Monday morning notes

A few quick hitters to start your week:

  • If you haven’t already set the time aside, you really should plan to watch our CMEpalooza Company Spotlight this Wednesday (April 12) at noon ET, where I’ll be joined by a team from Global Academy for Medical Education. I always think it’s interesting to hear how different organizations focus their CME missions differently and approach challenges/opportunities creatively. It’s only 30 minutes, and I can promise you’ll take something away from it.You can watch on the Spotlight on our LIVE page. There will be the usual opportunity to ask questions and offer comments if you’d like. Or you can just lurk silently.
  • Thanks to everyone who played CMEpalooza Pursuit. We had a record number of entries for one of our Sponsor events and crashed a number of our Sponsor websites with the thousands of visitors to their pages who were digging for correct answers. We even had one brown-noser who went above and beyond and completed the full question board. Alas, she was not a prize winner.Here is a list of our winners:
    • Grand Prize ($100 Amazon gift card) – Amanda Kaczerski
    • $50 Amazon gift cards – Audrie Tornow, Gabriella Cruze, Don Harting, Kristi English, Elizabeth McDonald
    • $25 Amazon gift cards – Edeline Mitton, Danielle DeFour, Bonnie Bixler, Andrea Thrasher, Joanne Wise, Karin Pearson
  • We’re a little more than a week away from our Spring extravaganza. If you haven’t already called out sick so that you can watch every session from your couch in your jammies, probably a good idea to start working on your cough soon.

Last Chance to Play CMEpalooza Pursuit – Entries Due Today

Today is the deadline for entries into CMEpalooza Pursuit – forms must be sent to me before midnight ET. Don’t forget that we’re giving away $500 in Amazon gift cards and really only asking for 5-10 minutes of your time. You never know, you might learn something along the way too.

Here is a reminder of how to play:

Here are the rules of CMEpalooza Pursuit:

1. Call up the Sponsor page on the CMEpalooza website. You’ll need this for reference purposes to access our Sponsors’ websites.

2. Download the CMEpalooza Pursuit question form by clicking on this link.

You’ll see that questions are divided into categories that will be familiar to anyone who has ever played Trivial Pursuit – Geography, Entertainment, History, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, and Sports & Leisure. There are three questions within each category, the answers to which can all be found on the sponsoring company website.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to answer every question – just one per category. If you want to be the teacher’s pet, of course, you can answer every question, though you get no formal extra credit, just that all over warm feeling for a job well done.

3. Download the CMEpalooza Pursuit answer form by clicking on this link. This is where you will enter in your answers – remember, only one answer is required per category. I promise that none of the questions are tricky or difficult. If it takes you more than 10 minutes to complete the entire challenge, you are doing something wrong.

4. Email me your completed answer form. It’s scott@medcasewriter.com. All completed forms will be entered into our drawing. One entry per person. Perhaps you make this a company-wide challenge and have your entire team enter individually. Perhaps you keep this a secret so that your chances of winning improve. Whatever. Just make sure that your entry is submitted by the deadline of midnight ET on Thursday, April 6.

Trying Something New

We’re all about innovation at CMEpalooza – heck, Derek broke every rule of common sense and ate his bowl of Lucky Charms at his desk this morning with a spork (he claims, “You need to try it, dude” but I remain skeptical).

Hopefully we have a few more interesting innovations for the CME community in the next few weeks. We’re rolling out one of them this morning.

Our friends at PlatformQ approached us a few weeks ago and asked us if we were interested in using their online “Q Board” during one of one Spring sessions. Never one to shy away from people offering him something for free, Derek quickly answered, “Oh my God, yes, yes. Thank you so much, thank you. I love you, I love you, I love you…. er, wait, what’s a QBoard?”

Being the more grounded and logical part of our duo, I was a little more circumspect, but nonetheless after taking the platform for a brief test drive, I thought it would be worth a try this Spring.

And so we’re making a special CMEpalooza QBoard available in preparation for our 2 p.m. ET Spring session entitled, “What is Data Visualization and How Can I Apply It?”

It’s a very simple platform. Here is how it works:

  1. Take a look at the description for the “Data Viz” session on our Spring agenda page and think about anything specific you’d like to hear or ask about during the session
  2. Click on this link to open the QBoard
  3. Either type in a new question using the “Ask” button or up-vote a current question to make it a higher priority for our panel

That’s really about it. Our crack interns have pre-populated the QBoard with a few questions of their own, but feel free to contribute others. Our panel has promised to gear their discussion as much as possible to the questions that come in.

 

 

Roll Out the Reddish Carpet on April 12

One of the (many) perks of being a higher tier CMEpalooza sponsor is the special add-ons we offer throughout the year. This year, we decided to up the ante by throwing all of our Silver and Gold sponsors into a pile to select the winner of a complimentary CMEpalooza Company Spotlight this Spring (there will be another drawing before the Fall meeting). The winner, as we announced a few weeks ago, was Global Academy for Medical Education.

After a flurry of intense meetings and negotiations, we settled on noon ET on Wednesday, April 12 for the live broadcast.

So what exactly will be happening during this 30-minute pre-Palooza session?

Certainly, you’ll learn a little about Global Academy for Medical Education, but these Spotlight sessions are primarily designed to showcase how different organizations approach challenges in CME in unique ways that are applicable throughout our industry. This is not going to be mindless drivel where we go through the catalog of activities available on the Global Academy for Medical Education website – that would serve no one’s interests.

Instead, during this Company Spotlight you’ll learn about how to build learner and faculty loyalty to your education, when and why to build external partnerships to strengthen your education, and how to identify and leverage what is unique about your organization to benefit your overall educational program.

As with all of our regular CMEpalooza sessions, there will be ample opportunities to ask probing questions of our panelists. We hope you’ll join us.

 

Our Spring Sponsor Event – CMEpalooza Pursuit

Here at CMEpalooza headquarters, we take our internship program seriously. Only the best and the brightest from Grand Lakes University (home of business tycoon Thornton Melon) pass through these hallways.

We expect a lot from our interns, putting them in charge of important tasks such as “Make sure Derek isn’t wearing his shirt inside-out again.” They do vital research as well, such as their current project, “Set the clocks in Derek’s office 5 minutes forward every day and then document how long it takes him to figure out something is awry.”

No one takes advantage of free labor quite like we do.

Alas, our interns don’t always have all of the answers. Case in point — when I asked them for ideas for our Spring Sponsor event, the room turned quieter than the Warnick household when reruns of Alice come on TV (Derek loves his Vic Tayback).

So seeing as I was getting no help from “the kids,” I was thrilled to see an email from a medical writer colleague of mine, Carrie Noriega, arrive in my inbox.

General paraphrasing here — “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to be able to contribute an idea to CMEpalooza. Is there anything — please — that I can do to help you out?”

Far be it for me to dash someone’s dreams, I took Carrie up on her offer, asking her to come up with an idea for our Spring sponsor event.

Admittedly, she initially struggled to come up with something as her first two ideas (brutal honesty coming) sucked. But the third try was jusssttt on the right side of mediocre – hey, we don’t set the bar too high here – and we ran with it.

And with a small seed of an idea, CMEpalooza Pursuit blossomed.

As always, there are prizes for those who successfully enter our Spring Sponsor event. We’re giving out $500 worth of Amazon gift cards to randomly selected entrants – a $100 grand prize, 5 $50 second prizes, and 6 $25 third prizes.

Here are the rules of CMEpalooza Pursuit:

1. Call up the Sponsor page on the CMEpalooza website. You’ll need this for reference purposes to access our Sponsor’s websites.

2. Download the CMEpalooza Pursuit question form by clicking on this link.

You’ll see that questions are divided into categories that will be familiar to anyone who has ever played Trivial Pursuit – Geography, Entertainment, History, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, and Sports & Leisure. There are three questions within each category, the answers to which can all be found on the sponsoring company website.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to answer every question – just one per category. If you want to be the teacher’s pet, of course, you can answer every question, though you get no formal extra credit, just that all over warm feeling for a job well done.

3. Download the CMEpalooza Pursuit answer form by clicking on this link. This is where you will enter in your answers – remember, only one answer is required per category. I promise that none of the questions are tricky or difficult. If it takes you more than 10 minutes to complete the entire challenge, you are doing something wrong.

4. Email me your completed answer form. It’s scott@medcasewriter.com. All completed forms will be entered into our drawing. One entry per person. Perhaps you make this a company-wise challenge and have your entire team enter individually. Perhaps you keep this a secret so that your chances of winning improve. Whatever. Just make sure that your entry is submitted by the deadline of midnight ET on Thursday, April 6.

That’s about it. Now if you’ll excuse me, they just finished installing an extra springboard at our company pool. Our interns are going to try to teach Derek how to do the Triple Lindy.

CMEpalooza Goes to Overnight Camp (Nostalgia Alert)

As a Jewish kid who grew up in the Northeast, I spent many a summer at overnight camp. Best time of my life. You get to play sports all day, eat as much sugar cereal as you want at breakfast (another bowl of Cocoa Krispies? Don’t mind if I do), and, of course, no parents telling you what to do for 8 whole weeks!

I understand that a lot of you – well, probably just about all of you – don’t get the beauty of overnight camp. I have tried explaining to my Irish Catholic wife many times how overnight camp is great for both kids and parents (another glass of wine with dinner out on a random Wednesday night? Don’t mind if I do), but I don’t know that she totally gets it.

Overnight camp was where I learned how to make a bed with hospital corners (and shoot a rifle – yes, they had a rifle range for 9-year-olds back in those days. Can you imagine?), where I found out what it means to be independent (it’s awesome), and, of course, where I kissed my first girl (thank you Maggie Cohen).

(Coming back around to make this relevant…slowly…wait for it…)

Every morning at overnight camp, we would have an assembly where one of the camp directors would tell everyone very briefly what important things were happening outside of our little world – ie, did the Phillies win last night? – and go over what sorts of activities were planned for that day. One of the things that stuck with me these many years later is his daily description.

“We have a bevy, a plethora, a cornucopia, perhaps even a mélange of activities for everyone today…”

Since I work with words, I always liked that, and it stuck with me.

(Making the connection…soon…almost…here we go…)

One of the most enjoyable things about putting together the agenda for our biannual CMEpalooza events is coming up with groups of potential faculty members. Both Derek and I have been around the CME circles for long enough that we know a goodly number of folks in the industry, and yet there are always plenty of new names and faces we are introduced to through CMEpalooza. I always look forward to building new relationships and tapping into the brainpower of a broader community as we prepare and produce our live broadcasts.

We presented our Spring agenda last week, which boasts both a bevy of sessions and a plethora of talented panelists. We made some modifications to our agenda development process this spring, and while it put a bit more of the burden onto Derek and I during the development process, we think it’ll be worth it when you join us on Wednesday, April 19. You’ll be exposed to a cornucopia of new ideas and hopefully be provided with a mélange of building blocks to improve your day-to-day experience as a CME professional.

You bring the S’mores, and I’ll provide the left-handed smoke shifter (and if you get that obscure overnight camp reference, you let me know).

Our CMEpalooza Company Spotlight Winner

With all of the hullabaloo at CMEpalooza headquarters regarding Monday morning’s drawing for the winner of our Spring Company Spotlight, it has come to my attention that I forgot to inform everyone of the lucky winner. It was Global Academy for Medical Education. Congrats, folks.

If you are desperate need of entertainment this morning, you can watch a replay of the drawing here. Derek is a weird shade of blue as he has his usual technological struggles.

Our external monitors from PricewaterhouseCoopers are just out of the picture over my left shoulder, but they have signed an attestation as to the winning entry. There apparently is some sort of controversy that has nothing to do with CMEpalooza regarding the work of these folks, but rest assured that their signature on a piece of paper means a lot to us!

More info coming soon on exactly what this Spotlight event is all about and when it will be held.

 

CMEpalooza Spotlight: Drawing Alert!

Somewhere in the not-so-fine print of the CMEpalooza 2017 Sponsorship prospectus is this little wrinkle, “NEW IN 2017: All silver sponsors receive an entry in our drawing for a FREE CMEpalooza Company Spotlight.” 

Honestly, part of me included this because I feel bad for Derek. CMEpalooza Spotlight was his baby way back in the infancy of CMEpalooza, and it simply never caught on. But there is also a part of me who thought that it was actually a pretty interesting idea that shouldn’t just die on the vine.

In June 2015, we had one 30-minute pilot broadcast with Educational Measures that was well attended and I thought was pretty darn interesting, but poof, no one signed up for another. As with many innovations, CMEpalooza Spotlight appears to need a little push to get it rolling downhill, which is why we added that little perk to our higher tiers of sponsorship this year.

We’ll be holding our CMEpalooza Spring Company Spotlight drawing on Monday (held in an über secret location that will probably be leaked to the media by one of our disgruntled interns in an hour or so). Consider this a final reminder to any organizations on the fence about a premium sponsorship – if you want in, you need to let us know ASAP if you want to qualify for this drawing. We currently have 2 Gold sponsors and 4 Silver sponsors for our Spring event, which leaves room for 2 more Silver sponsors.

Once we have selected a winner in our random drawing, we’ll start putting the wheels in motion for the Spotlight broadcast itself and provide everyone with more details.

CMEpalooza Spring Agenda: Voting Results (Duck!)

Another election fraught with suspense is complete. And unlike some of our democracy’s more recent transitions that were accompanied by a consensus of love and unity, this one is unfortunately likely to be fraught with hand-wringing and controversy. That’s just what happens when you have so many worthy ideas that get left behind.

This is the first year where we’re releasing the full voting results from our Spring process. Because there were no names attached to any of the proposals (and some — including the overall laggard — came directly from Derek or I), we’re hoping that no one’s personal feelings are hurt and that our overall audience can see just how close some of these votes were.

When our Polling Stations locked their doors last Friday night, 222 ballots had been cast, far exceeding Derek’s prediction of “2” and even slightly bettering my more rosy expectation of “200.”

Thanks to everyone who took advantage of the CMEpalooza democracy to chime in.

We understand that your favorite candidates likely didn’t all win, and we sympathize with you. Our interns have been instructed to stay as late as they need to tonight and every other night this month taking calls from angry voters. We promise that your concerns will be heard.

With that, here are the results (winning sessions are in BOLD):

OUTCOMES
Incorporating Cost-Effective Creativity Into Outcomes Design – 24.9%
What is Data Visualization, and How Can I Apply It to CME Activities? – 40.7%
Project Outcomes – 34.4%

EDUCATIONAL DESIGN
An External Perspective on Educational Design in Adult Learning – 14.0%
Does Innovation in Educational Design Truly Make a Difference – 39.5%
Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Learning Preferences of Healthcare Professionals – 46.5%

CASE-BASED APPROACHES
Celebrating Our Mistakes: A Retrospective Analysis of “What Went Wrong” – 42.1%
Taking an Innovation Risk – 34.2%
Everyone’s Favorite Character: The Disgruntled Faculty Member – 23.8%

COMMERCIAL SUPPORT
Eliminate the BS in Outcomes Reports and Get to the Point – 23.2%
The Complaint Desk – 35%
Two Scoops of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Please – 41.9%

ACCREDITATION
Achieving Accreditation with Commendation: It May be Easier Than You Think – 29.2%
Is That Compliant? Celebrating Fact from Fiction in Accredited CME – 49.7%
CME/CNE/CPE/CPD: Is There Really a Difference – 21.0%

CME POTPOURRI
Networking with the Best of Them: How to Make Friends and Influence People – 41.5%
A Primer for the Independent Medical Education Industry – 21.7%
The Million Person CME March – 36.7%

So now what? Derek and I will be retiring to our CMEpalooza South headquarters in the newly-refurbished Del Boca Vista luxury condominium complex and inviting potential moderators to meet with us and convince that they are responsible enough to take on the necessary duties. We expect the recruitment process to take only a few days, at which time we’ll be able to release the official times and faculty lists for each session.

In the meantime, we’ll wait for another Saturday Night Live parody of our crew. I have to admit that Bette Midler does a great Derek.

CMEpalooza Spring Poll Closes Today

Our crack interns have been busy running various scenarios this week as the votes for our CMEpalooza Spring have come pouring in.

Click here for the CMEpalooza Spring ballot

“What if we have a 3-way tie in the Outcomes category?”

“Should we be worried about that strange block of votes that apparently came in from ‘somewhere in Asia’ last night around 2 a.m.?”

“Who is going to pay the tab for the next case of Red Bull?”

You know, important stuff.

The drama and mystery ends today, when the polls for CMEpalooza Spring close at 5 p.m. ET. If you have already voted, thank you. If you haven’t, please do. We’ll announce the winning sessions early next week and start lining up moderators and panelists shortly thereafter.

Wish us luck.

Click here for the CMEpalooza Spring ballot