Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain: Top 5 CMEpalooza Bloopers

Before I move on to the topic that is at the top of everyone’s mind — CMEpalooza bloopers, of course — I do want to take a quick moment and thank everyone who submitted an abstract for CMEpalooza Spring. As always, Scott and I are humbled and honored that so many of you would take the time and effort to put together an idea for our little event. We have some interesting and creative ideas among our accepted sessions, and I’m particularly excited that we will have a number of new faces popping up this time around. Our goal is to hopefully have the agenda up for you sometime next week, fingers crossed! (As usual, I am the slow one, so blame me if it’s not up by then…)

And now, on to the bloopers!

While I was at the Alliance conference a few weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone who mentioned that she was always impressed with how smoothly CMEpalooza ran, and “Did we ever have anything go wrong?” After I finished wiping away the tears of laughter from my eyes, I smiled politely and said, “Oh, yes. All the time.”

That is, unfortunately, all too true. We have small, easily resolvable glitches, like someone needing to use a different web browser because their video isn’t working. And we have bigger screw-ups which, for some unknown reason, seem to happen more frequently on my watch (no reason to analyze this in any more detail. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. Also, Scott might screw up all the time and just never tell me. This seems pretty likely, actually. Let’s go with that.) The nice thing about running a virtual conference is that most (but not all) of the things that go wrong happen before we go live on the air, so Scott and I come across like we actually know what we’re doing (haha). This list of Top 5 CMEpalooza Bloopers is a little glimpse behind the CMEpalooza curtain, for better or for worse.

#5: The time power went out on my entire block. This happened during my first session of the second day of the palooza last spring (we experimented with making the palooza two half days instead of one whole day. It wasn’t great.) and was actually remarkable timing. The session was just finishing up, and I was getting ready to close the Hangout when I suddenly got a message saying I was disconnected from the Internet, which was very confusing. Then I looked around and noticed all of my lights were off. Then I looked out my window and noticed all the lights were off EVERYWHERE. It was perfect weather outside, but for some reason the power had been knocked out on my entire block (I still don’t know why). I had about 30 minutes before I had to get my next session ready, and I had no Internet service and none of my neighbors had Internet service. I called a friend who lives about 15 minutes away and she graciously offered her house and Internet for me to use for the rest of the day. I sprinted up the steps to my third-floor office, grabbed the laptop and threw it in my bag, sprinted/tripped back down the steps, and was reaching for my car keys when the power came back on. Breathing a sigh of relief, I went back to my office and got the Hangout ready for my next session with minutes to spare.

#4: The time we couldn’t figure out how to pronounce Vivacity Consulting. I still feel badly about this. Erin Schwartz and her CME consulting company Vivacity Consulting were the very first sponsor of CMEpalooza and deserved so much better than Scott and I repeatedly stumbling over a not-that-difficult-to-pronounce name. Those of you who have ever watched CMEpalooza know that we always have a slide with all of our sponsors listed, and we read off all the sponsor names at the beginning of each session. As I was reading the slide for the first time, I realized I had never said “Vivacity” out loud before and was not exactly sure how to say it. I went with “vivuh-city” because that’s how it sounded in my head and also, I’m an idiot. Scott also got it wrong during the session after mine (ergo he’s also an idiot). Poor Erin sent me a message to try to explain that the correct enunciation is “viˈvasədē”, but I was a lost cause. I got it wrong every time, though credit to me for creativity with a different pronunciation each time. I think Scott eventually got it right by the end, but I never did. It was pathetic. Lesson learned, though, as now I always practice the sponsor names ahead of time.

#3:  The time roofers came to install a new roof outside my office window. They were supposed to come the day before CMEpalooza. Then it rained. Guess who showed up to hammer and saw five feet from my office window just as the first palooza session cranked up? Thankfully, they were only around for the first two sessions and I’m the Quick Draw McGraw of the mute button, so most of the ambient noise was kept to a minimum. Even so, you can still hear hammering and sawing in the background if you listen closely enough.

#2: The time I told Graham McMahon the wrong time for his session. Yes, I asked the CEO of the ACCME to participate in a CMEpalooza session with Lawrence Sherman, he (somewhat to my surprise) accepted, and I then proceeded to tell him and his staff the wrong time it would start. And continued to repeat the wrong time for the next month, only realizing my error when Dr. McMahon’s assistant questioned me about it at 9 a.m. on the morning of CMEpalooza. His session was at 1 p.m. ET, noon CT, and I kept telling everyone that it would start at noon ET. I don’t know why. I think the time zones confused me, even though I double and triple checked. It was one of the worst stomach-sinking experiences I’ve ever had when I discovered what I had done. Remarkably, the revised time still worked with everyone’s schedules and the session went great, though it took me about a week to stop being mad at myself.

#1: The time Google Hangouts shut down in the middle of a session. I made this #1 because it was the only one of the top 5 bloopers that had an obvious impact on the session. It was during our The Brief, Wondrous Life of a Grant Request session at CMEpalooza Fall 2016, the first session of the day, and I knew something was going wrong because everyone on the screen was frozen, even though their audio was perfectly fine. I texted Scott, who said everything on the screen looked fine, so I just let it keep going in the hopes that everything would  work out OK. It did not. As I was watching, the Hangout that everyone was on suddenly just…disappeared. It just went away. I sat there stunned for a few seconds, not knowing what to do. I got a text from Scott telling me the video feed was down (very helpful, Scott, thanks). I took a few more moments to think and then quickly brought up a new Hangout, emailed the new link to all the panelists, and then posted the new video stream on the website. In all, it took less than 5 minutes to get back up and running again. I got a new laptop and router the next day.

 

Yes, You Too Can Be a CMEpalooza Sponsor

Like me, I am sure you get annoyed when you open your morning inbox and see another email reminding you that “The deadline for submitting an abstract for Meeting XYZ is next week. Don’t miss your opportunity to share your knowledge with colleagues and further your career!”

So no, this isn’t a post to remind you one last time that the deadline for submitting an abstract for CMEpalooza Spring is tomorrow (even though, well, yes, it is. Derek is counting on you).

Today, I’ll be telling you about something of potentially monumental importance both to you and the organization you represent — sponsorship opportunities for CMEpalooza! Whoo-hoo!

OK, OK, settle down now. That’s enough whoo-hooing for one day. You’ll hurt yourself if this goes on any longer.

Since we introduced sponsorship opportunities prior to CMEpalooza III (it’s Super Bowl week, so Roman numerals are acceptable), more than 40 companies have come aboard to support one or more of our events. Every year, we tweak the goodies offered to sponsors, especially at the higher levels. Our initial batch of sponsors for CMEpalooza XI (that’s this year’s Spring meeting) were put up last week, but there are still many opportunities available at every sponsorship level.

Here are some little known facts about a CMEpalooza sponsorship:

  1. You can have a session of your very own. That’s right, if you want to take the ultimate leap into a Gold sponsorship, you get the honor of working with Derek and I to plan your very own CMEpalooza session. Now I know what you are thinking – “In what world is working with Derek and you considered to be a ‘honor?'” OK, OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but at least it’ll be less painful than a mortgage/rent payment! I had a conversation with a colleague last week who works with a prior Gold sponsor. She told me, “We were going to do it again, but we didn’t have any good ideas for a session.” Hogwash, I tell you, hogwash! We have lots of ideas. They might not be good ideas, but they are ideas. We’ll figure something out.
  2. Derek will write you a haiku. You all know how much I love CMEpalooza haiku. I have written about it before. It’s one of Derek’s favorite blog posts. He cozies up on the sofa with a giant bag of Cheetos, gets that orange cheese dust all over his keyboard, and bangs out what the New York Times literature reviewer calls, “Eh, something.” For the first time this year, all Silver and Gold sponsors of CMEpalooza get your very own customized haiku written by the esteemed Mr. Warnick. He is extremely excited about this opportunity to further advance his pathetic — I mean, poetic — career.
  3. You will get tremendous exposure. Whenever sponsorship time rolls around, we always get the question of, “But, why sir, why?” Look, I can’t promise you that your company’s revenues will double if you decide to sponsor CMEpaloooza (though if they do, I will take full credit). But I can tell you that we have a lot of people read our blog (nearly 500 subscribers who get an email with every post as well as those who simply come to the website every hour), view our sessions (a record 644 unique visitors watched 1 or more sessions in CMEpalooza X last fall), and participate in our special sponsor events like CMEpalooza Bingo!! or CMEpalooza Pursuit!!. For some reason, people seem to like us, and by extension, they will like you if you sign up to be one of our sponsors.
  4. You will have money left over to buy many, many “4 for $4” deals at Wendy’s. While I haven’t actually been to a Wendy’s since, I don’t know, the 10th grade, I won’t argue that their food is expensive (whether or not it is actually good, well, you can be the judge). The point is, CMEpalooza sponsorships aren’t terribly expensive. They start at the low, low price of $600. You probably have that much in your couch cushions right now! OK, maybe you don’t (but if you do, seriously, lift up those cushions more than once a decade). Regardless, you get the point.

If I’ve done enough to convince you to climb aboard the Sponsorship train, well, bully for me. Just send me an email with some very basic info, and we’ll get the process started. If you remain on the fence and want more info, you can check out the full Sponsorship prospectus. If you are laughing uproariously at this post’s shameless plug, the Pit of Despair is just over yonder.

CMEpalooza Spring Abstracts Are Due Friday!

ABSTRACTS FOR CMEpalooza SPRING ARE DUE FEBRUARY 1!
Click here to go to the abstract submission form (bottom of the page)

As I’ve mentioned here numerous times before, my personality definitely leans towards the introverted side of the social spectrum. Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good at repressing my natural inclinations to avoid human interaction, especially when attending things such as the Alliance conference.

Shockingly, I have found that I even sort of like talking to people… sometimes… and that people, maybe, kind of like talking to me? I don’t know, that might be pushing it, but I have found that it’s helpful for me to take little breaks of solitude during the day in order to recharge. This, however, can lead to things like this:

This, of course, leads to a follow-up question that I know you all are asking right now: Does this mean Scott is the extrovert of the CMEpalooza team??

The answer is yes.

Even more incredible to believe is that not only is he the extrovert of CMEpalooza, he is also our optimist. Stunning revelations, I know, but true! I’m the one who after two years of doing CMEpalooza informed Scott that this was probably our apex and it was all downhill from here. I’m the one who assumed no one would ever want to be a sponsor of our events. And I’m the one who every year assumes no one will submit an abstract to present at CMEpalooza Spring.

(Side note: My pessimism should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever watched a Sixers game with me. I love them, but always anticipate failure and defeat.)

To my delight, I talked with several people at the Alliance conference who said they were planning to submit an abstract for this year’s CMEpalooza Spring. Yay! I’m always thrilled that people still enjoy the palooza and want to participate.

(Do I think most of the people I talked to about submitting an abstract will change their mind and never do it?…NO!…I mean, no, I do not…but…I mean…ok, yes, I do, but ignore me…)

One of the questions that came up during these conversations is, “What topics are other people considering abstracts for?” To help answer that, I put together a list of the abstract titles from some of the people I talked with at the conference. I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ve not included their last names, but I think it will help give you an idea of what’s under consideration:

Donald T (politician/businessman, Washington DC) – Building a Wall Between Good and Bad Education
Joel E (basketball player, Philadelphia) – Learning to Trust the Process and Other Meeting Planning Tips 
Bruce W (entrepreneur, Gotham) – Unmasking the Learning Myths That Drive Me Batty
Cardi B (musician, Bronx) – I Like It!: True Confessions of an Accreditation Fanatic
Tom B (football player, Boston) – Deflating Expectations About Winning Grant Requests
Nancy P (politician, Washington DC) – Saying No: Advice for Negotiating with Difficult Faculty
Daenerys T of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt (Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons) – How to Train a Dragon: No, Seriously, That’s It…I Will Teach You How to Train a Frickin’ Dragon

And just in case the reminder at the top wasn’t enough, please remember that abstracts for CMEpalooza Spring are due on Friday.

Click here to go to the abstract submission form

A Special CMEpalooza Offer

We’re big fans of free here at CMEpalooza headquarters. Just ask our trusty interns, who constantly ask about things like “back pay” and “overtime” and “bonuses.” Ha ha, keep dreaming people!

But anyway, we know that a slice of the CME/CE community is decamping to the Alliance meeting in National Harbor, MD, this week, so we figured we’d come up with something special for our friends and fans in attendance.

Find Derek (he’s the tall guy with the goofy grin and the faraway look in his eyes) and utter the simple phrase “Shake Milton” to get a free — yes, free! — registration to CMEpalooza Spring (offer limited to the first 500 participants).

Even better, this simple utterance will serve as an ice breaker to talk to Derek about any number of topics about which he is passionate. For instance: Cocoa Puffs, synchronized swimming, supply-side economics, the War of 1812, archipelagos, and postmodern architecture. He’s a fascinating guy.

Choose Your Own (Alliance) Adventure – Redux

Well, another Alliance annual conference is upon us, and though the government may be shut down, the CME community marches on.

For those of you unable to attend the annual conference this year, we at CMEpalooza are here to help. While your colleagues are holed up in a conference room somewhere in “exotic” National Harbor, MD, why not take one day this week to create your own personal annual conference?

We’ve recently updated the CMEpalooza Archive page to include all of the sessions from CMEpalooza Fall 2018, and there are now over 90 different (free) educational sessions for you to choose from. You can easily put together a whole week’s worth of faux-annual conference days if you want to (Don’t do that. You have better things to do with your time. Like writing an essay debating which Darrin on Bewitched was superior, Dick York or Dick Sargent. Just take a couple hours.).

To help get you started, I’ve taken the liberty of attempting to re-create a typical day at the Alliance conference, but using archived CMEpalooza sessions for the agenda. These are just suggested sessions; feel free to substitute in any of the other sessions and choose your own annual conference adventure.

The night before: Drink a few too many adult beverages, and stay up a minimum of two hours past your usual bedtime. This is a critical step in preparing for the next day’s learning experience. Also, set out your running clothes so you are ready for an early morning run before the conference starts.

6:30 a.m.: Turn off your alarm and go back to sleep. Curse yourself for drinking too much and/or going to bed too late. Scowl at the waiting running clothes mocking you from their place on the shelf.

Breakfast: Get out of bed and walk to the coffee shop around the corner to eat breakfast. Remind yourself of the promise you made to eat healthier this year. Order a 4-pack of mini muffins and a couple strips of bacon anyway. Pat yourself on the back for accepting the free mini-bran muffin offered to you by the cashier. Throw the bran muffin in the trash. What’s bran anyway?

9:00 a.m. Keynote: Chatting With Graham McMahon
Who better to kickoff our annual conference than the President and CEO of the ACCME?

10:00 a.m. Keynote Discussion: Hop on the Twitters and share your thoughts on the keynote address using the #CMEpalooza hashtag. Send an email to one of your colleagues or to Scott with your key takeaways and ask for their opinion.

Break: Grab an overbrewed coffee and tell anyone around (including your pets) that you are going to your room to check email. Turn on the TV and watch SportsCenter instead.

11:00 a.m. Plenary Session: Seeing It Both Ways
This session, featuring two representatives from medical education companies and two from industry, will focus on the variables that go into a grant budget and why they vary so widely from provider to provider. How does industry make comparisons between submissions? What is and is not considered reasonable? How are providers who have never received previous funding evaluated?

Lunch: To really recreate the conference experience, go gaze in your refrigerator at the free food available to you. Decide you don’t like any of the options provided because they either don’t appeal to you or aren’t healthy enough. Go out to eat at the closest restaurant to you with the intention of ordering a salad and glass of water. Order a hamburger and fries instead. For the sake of authenticity, pay the confused waitress $45 for the food.

1:30 p.m. Plenary Session: Fear Not the Force: ​Twenty Predictions Five Years Later
Five years ago, great masters within our galaxy predicted the elements of change, threat, and opportunity that can transform learning into an agent of change. Using Dr. Curtis Olson’s mid-2012 publication, Twenty Predictions for the Future of CPD: Implications of the Shift from the Update Model to Improving Clinical Practice, medical Jedi-in-training are now assembling to better understand what has occurred since publication, and the powerful forces in motion that will influence the most essential decisions within our industry now and tomorrow. Join us to be reminded that the Force is in every one of us should we choose to accept it.

Break: Click over to the Exhibit Hall and browse around the sponsors who have signed up for CMEpalooza Spring 2019, so far. In order to replicate the true exhibit hall experience, invite a family member/colleague/neighbor/pet to come into the room and then avoid making eye-contact with them while you read more about the sponsors. After you’re done, tell them you need to check email, but go on Facebook instead and update your status (“OMG I am at the BEST conf EVERRRRRRR!!! lol YOLO, amirite???”)

3:30 p.m. Plenary Session: Not Another Outcomes Panel! (Or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Bar Graphs)
In recent years, the discussion about outcomes levels has elevated reports from just including information about “butts in seats” and “the quality of the dinner” to “nonoverlap” effect sizes, participant profiling, and more advanced statistical modeling. But, with these advances, the only comparators between the programs that remain are participation and satisfaction. Additionally, even dynamic outcomes reports are leaving out key components that not only make outcomes difficult to aggregate but difficult to understand the actual impact of these programs.

This panel will put together supporters who have also lived in provider worlds to answer the following pressing questions:

  • What components are supporters actually looking for in outcomes reports?
  • What features do the best reports contain?
  • What mistakes or omissions are commonly found?
  • Has the CMS ruling on CPIA changed anything regarding reporting?
  • How do supporters’ needs align to the needs of health systems and other internal stakeholders?
  • What are the differences between educational outcomes and clinical trial outcomes? How do we talk about that difference with stakeholders and help them understand the significance of education?

Ultimately the goal of this discussion is show the need for outcomes standardization and why it will benefit everyone within medical education.

Reception: Invite a bunch of people over to your house for drinks and light hors d’oeuvres. As they come in the door, ask each person for I.D. in order to verify it is the person you invited. Give them each two tickets they can redeem for drinks and glare at them if they ask for another. Make sure you have a giant cheese ball, because a reception just isn’t a reception without a cheese ball. Walk around for 10 minutes, pretend to get an urgent phone call, and stride quickly out the door with the phone to your ear. Leave. Hopefully, when you come back home in 4 hours, everyone will either have left or passed out in the loo.

Fin.

What Makes a Good CMEpalooza Abstract?

We work in a strange industry.

Where else can you spend days/weeks slaving over an intricate document (ie, the dreaded grant proposal) with a total inability to talk to the party that will receive your work and get a sense of their general expectations? And then have absolutely no idea whether the “denied” request was “good, but not enough,” “just OK,” or “absolutely dreadful”?

Take the following scenario for example:

Little Derek W. (I have de-identified our “fictional” subject to protect his identity) is assigned a book report by his 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Mathewson. He is allowed to pick a book of his choosing and then must write about the topic of “I would/would not recommend this book to a friend because…”

Derek W. is an avid Nancy Drew fan, so chooses the classic, The Secret of the Old Clock. But Derek W. is confused. He goes up to Mrs. Mathewson to ask for her help.

“Is my ‘friend’ supposed to be a kid or an adult? And what if there are some reasons I would recommend the book, but other reasons why I wouldn’t? How long is this report supposed to be? Does it need to be handwritten or can I type out my response?”

Mrs. Mathewson completely stonewalls him. She ignores him as if he doesn’t exist (just like the girls on the playground). Derek W. asks his parents if they can help. “Sorry son. This whole book report thing is a mystery to us, too.”

So Derek W. does his best, trying to figure out what Mrs. Mathewson is looking for. A few weeks later, he gets a crumpled up note passed to him after class.

“You failed.”

Derek W. is apoplectic. Tears are streaming down his face. He goes up to Mrs. Mathewson, asks her, “Why did I fail? What was wrong with my book report?”

She said, “Sorry. I can’t tell you. It could be that we had too many reports on the same book, it could be that your report didn’t align to the criteria of our grading committee, it could be that we had already given out too many other passing grades.” That’s all I can really say.

Seems rather familiar to many of us, right?

Today though, you are in luck my friend, because I am about to unlock every secret to a successful abstract submission for CMEpalooza Spring. Perhaps you noticed last week’s Call for Abstracts where we provided basic information on how to submit an abstract for our upcoming Spring event (Wednesday, April 17) and you are noodling over an idea or two.

Well, just so you don’t waste too much time, I am going to tell you exactly what you need to do to guarantee* that your abstract gets accepted by our esteemed abstract review committee (* – not guaranteed):

DO – Read the guidelines carefully before you submit and follow all of the instructions
DON’T – Think to yourself, “Eh, they probably don’t mean this. I’m just going to submit for a boring, 60-minute, PowerPoint heavy presentation on a topic that is pretty dull and drab.”

DO – Recruit colleagues from a variety of professional settings. We love having a variety of viewpoints for our sessions. CMEpalooza veterans, CMEpalooza rookies – doesn’t matter.
DON’T – Only include your friend in the cube next to yours as a co-presenter. You certainly can only include people from your own organization, but there should be a reason for that beyond, “I am feeling lazy.”

DO – Submit a fresh idea that has never been presented before.
DON’T – Recycle a session that you have presented in the past at another venue. If you give it a fresh twist, great. But if you are simply submitting the same idea to us that you are presenting at another venue before CMEpalooza Spring, we can usually tell.

DO – Pay attention to the February 1 submission deadline
DON’T – Submit something on February 2. We don’t look kindly upon tardiness.

DO – Check your spelling and grammar before you submit your abstract.
DON’T – Submit an abstract written in a foreign language. Por favor.

DO – Take a chance. “I don’t know if this is going to work, but we’re willing to try” is good for CMEpalooza
DO – Think about the nuts and bolts of your session before you submit. “We think this is going to work and it’s going to be really cool” is even better
DO – Propose some sort of wacky format that is going to be fun for you, your co-presenters, and our audience. “We are super excited about this. It’s weird, but it’s going to be awesome” is even better still!

There, that should do it. A guaranteed* acceptance (* – not guaranteed).

Perhaps you have other questions for us. Great! We can answer every single one. If you are going to the Alliance next week, feel free to corner Derek and fire away. He loves talking to people for hours! (note from Derek: I do not.) Here are some topics he loves discussing to help you break the ice: fashion, tennis, Asian cuisine, dominoes, the Punic Wars, crocheting. And, of course, the Nancy Drew series.

Whoops, I just de-de-identified our “fictional” student, didn’t I? Oh well.

Submit an Abstract to Present at CMEpalooza Spring 2019 Now!

My son — who is 14-years-old and should be past this by now — has a favorite knock-knock joke that he is constantly trying to use on people, including me, whom he has told it to multiple times before. He clearly thinks I’m an idiot. Anyway, here it (WARNING: it is terrible.)

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Interrupting cow.
Interrupting cow w-
MOOOOO!!!

I sigh deeply, roll my eyes, and think, “Here we go again…” every time he tells it. It’s very similar to how Scott and I react every time we begin planning the next CMEpalooza agenda. Not that we don’t love CMEpalooza, but getting the agenda together can be a chore, which is why the spring palooza is always my favorite. We make all of you do most of the work for us! Yay!

As always, our goal with the CMEpalooza Spring agenda is to have the CME/CE community intimately involved in its development. This year, as we did last year, we are releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for anyone to submit an idea for a CMEpalooza Spring session. This perhaps sounds more impressive than it actually is since the RFP being “released” is just this blog post, but work with me here.

We are going to try to keep the process pretty simple. If you have an idea for a session that you would like to lead at CMEpalooza Spring (Wednesday, April 17), just complete the RFP submission form below by the end of the day on Friday, February 1. After February 1, Scott and I will review all of the proposals that we have received and select at least six for the agenda. Yes, we have gotten drunk on our own self-proclaimed power and will do all the selecting ourselves.

Here are a few guidelines:

  1. This is an online conference and all sessions are done via YouTube Live (Google Hangout). All presenters must have a computer, access to a decent internet connection, and a webcam. Most laptops produced after 2010 have one built in.
  2. Proposals will only be considered if they are submitted via the RFP submission form below.
  3. The deadline for proposals to be submitted is by 9 p.m. ET on Friday, February 1.
  4. We are open to pretty much any idea as long as it’s possible for us to do via YouTube Live and it relates in some way to CME/CE. The more creative, the better.
  5. Interactive formats with multiple presenters, such as panel sessions and interviews, are encouraged. Single-person PowerPoint lectures are discouraged, unless you can convince us that it’s going to be really, really good.
  6. Please verify the availability of all presenters for the date of CMEpalooza (April 17) before submitting their name in your proposal. If you don’t, we won’t be happy. Scott will probably scowl at you when you email to tell us one of your speakers is not available. You don’t want that. Trust me.
  7. There are six categories we are looking to fill for a well-rounded agenda. They are: Outcomes, Educational Design, Technological Innovations, Commercial Support, Accreditation, and CME Potpourri (anything that doesn’t fit in the other five categories). Your proposal should align with one of these categories. Ideally, we will select one proposal for each category, but we might decide to choose multiple proposals for one category based on what we receive. It’s our conference and we can do what we want.
  8. We don’t want to limit creativity, so there isn’t a limit on the number of proposals you can submit, but use common sense and be reasonable. We will likely only choose one proposal for which you are listed as the lead contact, so don’t submit 10 proposals or something crazy like that.
  9. We will try to notify you within a week of the deadline if your proposal has been accepted or not.
  10. If you have any questions, feel free to email Derek (thecmeguy@gmail.com) or Scott (scott@medcasewriter.com) or find us at the Alliance conference in a couple weeks.

I think that about covers it. I especially want to encourage people who have never presented at CMEpalooza to submit a proposal. We are always happy to have new presenters participate, and now is as good a time as any. The RFP submission form is below. Have fun!

CMEpalooza Is Coming

Folks, I’m going to be completely honest with you here. Scott and I have been doing this for a long time now (incredibly, this upcoming CMEpalooza Spring will be the 5-year anniversary of the very first palooza. You can check out the archive for that first one here and here.)

Sometimes, I sit down to write a blog post and the words just pour out of my fingertips and I can bang it out in 15 minutes. Other times — like today, and yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that — I sit down and stare blankly at my laptop for 15 minutes before I close it and go do something else (by “something else,” I usually mean watching highlights from last year’s Super Bowl for the umpteenth time. Did you know that the Eagles won? It’s true).

I haven’t written anything for the blog since October, and I’m definitely feeling a little rusty. I don’t even have any clever anecdotes from my little holiday break, which was very pleasant and relaxing, but bereft of much action and excitement. Would you like to hear about the 1000-piece puzzle of the London skyline I worked on? Everything was going fine until someone who will remain nameless (my wife, who denies it, even though it was definitely her) left the family room door open, and the cats laid waste to Big Ben like Godzilla rampaging through downtown Tokyo. Cats, man…

Where was I? Oh, right – CMEpalooza Spring is coming on Wednesday, April 17! Woohoo! Mark it on your calendars now!

Will it be a special Game of Thrones themed CMEpalooza in honor of the final season of GoT, which is also starting in April? YES!

Hold on a minute…

[…]

OK, I’m being told by Scott that it will definitely not be a special GoT themed CMEpalooza, as that would be “ridiculous.” Fine.

What we are going to do is have an open abstract submission process for anyone to submit a presentation idea for CMEpalooza Spring. We’ll open up the submission form in a week or so and keep it open until sometime after the Alliance conference, which ends on January 26 (which also happens to be my birthday, but please don’t send me any presents like air pods, a Joel Embiid City Edition jersey (I wear a large) or a pair of size 13 Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG  Storm Blue’s). Scott and I will then review all the submissions and pick the ones we think will make up the best agenda for CMEpalooza Spring.

So, start thinking up your clever and creative ideas now! We’ll have six categories that you can submit for: Outcomes, Educational Design, Technological Innovations, Commercial Support, Accreditation, and Game of Thrones.

Hold on a minute…

[…]

OK, I’m being told by Scott that Game of Thrones is not a category and it’s actually CME Potpourri, which sounds much less fun to me. Whatever. I’m also being told by Scott to mention that CMEpalooza Fall is currently scheduled for Wednesday, October 16, so make sure you mark that in your calendars, too.

Stay tuned for more abstract submission details next week!

CMEpalooza Survey and Jokes

Scott and I are still in recovery mode after a great CMEpalooza Fall on Wednesday, so I’ll keep this brief.

If you watched any of the CMEpalooza Fall sessions, we would love to have your feedback on our survey. It is only 7 questions, and I promise it won’t take you more than 5 minutes to complete. We have 95 completions so far which is, quite frankly, a stunning amount. I’m not even sure how to process that number right now, But we still want your input if you haven’t filled it out yet.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO TAKE OUR SURVEY!

As is tradition, here are the jokes that have been submitted on the survey thus far. They are all terrible, which means they are perfect.

Vandals destroyed the Origami Institute in Japan. We’ll keep you posted as the story unfolds.

Why did the scarecrow win an award? Because he was outstanding in his field.

What kind of dog does a scientist have? A lab!

Why don’t bears wear shoes? Because they have bare feet!

What’s the difference between the Philadelphia 76ers and a dollar bill? You can still get four quarters out of a dollar bill. (NOTE: whoever wrote this is now banned from CMEpalooza.)