It was the last session of the day at last week’s ACEHP conference, deep in the early evening as the clock ticked toward 7 p.m. Maybe 15, maybe 20 people were in the room. Everyone else? Maybe at the bar, maybe in their rooms, maybe even already eating dinner.
Yet for the small group of us who stuck it out (I’m no hero here, by the way. I napped from 3-4 p.m. thank you very much), it was about as energizing a dynamic as you’ll find at a live conference. People from different professional sectors within CE — providers and grantors, writers and accreditation specialists, it really ran the gamut — talking through common case study scenarios. Everyone offered their input and viewpoints, running through the pros and cons of the tough decisions that need to be made every day in our world.
No one in the room was looking at their phones or checking their emails. They were all in the moment.
It’s what education is all about. While there are certainly other outstanding sessions each year at the annual Alliance conference (including my annual favorite session with Carol Havens, who controls a room like few other speakers I have ever seen), it’s the real-life discussions that make the education resonate. It’s what we strive for as professional educators — how can we reach learners in a manner that will really matter to them in their day-to-day world of patient care?
And it’s exactly the type of thing we’re striving for with CMEpalooza.
Admittedly, we’re taking a chance with our approach for the spring extravaganza. The program is only going to be as good as the abstracts that come our way. Derek and I have been poking and prodding to try to get people to think creatively, and yes, there are many who have promised they are putting something together to submit. We know the drill — the deadline for submissions is Jan. 30 (get all the info here). The majority of submissions will come in on Jan. 30. At 11:59. Pacific Time. And that’s OK.
As you think about a possible abstract for CMEpalooza Spring, think about the session I described earlier. It was hardly fancy — just a few simple real-world situations being discussed by a handful of folks who probably didn’t even know each other, at least not well. But fancy doesn’t mean ineffective. In fact, the simplest sessions are often the most effective.