The Community of CME

grandpaI’ve had to stop and restart this post a bunch of times already because it keeps devolving into a long-winded political rant that makes me sound like an old-man-yells-at-cloud blowhard and no one wants to read political rants from old-man-yells-at-cloud blowhards [insert joke about Scott here]. So, let me try this one more time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about community lately and what it means to be part of a community. Inspired by recent events, I’ve been working my way through Congressman John Lewis’s graphic novel series March, which, if you haven’t read it already, you definitely should. As a key figure in the civil rights movement, Lewis is inspirational in his commitment to his cause despite facing overwhelming racism and adversity. He excels as a community organizer and shows how amazing things can be accomplished when a group of people are willing to work together towards a common goal.

Now, I know what you all are thinking right now. “Oh no! Derek is not going to try to compare his work with CMEpalooza to John Lewis and the civil rights movement, is he??” Rest assured, I am not. As my dad likes to say — I may be dumb, but I ain’t stupid. No, mostly it just made me think about (cue the sappy orchestral number) what a unique and supportive community we have in the CME/CE world. It’s relatively small, we all go to the same conferences, work with the same people, apply for the same grants, have similar problems, have similar work-related experiences, yet we are all working towards a similar goal: improving patient care.

If you work in this industry for a few years, you get to know people pretty well without even really trying. And lets face it, our jobs are sort of…odd. I think we have all had the same experience of trying to explain our job to someone who has innocently asked, “What do you do?” Maybe it’s just my poor ability to explain, but more than once I’ve had a questioner respond, “You have a weird job.” True. So, we all sit around in the hotel lobby bar at the Alliance conference and bond over the shared oddity of our jobs. It’s what we do, and it’s part of what makes us a community. And while many of us are technically competitors in this community, it’s important to keep in mind that we are all on the same side. We can continue to make strides in improving patient care on our own, but we can do even more if we are willing to work together. Keep that in mind during your discussions and interactions next week.

Scott and I will both be at the Alliance conference, and we’re both pretty approachable guys, though Scott likes to tell bad jokes and I talk about the Sixers too much. If any of you have any questions about CMEpalooza — be it technical questions, or questions about sponsorship possibilities, or questions about our development process for the Spring agenda — or even if you just want to chat, please feel free to grab either one of us. Personally, I’m interested in finding a wider range of faculty for CMEpalooza, so if you have any interest in speaking, let me know. And if you’re interested in hearing my thoughts on Joel Embiid’s breakout rookie season, you can let me know that, too…

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