Feeling Down? Here is the Cure

CMEpalooza withdrawal (N): That empty feeling in the pit of your stomach that persists for 2-4 weeks after each live CMEpalooza broadcast. Often accompanied by the need to write grant proposals in haiku form.

CMEpalooza withdrawal is a syndrome that has not yet been widely appreciated in the medical community, although Derek and I have received more and more clinician referrals in recent years. Despite the abundance of online conferences for the CME community available this spring, we nonetheless received more than a dozen inquiries over the last few weeks asking if there was any cure for this ailment.

There is, of course. Which I’ll get to in a second.

But first, some big big news. OK, it’s probably very little little news, but it’s nonetheless enough for a special announcement.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Bye bye CMEpalooza. And hello CMEpalooza™.

Yes, that’s right, we are officially a trademarked entity according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office! When Derek proposed applying for a trademark last summer (I forget why – that’s how long ago it was [note from Derek: I don’t remember either. I’m sure it was a very important reason though.]), I figured it would be no big thing. Well, it was, and it wasn’t.

I don’t know how many of you have ever applied for a trademark, but as with everything that has to do with the government, there are VERY SPECIFIC regulations that need to be followed. Not only do you have to cross every T and dot every I, but you need to use the right font and character size too. Get anything wrong and it’s back to square one (which means waiting 4 months for another official review after you correct your errors). In the meantime, have fun scrolling through the dozens of emails you’ll get every day from law firms who are just dying to help you, all for the low low price of $500.

I’m actually rather proud of myself that we only got dinged once for some inconsequential error and that I managed to complete the process without the help of any of those pesky (but I’m sure super helpful) law firms. Our initial submission went in on August 16 and we received the official notice on April 13 that our application was approved. That’s only 8 months. I’ve had grant requests that languished in supporter portals for longer than that!

If anyone ever wants any help or advice on the trademark application process, I’m available (for the low low price of $500). And for all of you who had designs on usurping the CMEpalooza™ for your own commercial purposes, well, just stop it. Or Derek will hire a lawyer to, er, do something.

OK, that’s announcement No. 1, and probably has left you wondering, “I just read four paragraphs about this because…” Our second announcement should be a little more notable.

For everyone suffering from CMEpalooza™ withdrawal, we have good news – more CMEpalooza™! (I’ll stop with the trademark symbol now – you get the gist)

Yes, we have a special CMEpalooza Spotlight on the calendar with the fine folks at Daiichi Sankyo that is scheduled for 11 am ET on Wednesday, June 23. It’s still a ways away, but it’ll hopefully give you something to look forward to. In that special 35-40 minute session, we’ll be talking about “Innovations in CE: A Supporter’s Perspective on Using RFPs to Enhance Public Health.” This is our first-ever Spotlight with a supporter team, and I think it’ll provide an interesting perspective on some of the inner workings of a grant team during a time of crisis (ie, COVID). We’ll remind you more about this special broadcast as the date gets closer, but it’s probably good to set this time aside now since it’s going to be 95 degrees that morning and your air conditioning is probably going to be on the fritz.

Anything else you want to announce, Derek? (note from Derek: Nope.) (note from Scott: Derek is like the color guy from Major League. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks)

Where do I watch CMEpalooza Spring?

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

Do I have to refresh the page to watch new sessions? That is super annoying.
No, you do not have to refresh the page to watch new sessions. Every session now has a unique link, so you don’t need to refresh the LIVE page to watch each new session. Just find the session you want to watch at the appropriate time and click that link to begin.

Will people be able to hear me on the broadcast?
No. You are not on the broadcast. You are only watching a video feed of the broadcast. You can play Mahna Mahna by The Muppets at full volume and no one will hear you except your neighbors, who might call the police, who might interrupt you while watching CMEpalooza. So, don’t play Mahna Mahna by The Muppets at full volume while watching CMEpalooza.

Can I watch CMEpalooza at home?
Yes.

Can I watch CMEpalooza at the office?
Er…uh…maybe? I guess you can if you’re vaccinated or wearing a mask or no one is around. Or you can just stay home, put on your pajamas, and relax.

Can I watch CMEpalooza in a conference room with 150 other people?
Oof. I mean…you “can” but…let’s not do that, yet. Maybe in the fall.

Can I watch CMEpalooza while at a coffee shop?
That depends. Do you own your own coffee shop and will you be watching by yourself? If no, then…probably not. Stay home!

Can I watch CMEpalooza at home with my pets?
I don’t know. Let’s ask them.

Ehhhh maybe not.

Do I have to pre-register or register?
Nope.

Do I have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza? 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 four questions and shouldn’t take you more than 60 seconds. If it takes you more than 60 seconds, Scott will send you a custom-made facemask with the CMEpalooza logo cross-stitched on it.

Can I get a certificate for watching CMEpalooza?
Actually, yes. Well, kind of. We’re not accredited or certified or anything like that, and we have no way of verifying whether you actually watched any of these sessions or not. But if you want a certificate of completion that you can use to self-report participation in CMEpalooza Spring 2021, here you go. I’ll also post it on the LIVE page tomorrow. Who knows, maybe these certificates will be worth something 2,000 years from now.

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

  1. Send a text to the Creative Education Concepts text line at 267-666-0CME (0263)
  2. Tweet a question using the #CMEpalooza hashtag

We try to get to as many questions as we can throughout each presentation.

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

Will the sound quality for each presenter be crystal clear with consistent volume and no glitches?
I mean, really, have you been on, I don’t know, 500 web calls in the last month? Is it always perfect for everyone? Of course not. That said, we’re better with this technology stuff than the average bear – we HAVE been doing this for 7 years now so hopefully we’ve learned something. So will it be pretty good for almost every presenter? Yes, yes it will. There will be some people who sound better than others. There may be a few glitches and hiccups. That’s just how it goes with a free conference where presenters volunteer their time and use their own equipment. Some people aren’t comfortable doing a presentation while wearing headphones and a mic, so we don’t force them to use it. We do the best that we can with what we have available to us.

Will I be offended by anything during CMEpalooza?
There is a 99.9% chance that I will be drinking a beverage of an alcoholic nature during CME Pop Trivia II (4:00 pm ET), so if that offends you, then yes, I guess. There also might be some Rock and/or Roll music playing, so plan accordingly.

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