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.

2 thoughts on “Choose Your Own (Alliance) Adventure – Redux

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