entertainment icons who regularly show up. I haven’t figured out an easy way to get a schedule of more than the 5-6 upcoming Hangouts that Google promotes, but I am sure there is a filter out there somewhere. As with everything new on the Internet, it just takes some figuring out.

The Ask

Over the years, I have probably written hundreds of emails to faculty inviting them to be part of CME programs. You know the ones — “Pretty please Dr. So and So, I know you are busy because you are so important, but will you please take the thousands of dollars we have set aside for you to help us with this CME program?”

And then you wait. And wait. And wait. The reminder email goes out a week later – “Dr. So and So. I know you are super duper busy, but we really want you to be part of this program and take the thousands of dollars we have set aside for you. Can you please read this email and respond in 5 words or less?”

When the day comes (if it comes) that Dr. So and So finally responds, it’s a sigh of relief. Well, as long as Dr. So and So says yes. If he/she says no, there is a lot of cursing for holding things up as you write up the next invitation.

Because Derek and I decided to utilize a “planning committee” to determine potential moderators and panelists for CMEpalooza Fall (here’s a little secret: the planning committee was Derek and I), that meant we had to craft those fun invitation emails. Except this time, we were inviting our colleagues – often, people we knew but sometimes those we didn’t – and we didn’t have any giant war chest of money to offer them. There wasn’t even a coveted free registration pass, being that almost everything about CMEpalooza is free anyway. I think we were both curious not only on how many people would say yes, but also how long it would take for people to respond.

I’m pleased to report that it took us a little more than 2 weeks to fill out all 23 slots in our programs (6 panels with 3-4 participants each). With only a few exceptions, people responded to us the same day as we sent out our invites, and almost everyone was excited to sign up. There was little harassing or cajoling necessary. Even those individuals who couldn’t participate were very gracious in declining our invitation and didn’t make us wait around for weeks before letting us know they couldn’t take part in CMEpalooza Fall.

Today, Derek and I are both extremely pleased to be able to present the full agenda for CMEpalooza Fall. We have diverse mix of panelists and topics that should offer something for everyone who is part of the CME enterprise. Our day (Wednesday, October 15, so mark your calendar!) will start off with an international panel of experts looking into their crystal ball to tell us where CME/CPD may be going in the next 5-10 years and wind up 7 hours later with the latest tips and tricks on publishing and presenting outcomes data from educational initiatives. The schedule in between is packed with lots of other intriguing content.

You’ll be hearing a lot more about our panels in the coming months. We’re always interested in your feedback regarding which sessions you are most looking forward to and the types of questions you’ll want them to address, so feel free to share your thoughts with Derek and I, as well as any of the panelists themselves. Palooza on everyone.

Announcing the first sponsors of CMEpalooza Fall: Vivacity Consulting & HighMarksCE

We are pleased to announce the first two sponsors for CMEpalooza Fall: Vivacity Consulting and HighMarksCE. Please be sure to visit the Sponsors page for more information on these organizations, contact details, and to watch HighMarksCE’s video on “The Future of Continuing Education.” A big thank you to both of them for their support of CMEpalooza Fall and for helping us make this a great educational event for the CME/CE community!

For more information on how you can be a sponsor, please click here for the Sponsorship Prospectus.

Finalized list of topics and moderators for CMEpalooza Fall

Below is a list of the topics and moderators for the six panel sessions of CMEpalooza Fall. It’s possible that we’ll add another session, if we find a Gold Level sponsor. Once we have secured all the panelists and determined time slots, we’ll update the agenda page with a complete description of each session.

  • The Future of CME – moderated by Lawrence Sherman from Prova Education
  • What Do Supporters Do With Outcomes Data? – moderated by John Ruggiero from Genentech
  • Publishing Outcomes Data: Tips and Tricks – moderated by Karen Roy from Ardgillan Group
  • Tech Tools We Can’t Live Without – moderated by Derek Warnick
  • Have We Forgotten About the Content in Continuing Medical Education? – moderated by Allison Gardner from Med-IQ
  • Death of the MECC: Fact or Fiction? – moderated by Jan Perez from CME Outfitters

CMEpalooza Fall Sponsorship Opportunities

When Derek and I first started talking about CMEpalooza Fall, our focus was initially on the format, the content, the potential faculty — you know, all of the things that are fun to bat around. “What would be really cool to get people to talk about? How can we best utilize the Hangout On Air platform? How can we take what happened with the inaugural CMEpalooza and make it, you know, like, better?”

Being that neither of us are natural salesmen, I think we purposely shelved talk of money. At least at first. But then as we thought about things more, we realized that not only would it be nice to have something tangible to show for our time and effort, but that CMEpalooza can truly be a different and valuable sort of way for companies and even individuals to connect with potential partners and customers.

Sessions from the inaugural CMEpalooza have, so far, been viewed more than 3,000 times. This website has been seen by more than 10,000 visitors. That’s a lot of eyes, and we think interest in this event is only going to grow as we move forward. So once Derek and I finished brainstorming about the “fun stuff,” we talked about what value we could offer companies without their presence being overly intrusive/obnoxious for learners (so don’t worry, there will no 5-minute commercials embedded within each CMEpalooza session).

We came up with a tiered system of support that is not unlike what is offered by some industry associations, and we think there is some cool stuff that we are offering. It is all spelled out on the “Sponsors” link, but if you want to get a quick overview, here goes:

  • A Bronze level sponsorship gets you a company listing on the CMEpalooza sponsor page (we’ll even embed a video for you if you have one!), recognition on all pre-event communications (we’ll be developing a Palooza newsletter shortly), and recognition on sponsor slides that will appear before and after each CMEpalooza panel
  • A Silver level sponsorship gets you all of the above, plus title sponsorship for a session. Maybe you couldn’t afford to knock FedEx aside for the naming rights to the Orange Bowl, but there is no reason you can’t be the title sponsor for “The Future of CME: What Will the Next 5-10 Years Hold.”
  • A Gold level sponsorship gets you everything from the first two tiers, plus the ability to work with Derek and I (right there a priceless opportunity) to plan a sponsored lunch panel that can include a representative from your company. Obviously, we’ll work carefully to vet the topic and the full panel to make sure this is a valuable learner experience, but it’s a great way to make sure CMEpalooza includes a discussion of a topic that is relevant to your organization.

And hey, maybe there is something that neither of us thought about that you would be interested in sponsoring. Alas, there are no tote bags to put your name on or thumb drives to distribute to all attendees, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something creative we missed.

Announcing the first two topics and moderators for CMEpalooza Fall

And we’re off! I’m thrilled to announce that we have finalized our first two topics and moderators for CMEpalooza Fall. They are:

The Future of CME: What Will CME Look Like In 5-10 Years?
Moderator: Lawrence Sherman, FACEHP, CCMEP, Senior Vice President, Educational Strategy, Prova Education

Tips and Tricks for Publishing Outcomes Data
Moderator: Karen Roy MSc, CCMEP, Principal, Ardgillan Group LLC

A big thanks to Karen and Lawrence for agreeing to moderate these two sessions and getting the planning process kicked-off with a bang! Stay tuned for additional details on content and panelists as the sessions start to round into shape. We plan to have at least four additional panel sessions and we’ll announce details regarding them once the moderators are finalized.  You will be able to read all this information on the Fall page.

A Word From the Co-Coordinator

Those of you who have been on this site are of course familiar with Derek, but who then is this “Scott” person he’s been speaking of? If Derek is the brains behind CMEpalooza, perhaps he is the brawn? I wish, but not quite.

I started using the Google Hangout On Air platform to broadcast and record CME activities beginning in the fall of 2013, so I was an interested observer of the first CMEpalooza in the spring and provided Derek with a few tips and pointers as he was prepping. Not long after Derek wrapped up the first event, I emailed him to see if he would be interested in teaming up to make this event even better and lighten his load as its sole organizer. I think his eloquent and well thought out response to my initial email was something along the lines of, “Sure.”

So while Derek will rightfully remain the primary face of CMEpalooza, I’ll be chiming in on the home page from time to time with some additional updates and perspectives as things begin to take shape.

Just be nice to Derek and I won’t have to get rough with you.