The Ask

Over the years, I have probably written hundreds of emails to faculty inviting them to be part of CME programs. You know the ones — “Pretty please Dr. So and So, I know you are busy because you are so important, but will you please take the thousands of dollars we have set aside for you to help us with this CME program?”

And then you wait. And wait. And wait. The reminder email goes out a week later – “Dr. So and So. I know you are super duper busy, but we really want you to be part of this program and take the thousands of dollars we have set aside for you. Can you please read this email and respond in 5 words or less?”

When the day comes (if it comes) that Dr. So and So finally responds, it’s a sigh of relief. Well, as long as Dr. So and So says yes. If he/she says no, there is a lot of cursing for holding things up as you write up the next invitation.

Because Derek and I decided to utilize a “planning committee” to determine potential moderators and panelists for CMEpalooza Fall (here’s a little secret: the planning committee was Derek and I), that meant we had to craft those fun invitation emails. Except this time, we were inviting our colleagues – often, people we knew but sometimes those we didn’t – and we didn’t have any giant war chest of money to offer them. There wasn’t even a coveted free registration pass, being that almost everything about CMEpalooza is free anyway. I think we were both curious not only on how many people would say yes, but also how long it would take for people to respond.

I’m pleased to report that it took us a little more than 2 weeks to fill out all 23 slots in our programs (6 panels with 3-4 participants each). With only a few exceptions, people responded to us the same day as we sent out our invites, and almost everyone was excited to sign up. There was little harassing or cajoling necessary. Even those individuals who couldn’t participate were very gracious in declining our invitation and didn’t make us wait around for weeks before letting us know they couldn’t take part in CMEpalooza Fall.

Today, Derek and I are both extremely pleased to be able to present the full agenda for CMEpalooza Fall. We have diverse mix of panelists and topics that should offer something for everyone who is part of the CME enterprise. Our day (Wednesday, October 15, so mark your calendar!) will start off with an international panel of experts looking into their crystal ball to tell us where CME/CPD may be going in the next 5-10 years and wind up 7 hours later with the latest tips and tricks on publishing and presenting outcomes data from educational initiatives. The schedule in between is packed with lots of other intriguing content.

You’ll be hearing a lot more about our panels in the coming months. We’re always interested in your feedback regarding which sessions you are most looking forward to and the types of questions you’ll want them to address, so feel free to share your thoughts with Derek and I, as well as any of the panelists themselves. Palooza on everyone.

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