We Have Momentum (Finally)

A few weeks ago, Derek wrote about an upcoming meeting of the austere CMEpalooza planning committee that was on the calendar after weeks and weeks of coddling and begging. As those of us in the industry are familiar with, getting anyone to carve out time in their schedule for a planning call can be quite painful.

Well, imagine dealing with a whole cadre of egos (“My time is more important than your time”) where any affront is taken personally (“Wait, why are we rescheduling this meeting because she is unavailable? I told you I was unavailable, and you told me that was too bad. I hate you guys.”) and perhaps you have a sense of what Derek and I have to deal with on a semiannual basis.

OK, OK, so perhaps our planning committee isn’t quite as austere as I hinted at earlier. OK, OK, perhaps it is just Derek and I. Nonetheless, scheduling was a bit more challenging this year than most.

As you may recall from Derek’s near-catastrophic snafu with jury scheduling this spring, he is not always great at planning around important events in CMEpalooza-ville. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he bailed on our first meeting when he realized he had to see the dentist to get a few cavities filled. That’s what a lifetime of Laffy Taffy every night after dinner will do to your teeth, folks. (Note from Derek: Tough but fair.)

I was to blame (well, kinda sorta) for the second cancellation – water damage to our property caused by massive construction going on next door that is slated to be completed… oh, sometime in 2068.

But never fear my feathered friends, Derek and I persevered! Our personal assistants stayed with it, cross-referencing dates and times to find a Friday afternoon where we could both sit down and talk through ideas for CMEpalooza Fall.

But alas, another chink in the armor. Derek chose a Mexican restaurant near his house as our meeting spot. We show up. Oops. “I guess it isn’t open for lunch,” he says.

For some people, this would have been the last straw, but again, we persevered! Fortunately, another mediocre restaurant was located just across the street. What luck! OK, OK, there are lots of restaurants within a few blocks of where we met, but I’m simply trying to create some drama here.

Anyway, we sat down, ordered our iced teas and lemonades, and got down to business.

Let me approximate how these planning meetings typically go.

Me (rifling through many pages of notes and doodles during my preparation for the meeting): “So, what session ideas so you have for the next CMEpalooza?”

Derek (rifling through a blank notebook): “I dunno. Maybe something about grantors?”

Me: “So it’s on me again, eh?”

Imagine then my surprise last Friday when Derek actually had, gasp, several good ideas! I mean it everyone, a week at the beach must have sparked a few neurons into creative overdrive deep within Derek’s cerebral cortex. Between my mediocre ideas and his, we actually have a good collection of topics and formats for the Fall meeting (Wednesday, Oct. 16). We still need to flesh things out, get moderators/presenters on board, negotiate schedules, and everything else, but hey, at least we’re building momentum.

Let’s just hope life gets out the way for a while.

Welcome to Our New Blog Subscribers

We have gotten a bunch of new subscribers to the blog recently (now over 500 total!), so I thought I should throw up a quick blog post to welcome everyone and say hi. It also seems like a good time to let everyone know that we are bringing CMEpalooza to a close, and we will be transitioning this site into a full-time Philadelphia 76ers fan blog. We had a good run with the palooza, but now it’s time for us to focus on our true passion, starting with a detailed overview of who the Sixers should be targeting in free agency. Below, I have highlighted some of the top available backup centers that the Sixe.. um, hang on a moment…

OK, I am being told by Scott that we are not bringing CMEpalooza to a close and transitioning the website to a Sixers fan blog. Something about already having sponsors lined up and that people like CMEpalooza and don’t like my constant basketball references, etc, etc. I dunno, I usually tune out after about 30 seconds of Scott’s ranting, so I wasn’t really paying attention, but apparently we are still doing CMEpalooza Fall and even have a planning meeting scheduled for later this week. If, like me, you are disappointed not to read more about the Sixers potential free agency moves, feel free to shoot me an email and I will be happy to discuss.

As I was saying, the only things in life as constant as taxes and baseball is CMEpalooza. We will be back at it again on Wednesday, October 16 and will have an agenda for everyone…sometime before that. If anyone has an interesting session idea, or a speaker suggestion, or just something creative we can do, let me know. We need all the help we can get (note from Scott: Speak for yourself. I have enough ideas for both of us, as usual).

One idea I’m currently workshopping and plan to suggest to Scott for the fall is intro music for all our panelists. Who doesn’t love intro music? Frankly, I think every conference should do this when introducing speakers. I can’t think of any presentation I’ve ever listened to that wouldn’t have been immediately improved by the presenter walking to the podium while “Welcome to the Jungle” blared overhead. There is the small detail that we don’t use podiums during CMEpalooza — and it’s virtual, so no one needs to walk anywhere — but I’m sure we can figure something out.

(Side note: My intro music would definitely be AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, which I would also use if I ever decide to pursue a career in professional wrestling. I would have “The Thunder Down Under” written across the back of my wresting shorts and my finishing move would be the Thunderous Elbow Drop. After subduing my opponent with a Thunderous Elbow Drop, I would turn to the audience and yell out “YOU’VE BEEN” and they would respond by screaming in unison “THUNDERSTRUCK!!!” I’ve thought about this a lot.)

So, to recap:

  • Welcome to all our new blog subscribers
  • CMEpalooza Fall is October 16
  • This is not a Sixers blog
  • Send me all your good session ideas (not your bad ones)
  • Intro music for presenters is awesome
  • I may have shared too much about my future pro wresting plans

I think that covers all the important topics of the day. Have a great week everyone!

 

REMINDER: Please Take the CMEpalooza Spring Survey

I am writing this while watching basketball and don’t trust myself to string together enough coherent sentences to make an actual paragraph, so I’m just going to make a list.

  1. If you haven’t already taken our CMEpalooza survey, please do so now. We really do read them and use your feedback for planning purposes, so please take 30 seconds to fill it out. Here is the link. (PLEASE NOTE: if you’re just going to complete the survey in order to complain about sound quality or audio issues, then you can skip it. We know about the audio issues. Trust me…we know. I die a little inside every time someone’s audio glitches or the mic doesn’t pick them up. It’s annoying to listen to, I know. We do the best we can with it.)
  2. A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated and watched CMEpalooza. We had 291 live views for our first session of the day (always the most viewed session), which is truly mind-blowing. That’s about 70 more views than our previous high for a live session. (I know no one cares about these numbers, but indulge me for a moment.)
  3. We have a question on the survey about your favorite ’80s sitcom and someone responded with “Best ’80s sitcom was Night Court…prove me wrong.” I loved Night Court and would give it the award for most underrated ’80s sitcom with no hesitation, but calling it the best is clearly incorrect. Cheers is the correct answer and always will be. As great as Night Court was, Cheers was an almost perfect sitcom with some of the great main and supporting characters of all-time and individual episodes that people still talk about today (the Jeopardy! episode, etc.) (Note from Scott: I never like to agree with Derek about anything, but he’s right about this one. Cheers is the clear No. 1 choice here)
  4. As a follow-up to #3, a surprising number of people listed ALF as their favorite ’80s sitcom, and by surprising I mean more than zero. We have always promised to never require pre-registration for CMEpalooza, but I’m now considering requiring a one-question pre-reg that is simply, “Was ALF your favorite ’80s sitcom?” and everyone who answers yes gets redirected to the CBI registration page or something. C’mon, folks, we are better than this! (Another note from Scott: Scratch my previous comment. ALF is the clear No. 1 choice here. Free CMEpalooza registration for life for anyone who made this wise deduction)

BREAKING: Derek WILL Be at CMEpalooza Tomorrow

Good news, folks! I received an email a few minutes ago notifying me that I have been excused from jury duty tomorrow and do not need to report to city hall. This is especially good news because I completely forgot that I had jury duty until I got this email:

You are probably thinking to yourself right now, wow, that’s super lucky that Derek got excused and what a crazy coincidence that he would have jury duty on the very day of CMEpalooza.

This is the part where I tell you that I actually had been originally scheduled for jury duty back in March and asked to have it moved. When they asked me what day, I looked at my calendar and marveled at how open my schedule was for April 17 and decided that would be a great day to have jury duty.

The lesson, as always, is that I am an idiot.

See you all tomorrow!

Where Do I Watch CMEpalooza?

Where do I watch CMEpalooza?
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 play William Shatner’s spoken word version of Rocket Man 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 William Shatner’s spoken word version of Rocket Man at full volume while watching CMEpalooza.

Can I watch CMEpalooza at the office?
Yes.

Can I watch CMEpalooza at home?
Yes.

Can I watch CMEpalooza in a conference room with 150 other people?
Please do.

Can I watch CMEpalooza while at a coffee shop?
That depends. Will you be drinking a skinny latte while watching? If yes, then no, you may not watch CMEpalooza Fall while at a coffee shop.

Can I watch CMEpalooza with Magic Johnson?
I don’t know. Let’s ask him.

I guess he’s busy.

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 seven questions and shouldn’t take you more than 60 seconds. If it takes you more than 60 seconds, Scott will come to your house and perform his new one-man show for you, Game of CMEpalooza Thrones.

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 2019, here you go. I’ll also post it on the LIVE page tomorrow.

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

  1. Send a text to the ASiM 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

We always 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?
No. Will it be pretty good for most presenters? Yes. There will be some 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. That said, there seems to have been some improvements within Google Hangouts this year, so perhaps we’ll get lucky

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 each 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.

 

Announcing Our #CMEpalooza Pursuit Winners

We had a record number of entries into our Sponsor event, #CMEpalooza Pursuit, this spring – who knew that people liked free money?

I’m also pleased that our audience learned so much about our 21st president, Chester Alan Arthur. Derek tells me that he is planning to grow muttonchops like Our Most Forgotten President just in time for Wednesday’s live broadcast of CMEpalooza Spring. I think it’ll be an improvement.

Anyway, we gathered a roomful of our trusty interns this morning to witness the highly anticipated drawing for the winners of our Sponsor event, each of whom wins a $100 Amazon gift card. Here are the champions, my friends:

  • Jayzona Alberto, EdD, MS, Education Development Specialist, Continuing Medical Education, Stanford Center for Continuing Education
  • Judith Orvos, ELS, President, Orvos Communications
  • Stephanie Staggs, MHA, CHCP, Program Coordinator,Graduate & Continuing Medical Education, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University
  • Allyson Baer, MA, Senior Program Administrator, Data Analysis and Reporting, CE, Education, Science, and Professional Development, American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Katie O’Connell, Senior CME Event Coordinator, Continuing Medical Education, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

For anyone interested in the right answers for the full quiz, here they are.

The Haiku CME Deserves, Not the Haiku CME Needs: It’s CMEpalooza Haiku

the hero deserved
not the hero that we need
palooza haiku

coming in one week
cmepalooza spring
what could be better?

9 AM ET – Can You Define and Articulate the Value of Your Education?

value does not mean
all about the benjamins
build better stories

10 AM ET – Outcomes Standardization Project: One Year Later

it has been one year
since these guys started working
are we standard yet?

11 AM ET – The MECC Reborn: Our Present and Future

rising from the ash
of new york times articles
the mecc is reborn

Noon ET – The Multi-day Medical Education Program: The Rationale for Longer-Term Courses

consider this thought
maybe instead of smaller
it should be bigger

1 PM ET – Lighten the Load! Designing Efficient, Engaging Education Based on Cognitive Principles

both of these speakers
are much smarter than I am
cognition science!

2 PM ET – You Can Do It! Busting Myths About the Use of Audience Response Technology

just like ray parker
busting (myths) makes us feel good
don’t ghost this session

3 PM ET – Nobody Puts Outcomes in the Corner

stop dirty dancing
with needless outcomes levels
it’s time to align

4 PM ET – CME Overview for the CME Professional

oldhead or newbie
here’s an overview for all
(we’re all young at heart)

Sponsors

a couple haikus
for gold and silver sponsors
scott is making me

Gold

our sole gold sponsor
AcademicCME
stay gold ponyboy

Silver

Educational
Concepts that are Creative
click here to learn more

when you think silver
think ASiM CE
call daniel not dan

it’s not provolone
it’s Prova Education
bad on sandwiches

Don’t Forget: CMEpalooza Pursuit Entries Due Friday

A quick reminder for those of you who like free money: Entries for CMEpalooza Pursuit, our annual Sponsor event, are due on Friday, April 12 at 11:59 p.m. ET. You can get all of the information you need to enter by reading last week’s announcement available here.

Here is what some of the early entrants have been saying about CMEpalooza Pursuit:

  • “What a great way to learn about some of the companies who develop CME programs. I wasn’t familiar with a few of these companies, and it was a fun way to learn about them.”
  • “A good excuse to stop doing real work for a few minutes. And American history? Wow.”
  • “I got some good ideas for our future programs just by looking through what other providers are doing.”
  • “You suck” (this was Derek’s entry, which was disqualified for many, many reasons)

This Is Not the Last Day to Register for CMEpalooza

Hey gang, just a quick note to let you all know that today is not the last day to register for CMEpalooza, because, well, we don’t have registration at CMEpalooza. You can just drop by whenever you want on Wednesday, April 17, click on the live video stream, and start watching. It’s wild.

Of course, if something truly awful happens that prevents you from watching CMEpalooza live – like if you have a burst appendix or perhaps accidentally eat a piece of white chocolate and have to go to the ER – you can always watch the archive of all the presentations later that day (or any other day). Again, no registration and no charge. The advantages of a virtual conference.

Scott and I briefly toyed with the idea of trying an actual in-person, live meeting CMEpalooza. Rather, I toyed with the idea. Scott thought it was a dumb idea from the very beginning, which is probably right. Anyway, I checked out a potential venue last week. Here’s my picture from inside the Wells Fargo Center, home of the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul. Also, apparently a couple teams named the Flyers and 76ers play there. News to me.

Frankly, I’m not sure if this space is big enough to accommodate us. Is the Astrodome still around?

Speaking of the 76ers, Sixers legend Bobby Jones was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame this past Saturday. While Bobby Jones looked like a high school AP calculus teacher even in his prime playing days, he was surprisingly athletic and a nasty dunker. Whenever he passes on from this world to the next, I imagine his conversation with St. Peter at the Pearly Gates will go something like this:

St. Peter: “Name?”

Bobby Jones: “Bobby Jones.”

St. Peter: “Reason you should be let into heaven?”

Bobby Jones: “I dunked on Larry Bird.”

St. Peter: “Uh…didn’t you start a sports ministry for at-risk youth??”

Bobby Jones: “Yes, but…” [whips out cellphone and plays this video]

St. Peter [with a small smile]: “OK, you’re in. Next!”

Did I just write this entire blog post for the sole purpose of showing a video of Bobby Jones dunking on Larry Bird and knocking him on his butt?

Only St. Peter knows for sure…