Two Bad Hombres Need a Favor Bigly

Sorry, I know that title is terrible, but I was trying to come up with the most clickbait-worthy thing I could to get more people to come and take our CMEpalooza Fall survey. Who doesn’t like taking a good survey, huh? Huh? A lot of people apparently. We got 44 responses (Sad!). Actually, not really that sad; 44 is pretty good, but we would like to hear from more of you. We know there’s more of you out there who watched CMEpalooza Fall. We can see the numbers of viewers. We’re not stupid (insert joke about Scott here).

Sooo…if you watched any portion of CMEpalooza Fall on Wednesday and have not yet taken the survey, we would really really really love it if you did. Really. It will take you 60 seconds. If it takes you more than 60 seconds, Scott will buy your kids a pony.


A Case Conundrum (or Two)

In preparation for tomorrow’s 3 p.m. ET session entitled Common/Not-So-Common Case Conundrums in CME (sponsored by CME Matters), we have included below two PDFs that lay out the details of each case.

The first case is focused on common issues encountered by those who work for medical education and communication companies (MECCs) while the second is focused on those who work in a hospital setting. Really, though, the issues in each case are relevant across professional settings and should give you plenty to consider and think about.

While it’d be great if our audience read through these cases in advance of tomorrow’s session, we realize that that is not terribly realistic, so we will be reviewing the nuts and bolts of each case before each panel dives in with their thoughts. But for you go-getters who like to, you know, be prepared and all, here are links to each case.

Case 1 link
Case 2 link

Where Do I Watch CMEpalooza Fall?

Where do I watch CMEpalooza Fall?
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 The Humpty Dance 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, don’t sing The Humpty Dance at the top of your lungs while watching CMEpalooza.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Fall at the office?

Can I watch CMEpalooza Fall at home?

Can I watch CMEpalooza Fall in a conference room with 100 other people?
Please do.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Fall at the top of Machu Picchu? 
I doubt you can get wifi there, but sure, go for it.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Fall with Hillary Clinton?
I don’t know. Let’s ask her.

I guess she’s busy.

Do I have to pre-register or register?

Do I have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza Fall? I love paying registration fees.

No. You don’t have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza.

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 seven questions and shouldn’t take you more than 60 seconds. If it takes you more than 60 seconds, Scott will bake you a shoo-fly pie and hand deliver it to your home.

How do I ask questions to the presenters?
Good question. There are three ways you can ask questions:

  1. Send a text to the CMEpalooza text line at 267-666-0CME (0263)
  2. Tweet a question using the #CMEpalooza hashtag
  3. Click on the Google Slides link on the LIVE page and enter your question there

Longtime CMEpalooza participants will notice that option #3 is different than in years past. When Google in their infinite wisdom made the decision to drop Google Hangouts On Air and merge the Hangout platform with YouTube Live, one of the things they dropped was their handy Q&A app. We liked using the Q&A app with our CMEpalooza sessions and were disappointed when they discontinued it, but we’re professionals around here and we’ve learned how to deal with adversity. Here’s video of my reaction upon hearing the news:


Fortunately, the Google Slides hack for asking questions is actually quite simple and should be a nice alternative to the Q&A app.

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.

It’s CMEpalooza Week – Here is What to Expect

Is CMEpalooza Fall really 2 days away (yes)? Are we really ready (I hope so)? Have you registered for every session you are interested in (I hope not, since there is no such thing as registration for CMEpalooza)?

We’re a little less than 48 hours away from the start of CMEpalooza Fall and we’ll be throwing a few things out at everyone as we make our final preparations. Here is what you can expect the next few days:

  • Tomorrow morning, we’ll be putting up the case studies that will be discussed during our 3 p.m. ET session sponsored by CME Matters, “Common/Not-So-Common Case Conundrums in CME.” Everyone is certainly invited to read through both cases in advance of the session, though we’ll be reviewing the nuts and bolts of each case during the session itself. Perhaps most importantly, tomorrow morning will be the first time that our case discussants will see their case — we’re trying to introduce some real-world time pressure into each scenario.
  • Derek will also put together his usual pithy primer tomorrow on how to watch CMEpalooza Fall and answer some of the more common questions we receive. Hopefully, he’ll also briefly review the new way we’re offering live viewers to ask questions of our presenters, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he forgets. Either way, we’ll be including details on this during each CMEpalooza Fall session.
  • We’ll be lighting up the usual social media channels with weird memes and promotional posts to remind you about all of the interesting things we have in store during our live broadcasts. Please feel free to help us by using the #CMEpalooza hashtag on Twitter.
  • At 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, CMEpalooza Fall will officially begin with our kickoff session sponsored by Global Academy for Medical Education, LLC, “The Brief, Wondrous Life of a Grant Request.” Derek put out a call last week to submit questions for this session. There is still time to add your question to the queue if you’d like. Keep it clean, folks.


Addressing the Controversy Head On

One of the nice features about YouTube Live (formerly Google Hangouts On Air) is that you get to gather presenters in a private, unrecorded “green room” prior to start of each official broadcast. Basically, until you hit the actual “Start Broadcast” button, what is said in the green room stays private.

Unfortunately, it was brought to our attention last week that while Derek and I were setting up for a CMEpalooza Spring session in 2015, one of us (Derek) unknowingly hit the “Start Broadcast” session and made our “private” commentary available to the outside world.

The video apparently has become recently unearthed, if only because our haters probably recognize that CMEpalooza Fall is coming up (next Wednesday, October 19) and they want to cast a pall over our tremendous event.

We’ve been receiving calls from major media outlets in cities such as Provo, UT and Rockville, MD, asking us to comment on our salacious discussion. So instead of waiting for the video and transcript to leak out, we’re being forthwith and presenting it to you, in full, today.

We’re not exactly embarrassed by it – I mean, the folks who run other CME meetings have told us way worse things in private moments – but it’s not something we’re necessarily proud of.

Warning: What you are about to read is the kind of locker room, guy talk that all of us know is totally harmless and meaningless. Proceed at your own risk.

(garbled crosstalk)

Scott: That meeting used to be great. Some years, it’s still very beautiful.

Derek: I tried to force it to move actually. Maybe to someplace in Palm Beach. I tried to force it to move and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and ruin it.

Scott: That’s huge news there.

Derek: No, no. No this was— And I tried to force it to move very heavily. In fact, I offered to buy furniture for all of their exhibitors. Exhibitors want nice furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’ I looked at the furniture they were offering – terrible. But I couldn’t get there. Then all of a sudden I see at the next meeting, all of their exhibitors have this fake grass and these big phony tiki torches and everything. They’ve totally changed their look.

Scott: Sheesh, what about this other meeting coming up? The one next month. That agenda is hot.

Derek: Yeah, that one, with the gold star endorsements. I’ve got to get out my credit card in case I want to register. You know I’m automatically attracted to great meetings — I just start registering as soon as I can. It’s like a magnet. I just register. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

Scott: Whatever you want.

Derek: Pay the Early Bird reg fee, the full fee, the 1-day. You can do anything.

Scott: That’s right, my man!

As we wrote earlier, we are deeply embarrassed by our comments. We’re not perfect people and CMEpalooza is not a perfect meeting. We’ve said and done things we regret, and the words released today on this year-old video transcript are one of them.

Anyone who knows us knows these words don’t reflect who we are or what CMEpalooza represents. We have traveled virtually in CME circles throughout the United States talking about the need to change the way we educate our industry, but our events have also changed us.

Let’s be honest: We’re living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we’ll be talking about during CMEpalooza Fall. The Sunshine Act is killing us, pharma funding is getting slashed and forcing too many people to lose their jobs, and the maintenance of certification system is totally broken.

We will discuss this more in the coming days.

See you at CMEpalooza Fall on Wednesday, October 19.

Submit a Question for Our Grant Request Session Now!

Below is a guest post from the esteemed moderator of our The Brief, Wondrous Life of a Grant Request session, Riaz Baxamusa. 

We are going to open this season’s CMEpalooza with a bang, but first, you have a homework assignment. If you haven’t downloaded your electronic copy of The Insider’s Guide to Medical Education Grants please do so and give it a quick review before our 10 AM session. Our goal is to answer as many of your questions as we can and hopefully provide you with a few tips and tricks along the way. The lineup of insiders we have on this panel will flip the presentation on its head to make sure you get your questions about the grant submission and review process answered first. Please use the form below to submit your questions:

And if we have extra time we may cover topics such as:

  • What happens after you hit submit?
  • What are some of the best practice processes from large and small pharma companies that you may be able to incorporate into your company’s process?
  • What is the life cycle of a grant?

So don’t be shy — let us know questions you have about grant requests. We’ll do our best to answer as many of them as we can!

CMEpalooza Haiku – It’s Back!

The people clamored for it (no one clamored for it).

Scott loves it (he hates it).

I’m tired of it (I love it).

It’s CMEpalooza Haiku!


coming up next week

it’s CMEpalooza

october nineteen


please light a candle

for google hangouts on-air

killed by youtube live


how much must I pay

for such wonderful programs

silly guy they’re free


the brief wondrous life

of oscar wao? no, a grant

poor junot diaz


casual convos

folks talkin’ ‘bout CME

no jacket requir’d


therefore never send

to know for whom the TELMS tolls

TELMS it tolls for thee


two four six and eight

c’mon all let’s innovate

time for something new


confirmed or busted

CME mythbusters know

tune in to find out


ce conundrums

common and not-so-common

presented at 3:00


twenty slides twenty

seconds auto-advancing

that’s puntua lortu

A Session That Needs No Introduction

Like most men, there are few things I find more enjoyable than a long, emotional conversation about life issues that end with tear-stained hugs.

Whenever I board a plane for a long trip, I’m always excited by the possibility of sitting next to someone really interesting whose life story I can delve into hour after hour while we ride the skies.

I’d write more, but I’m busy talking out my office window to the woman whose dog just peed on my front stoop. We’re 2 hours into our conversation (did you know that city dogs live longer than country dogs? I didn’t, but I find it totally riveting).

Ah, screw it. No witty introduction to today’s blog post.

One of the new, unique session designs we’re including within the CMEpalooza Fall agenda on Wednesday, Oct. 19 is called “Casual Conversations in CME.” This one will begin at 11 a.m. ET. Clearly, it’s not a session I would likely have personally volunteered to be a participant in, but I’m nonetheless looking forward to being an educational eavesdropper and hearing what our panelists have to say.

For this session, we’ve paired 3 panels (2 people each) and really given them carte blanche to talk about whatever they want to for 15 minutes each. Presumably, it will have something to do with something related to CME, but beyond that, I really don’t know what to expect (OK, I have a little bit of any idea – I mean, we do talk to these people before our live broadcast date).

What I think will be interesting about this session is that we’ve purposefully created interesting pairings of people. For instance, Jann Balmer and Ron Murray worked together for many years and will (hopefully) fall easily into a casual banter. Our other two panels — Hilary Schmidt and Rob Bartel along with Mike LoPresti and Ro Brual — only met due to our matchmaking ability (my yenta grandmother would be so proud!) and have had to both “get to know each other” as well as figure out what they want to talk about during this session.

Frankly, I have never seen anything quite like this session, and I’ll be very interested to see how it goes. You should be too. So tune in.

Just don’t try to talk to me if we ever sit next to each other on a plane.

A Little Something For Everyone

My son Drew is just starting the 7th grade and has a fantastic teacher – Mr. Leonard. Mr. Leonard challenges his students, expects great things from them, and makes himself available when they struggle. On the first day of school, the first thing he taught everyone was the proper way to shake hands. That’s awesome.

This morning, Drew told me about the writing assignment Mr. Leonard had given the class a few days before. They were supposed to write about an epiphany they had recently experienced. He showed me the title of his epiphany-based paper: The Day I Discovered My Dad Was Good at Basketball. I was flattered, though, I would have been more so if he hadn’t used the past tense in his title. I’m a foot taller than that kid and I can still take him! What does he mean was good?!? That’s it – I’m getting my high-tops on. LET’S GO! RIGHT NOW! YOU AND ME, KID! MAKE-IT-TAKE-IT FIRST ONE TO 10!!!

Sorry, sorry…where was I? Right, epiphanies. A couple years ago, I had an epiphany of my own while covertly using Google Hangouts On-Air to record and stream Lawrence Sherman’s presentation at the Alliance conference so a colleague overseas could watch. Fast forward a few years (and a name change from Google Hangouts On-Air to YouTube Live) and we are now on our 6th(!) iteration of the result of that epiphany – CMEpalooza. That is wild.

Anytime you do a conference this many times, there is a danger of it becoming stagnant and repetitive. It’s not easy to come up with new ideas, topics, and formats. That’s why Scott and I are particularly proud of the agenda for this version of CMEpalooza. We really tried to push the envelope and come up with a wide range of formats to keep things interesting. There’s a little something for everyone. We’ve got CE experts engaging in casual conversations. We’ve got our very own Jamie and Adam to bust some CME myths. One session is basically a reality TV program with our panelists only given 24 hours notice to resolve some common and not-so-common case conundrums in CME. And of course, we’re bringing back our CME Puntua Lortu for another round to close out the day. If you have never stuck around long enough to watch the previous Puntua Lortus, I highly recommend you do this time. They’re a lot of fun.

We also sprinkled in a few traditional panel sessions, though I have to say I’m a little disappointed that only one person caught the literary reference in the title of my The Brief, Wondrous Life of a Grant Request session. Mr. Leonard would be very disappointed in all of you.

So, if you haven’t already marked your calendar for CMEpalooza on October 19, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR please do so now. Watch all the sessions or watch a few, but however much you decide to watch, just remember what my Grandpa Warnick always said: You can pick your friends and you can pick your sessions, but you can’t pick your friends’ sessions (unless you’re watching with your friends and it’s your computer and you’re in control of picking the sessions you watch, which ruins my entire closing sentence. Thanks. Thanks a lot.)