A Little Something to Get Your Blood Boiling

Poor Derek.

There are few things in life that get him excited – the prospect of his beloved Philadelphia 76ers winning more than 20 games this season, a 24-hour Quantum Leap marathon on the Sci-Fi Network, signing a petition to remove green clovers from boxes of Lucky Charms.

And Puntua Lortu. Don’t forget that.

In case you have been sleeping (or ignoring us), Puntua Lortu is Derek’s CMEpalooza pet project. Introduced as Pecha Kucha last fall and then reborn as Puntua Lortu in the spring, it’s our session where presenters are put under the heat lamp and asked to do a lightning-round presentation with 20 slides that auto-advance every 20 seconds.

It’s 6 minutes of your life that you’ll never forget… if you dare to be bold enough (queue the eerie Scooby Doo music).

But the session only happens if people stand up and are willing to give it a go. We’re still looking for a few abstracts to fill out our Fall roster, and you’ve got until July 29 (that’s next Friday) to cobble something together. What’s a good topic? I dunno – that’s up to you. Something that is simple and straightforward and compelling. Tell a story. Do an impression. Pantomime.

Surely you’ve seen all of the other cool people involved and interesting topics we’ll be talking about at our Fall event. Join us, and them. Before Derek starts crying again and curling up in a fetal position. It’s not pretty – trust me.

Click here to submit your Puntua Lortu abstract

We STILL Want You to Puntua Lortu

A month ago I wrote a blog post announcing that we were accepting abstracts from people interested in presenting a Puntua Lortu session at CMEpalooza Fall. I established a due date of July 1…and then proceeded to not mention it again for the next four weeks. Really dumb.

I’ve done this enough now that I know how it works. You have to remind people of deadlines with the frequency and intensity of my dog (Barkley the Labradoodle. No, he’s not named after Barkley from Sesame Street. Yes, he’s named after Charles.) watching me eat pizza.


The deadline came and went, and we still have some openings for the Puntua Lortu. We still have plenty of time until CMEpalooza Fall (Wednesday, October 19 in case you forgot), so I’d like to try this again. The new deadline for submitting an abstract for our Puntua Lortu session is July 29. We are looking for at least three more people to do a Puntua Lortu, so if you have any interest, go ahead and submit an abstract or contact me with any questions.

Here are the details:

  1. What is a Puntua Lortu? It is our version of a Pecha Kucha. You can read more details about the format and the name here. My fake Basque grandfather implores you.
  2. No really, what is it? Sigh. It’s a presentation format where you get 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, and the slides automatically advance. You can see some fantastic examples from CMEpalooza Spring 2016 and Fall 2015.
  3. What do you need from me? If you are interested in presenting a Puntua Lortu at CMEpalooza Fall, we need you to submit an abstract here.
  4. What topic should I present on? Anything related to CME. The more creative the better.
  5. When is it? CMEpalooza Fall is October 19 (another reminder) and the Puntua Lortu session will begin at 4 p.m. ET. You can view the full agenda for our Fall event here.

These sessions are always a lot of fun and you can be as serious or as silly as you want (I’m not kidding. Last time we had someone who did part of his presentation in the voice of Yoda and another person who ended his presentation by flicking on his lighter and raising it in tribute like it was 1990 and Poison had just started playing the opening notes to Every Rose Has Its Thorn. It was great.) If you want to run your idea past me before submitting an abstract, feel free to shoot me an email.

Click here to submit a CME Puntua Lortu abstract. Click here to submit a CME Puntua Lortu abstract. Click here to submit a CME Puntua Lortu abstract. Click here to submit a CME Puntua Lortu abstract. Click here to submit a CME Puntua Lortu abstract.

The Wild World of Educational Design

For those of us who live and die by the fickle nature of grant applications/approvals/rejections, designing potential educational initiatives is both an exciting and frustrating endeavor.

Exciting because we get to put on our creative hats, map out new approaches to educating healthcare providers, and collaborate with colleagues to come up with innovative solutions that (hopefully) will improve patient care.

Frustrating because if these proposals are not funded, well, we all know what happens. The ideas die on the vine, never to see the light of day. There are few things more frustrating in our industry than proposals which take weeks to put together, all amounting to nothing. My virtual trash can is full of these.

And then there are simply some ideas that are “not fundable” either because they focus on an educational area that is too niched and for which funding is unavailable, or because the design is so unique that no one would take a chance on funneling money into something whose outcome is largely unpredictable.

This isn’t me whining (OK, maybe just a little), but rather a little bit of insight into why serving as the co-producer of CMEpalooza is so professionally energizing.

My proposals always get approved! I can implement every new idea I want to!

As long as I make sure to ply Derek with his monthly supply of Fifth Avenue bars, I always get the same reply to every kooky idea I come up with – “Well, if you think it will work, I guess it’s fine with me.”

Those of you who have looked over the Agenda for CMEpalooza Fall that we first put out earlier this week were presumably dazzled with the variety of approaches we’re trying out (and if you weren’t, just pretend please). Really, there are currently only 2 “traditional” CMEpalooza sessions on the agenda with a moderator and a group of panelists, and even these have unique twists. For the others, we’re either trying out something new or improving upon something previously piloted in earlier Paloozas.

This is the kind of stuff that makes our careers interesting. I mean really, after maybe 3 times of getting a group of faculty together to talk about “New and Emerging Therapies for Treatment of Disease XX,” the same old/same old can get pretty dull.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing with everyone more details on some of our new educational designs for CMEpalooza Fall, giving insight into what we were thinking when we came up with each idea and how we envision things playing out. Undoubtedly, the vision in our mind isn’t exactly how each session will truly come together – that’s the unpredictable nature of education – but we’re hopeful that we have the right people in place to make everything work and keep people interested in watching.

Now Presenting… Our Fall Agenda

A few months before every iteration of CMEpalooza, Derek and I organize a brainstorming session in a secret location a few miles off the Amalfi Coast. It’s in a cave. Underwater. You’d never find it in a million years.

But I digress.

Our agenda during this session is rigorous – we each bring mounds of spreadsheets, cases of 5-Hour Energy shots, and enough technological might to power a small country (like Liechtenstein, for example). By the end of the day, we’re both exhausted, but during these powwows, we’ve always managed to accomplish what we intended to and put in motion the plans for our next event.

Subsequently over the course of the next few months, things start coming together. Emails are sent, invitations are proffered, negotiations are carefully massaged with agents, sponsors, and all of the major networks. It’s a full-time job (and yes, we have other full-time jobs, too)

I won’t lie – planning for this fall was perhaps the toughest challenge yet. With a variety of new session formats and twice as many faculty as we’ve ever had for a previous Palooza, there were a lot of bumps to overcome.

But overcome we did. Overcome we did.

And so without further ado…


(Clearing throat) Hear ye, hear ye… On behalf of the esteemed CMEpalooza planning committee, we are proud to present the agenda for CMEpalooza Fall 2016 (click the link, dummy).

You’ll be hearing more about each of our sessions in the coming weeks, including what we were thinking when we chose the topic and format, who the people are that you’ll see in front of the camera, and all the way that things might (but won’t) blow up in our faces.

Needless to say, we’re excited about the Fall meeting. It could either be really cool and interesting, or it could totally blow up in our faces (but it won’t).

Just in case though, I’m going to start pushing #Liechtenstexit.

We want YOU to Puntua Lortu (at CMEpalooza Fall)

Yes, all has been quiet on the CMEpalooza front, but never fear! Our minions have been hard at work behind the scenes starting preparations for CMEpalooza Fall (coming Wednesday, October 19! Save the date now!). Here’s a clip of them I filmed earlier today:

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The agenda is starting to round into shape and I think this is going to be the most fascinating ‘palooza we have ever had, with all sorts of new formats and topics being tackled. I won’t go into too much detail at this point as we are still firming up final topics and faculty, but I can say that we will be doing another CME Puntua Lortu and it is open for anyone to submit an abstract to present. I’ll take your questions in order:

  1. What is a Puntua Lortu? It is our version of a Pecha Kucha. You can read more details about the format and the name here. My fake Basque grandfather implores you.
  2. No really, what is it? Sigh. It’s a presentation format where you get 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, and the slides automatically advance. You can see some fantastic examples from CMEpalooza Spring 2016 and Fall 2015.
  3. What do you need from me? If you are interested in presenting a Puntua Lortu at CMEpalooza Fall, we need you to submit an abstract here.
  4. If I submit an abstract, am I guaranteed a slot in the CMEpalooza Puntua Lortu? No. We have five open slots, and we will review all the abstracts and pick the five we are most interested in. That said, we typically don’t get a lot of proposed sessions for this format, so unless a cavalry of brave CME soldiers appears on the horizon, if you put in a proposal, your chances are reasonably good. But no promises.
  5. What topic should I present on? Anything related to CME. The more creative the better.

We ask that all CME Putua Lortu abstracts be submitted by July 1. After that, we’ll review them and let you know if your abstract has been accepted for a presentation at CMEpalooza Fall. If you have any questions about the format or the abstract process, feel free to ask them in the comments or to send me an email.

Click here to submit a CME Puntua Lortu abstract.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Complete the CMEpalooza Spring Survey

Hi there! How’s it going? Everything good? Great, great. Did you watch any of the CMEpalooza Spring sessions? You did? Excellent. What did you think? Pretty good? Not bad for free, eh? A couple techy issues? Yeah, I know. Sorry about that. It happens sometimes. Live by the internet, die by the internet.

Anyhoo, did you take our survey when you were done? No? You need the link? Just click here. What’s that? Why should you take it? I’m glad you asked…

Top 5 Reasons You Should Complete the CMEpalooza Survey

5. We read them, we really do. They’re very helpful to us when we’re trying to come up with new topics, look for ways to improve CMEpalooza, and find bad jokes. Here’s one we received last week:

Why did the cow cross the road? To go to the mooooovies.

Ugh. Maybe we should move on to #4…

4. This is my little girl’s new kitty Pepe. Look at how cute he is.


If you don’t take the survey, we have to give Pepe back. Seems like an odd clause for the adoption center to add to the contract, but what are you gonna do?

3. It’s the only way we can really know the demographics of our audience. We don’t require registration, and I don’t think we ever will, so this is the only way we know what types of organizations are watching, what sessions you’re watching, if you’re watching with others, etc.

2. If you take the survey, Scott will drive to your house and sing you a song from his extensive catalog of late-80’s/early-90’s R&B hits. He does a particularly compelling version of Bell Biv Devoe’s Poison, complete with dance moves. It’s wild.

1. You might win an Amazon gift card. You won’t be able to buy a new 4K Ultra HD TV with it, but you will have enough to buy a paperback copy of Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Read into that what you will…

We’ll leave the survey open until the end of the day Friday. If you haven’t taken it yet and you watched at least some of CMEpalooza Spring, please consider doing so. We’d greatly appreciate it. Thank you!


CMEpalooza Day!

It’s CMEpalooza Day!!!

Carlton (2)

Looking for the page to watch CMEpalooza Spring? Go here.

Looking for the CMEpalooza Spring agenda? Go here.

Looking for more info on the CMEpalooza Sponsors? Go here.

First session starts up at 10 am ET!

Where Do I Watch CMEpalooza Spring?

Where do I watch CMEpalooza Spring?
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 It’s Raining Men 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 It’s Raining Men at the top of your lungs while watching CMEpalooza.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring at the office?

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring at home?

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

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring at the top of a volcano? 

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring with Kanye?
I don’t know. Let’s ask him.


I guess Yeezy is not a fan.

Do I have to pre-register or register?

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


Bernie doesn’t believe you. The answer is 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. Also, if you do take it and include your email address, you will be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift card. Is this a blatant ploy to get you to take our survey? Yes. Yes it is.

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.

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Another Real* CMEpalooza Inquiry

In the bowels of CMEpalooza history emerge the details – we first hired temporary help only to man the phones on the weekends before our events, then we taught our fearless crew a year later to multitask by adding in the need to respond to email.

This year, for the first time we are requiring that our temps ($15.01 per hour, just to stay one step ahead of you, California) perform three tasks with their usual aplomb – answering phones, responding to emails, and perusing Twitter conversations.

Just trying our best to stay up with the times.

As a service to our loyal community, we thought we’d share with you one of the dozens of CMEpalooza-related conversations that took place in the Twittersphere over the weekend to get you prepared for our Spring extravaganza on Wednesday, April 6.

As always, this is a transcript from a real* conversation that took place over the weekend.

(* = not real)

@EBW2005: My dad told me I could skip school on Wednesday if I watch CMEpalooza instead. I don’t even know what CMEpalooza is. Can someone help?

@CMEpalooza: We’re the premier online event for CME/CE professionals, with 7 hours of live broadcasts during our Spring event on April 6.

@EBW2005: What’s a CME/CE professional?

@CMEpalooza: We educate doctors, nurses, and other practicing healthcare professionals.

@EBW2005: Education is boring.

@CMEpalooza: Doesn’t have to be. We’ll show you ways some people are creating education that is a little more interesting. You can share what you learn with your teachers.

@EBW2005: How much does it cost to watch? My dad cut my allowance to $0.50 a week. He’s kind of a cheapskate.

@CMEpalooza: Good news for you then. CMEpalooza Spring is free. Always has been, always will be. You can save your allowance for something important, like candy.

@EBW2005: Candy messes with my braces. OK, so free. Free is good. How do I watch this CMEpalooza thing?

@CMEpalooza: Just go to the LIVE tab on our website starting at 10 a.m. ET. You can look at the agenda on our Spring tab. Every time a new session is ready to begin, go the LIVE tab and click the refresh button.

@EBW2005: What if I want to eat lunch or play a video game for, like, 12 consecutive hours? My dad would never know – he’s kind of clueless.

@CMEpalooza: That’s OK. Every CMEpalooza session gets archived as soon as it’s over on the Archive tab. You can come back and watch whatever session you want when it’s over.

@EBW2005: Are the archived sessions free, too?

@CMEpalooza: They are.

@EBW2005: Sounds like quite the money-making machine for you guys.

@CMEpalooza: We’ll ignore that comment.

@EBW2005: Hmm, I don’t know. They are supposed to be serving Pizza Boat in the cafeteria for lunch. You sure this CMEpalooza thing is worth it?

@CMEpalooza: Up to you. We’re all for the value of school, but you’ll learn a lot from our Spring event too. Maybe you can sell it to your teachers as an extra credit project.

@EBW2005: Fat chance of that. If it’s not about “preparing for the test,” they don’t care.

@CMEpalooza: In case it matters, there is no test with CMEpalooza. We have a survey, but it’s optional.

@EBW2005: OK, so free, check out the agenda, watch live or in the archives. Anything important I am missing?

@CMEpalooza: I don’t think so. You might want to watch a previous session from the Archives in advance to get a sense of what our sessions look like.

@EBW2005: That sounds like homework. I don’t do homework.

@CMEpalooza: You must be one of Warnick’s kids.



A Sneak Peek with… Monique Johnson

Heading down the homestretch of our final preparations for CMEpalooza Spring (it’s like, Wednesday, in case you forgot), we’re doubling up on the blog today by rolling out the last in our “Sneak Peek” presenter interviews. On this one, we check in on Monique Johnson, MD, from Imedex, who will be kicking things off in our Spring extravaganza at 10 a.m. ET.

Going first at a conference always brings with it challenges and opportunities – you usually have a more attentive audience that has not been worn down by session after session, but it’s also up to you to set the tone for the rest of the day. After talking with Monique and her co-presenter, CMEpalooza veteran Audrie Tornow from Paradigm Medical Communications, I think we’re in good hands.