Thank you to everyone who participated in our wrapup session to CMEpalooza, The Great, Big, Play at Home in Your Jammies CME Quiz. We know covered a lot of information in a very short amount of time. Consequently, our faculty was kind enough to put together this document explaining all of the answers and providing detailed rationale. If you want to argue or disagree with any of these explanations, that’s why we provide links to all of our faculty LinkedIn pages on the agenda tab 🙂
I usually let Derek take the lazy way out in the blog with Top 10 lists, but we’re busy what with CMEpalooza Fall going live in less than 48 hours and all, so here are a few quick things to keep in mind:
- It goes without saying that you should either have blocked off your calendar by now or plan to call in sick on Wednesday. Really, there isn’t anything more important you should be doing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.
- If you suddenly get hungry, we have even built in a lunch break (or breakfast break if you are on the left coast) this year thanks to one of our Gold sponsors, AcademicCME. No, unfortunately, they will not be picking up the tab for your lunch. You’ll still have pay $6.99 for a McRib, which apparently is back again (Note from Derek: gross.) I’m not quite sure why.
- We’ll be using Poll Everywhere for a few of our sessions this year to get some interaction going. If you want to get a head start on things, you can download the app in the Apple store or Google Play for your mobile device. You don’t need to have the app, but I find it helpful to have it on my phone.
- We’re using a brand-new platform this year for our sessions called StreamYard. From the perspective of the viewer and panelist, you won’t note much of a difference. There are some different sorts of camera views we’ll be using, but otherwise, CMEpalooza will look the same as always. So then why am I telling you this? Hmm, good question. Moving on.
- When you have a few free moments, go look at our sponsors and check out some of the great work others are doing in CME/CE. I actually met one of our sponsors last week in person for the first time at one of their activities (I was helping at a program in an adjoining room). As with all of our sponsors, they seemed like good people.
- Feel free to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. to tell all of your friends and colleagues how cool you are by being a fan of CMEpalooza. Best fan post gets a virtual hug from Derek. He’s a cuddler.
- We encourage our live audience to ask questions during our sessions. We aren’t one of those annoying meetings where we hold all questions until the end of each session (God do I hate that). If you have a good question that is relevant to what our panel is talking about, we don’t mind butting in to ask it. There are several ways that will be listed on our LIVE page to ask questions. If your question is a good one, we’ll make sure it gets asked. If it’s bad, well, we may ignore you. Sorry.
- Want to offer some wardrobe suggestions for Derek and I during individual sessions? We’re game. I believe I saw a feather boa somewhere in Derek’s office (Room 421B in CMEpalooza HQ, right next to the trash chute). It’s not like we haven’t had panelists do dress-up sessions before. Derek and I have simply tried to uphold some sort of professional standards in the past. I think it’s time we admit that we have failed.
- There will once again be a survey after each session where we rely on your feedback to help plan future sessions. And to replenish our joke bucket (a recent fave: Did you hear about the fire at the cheese factory in France? All that was left was de brie).
- It’s almost time for tipoff, so let’s have a song everyone.
There was suspense, there was hype, there was even a bit of trash talking this morning as the qualified participants in the CMEpalooza Bingo!! gathered in the Executive Suite at CMEpalooza HQ for our prize drawing. Five $100 prizes were in the offing – for that kind of scratch, you could buy four cases of Whatchamacallit bars.
In the end, the winners were appropriately dignified, the losers gracious, and the morning’s emcee was, well, competent. We tried for Small Wonder star Tiffany Brissette, but she never responded to Derek’s stalker-like email. We’ll set our sights lower next year.
Here are your now filthy-rich CME colleagues:
- Vanessa Gray, Director, Continuing Medical Education, Des Moines University Medicine and Health Sciences
- Jill Hays, Executive Director, Primary Care Network
- Allyson Baer, Program Manager, Data Analysis and Reporting, CE, American Society of Clinical Oncology
- Amanda Kaczerski, Senior Director, Educational Strategy & Design, Academy for Continued Healthcare Learning
- Noreen Duffey, CME Program Administrator, American College of Physicians
Congrats to our winners. To our losers (and everyone else), don’t forget that we’ll be giving away another $500 during our 4 p.m. session of CMEpalooza Fall. This one requires more skill than luck, so brush up on your industry knowledge.
B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, and CMEpalooza Bingo!! is it’s Name-O.
Just a reminder to everyone to make sure to carve out some time this week to participate in our sponsor event and give yourself a pretty darn good chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. If you need it, that is. If you have billions and billions of dollars of disposable income, you might want to put someone else’s name on your entry form to give them a chance. Just sayin’.
All the forms you need to play can be accessed by clicking on this link. You can get all the details on how to play by looking at Monday’s blog post. Entries are due this Sunday evening in the third quarter of whatever NFL game is on, or thereabouts.
There isn’t much out in the public forum these days that doesn’t raise your blood pressure.
Your team sucks! Your party sucks! You cheated! You lied! Lock her up! Impeach him! I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids!
Perhaps that is why Derek and I try so hard to bring some levity and joy into your lives with this blog and CMEpalooza in general. I’ll give you an example. Last week during a conversation with one of the panel moderators for CMEpalooza Fall, she started telling me that, “We’re thinking of doing something a little quirky with our introductions, but we’re not sure if it’ll be OK. What we’d like to do is…”
I interrupted her before she got any further.
“Yes, yes, a million times yes. Do whatever quirky or unusual or odd thing you want. That’s what we do.”
I mean, really people, how many other otherwise serious events have panelists dress up like Star Wars characters?
You know what else we do at CMEpalooza that should both make you happy and is never replicated at another event, especially a free event? That’s right, we give away money. This fall, we’re actually giving away money twice, as you may have seen in last week’s post about our 4 pm ET session.
Today, though, marks the launch of our more traditional financial free-for-all. In the fall, we call this CMEpalooza Bingo!! The second exclamation point is just because it’s extra awesome.
The distribution of prize money will be a little bit different this year because, well, we just feel like it. There will be 5 winners, each getting $100 Amazon gift cards. That’s $500 in total for all of you math majors. Last fall, our giant hopper wasn’t big enough to hold all of the successful entries we got for CMEpalooza Bingo!! so we ordered a new one shipped all the way from Camden, NJ. Let’s put it to good use, people.
Here be the rules to CMEpalooza Bingo!!:
STEP 1: Download all of the necessary Bingo forms by clicking on this link. That will give you the Bingo board, the Bingo questions, and the Bingo answer sheet. You should also queue up our Sponsor page, which will give you direct links to all of the websites you will need to visit.
STEP 2: A successful entry involves completing a Bingo – it can be horizontal (that’s straight across), vertical (that’s up and down), or diagonal (that’s, um, diagonal).
Special note: For the second straight year, we have too many sponsors to fit onto a bingo board, so a successful entry also involves completing the clue for one of our two Gold sponsors – Med Learning Group or Academic CME. So a total of six (6) answers are necessary this year for a successful entry. That’s more time you can spend playing CMEpalooza Bingo!! and less time you need to spend doing your “real job.” You are welcome.
STEP 3: Email your completed form to me at email@example.com along with a witty subject line (witty subject line is optional). Entry deadline is 9:23 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 6. Yes, 9:23 p.m. ET. Why? No reason. It just is.
Go to it everyone.
I loved game shows as a kid, even a really young kid. While everyone else was outside playing fun preschool suburban games like “Put This Stick Up Your Nose” and “Run As Fast As You Can Into the Pricker Bush,” I spent every weekday morning from 11 am-noon watching The Price is Right. The good version. Back when Bob Barker was hosting it. Yes, he’s still alive. He’s 95. I looked it up.
There were others I liked too. Card Sharks was good (I watched the recent reboot for about 5 minutes. Terrible). Joker’s Wild (didn’t watch the reboot). Sale of the Century.
When I was maybe 5 or 6, I decided that if I couldn’t co-produce a twice-annual meeting for CME professionals, then I wanted to be a game show host. The ones I admired were all skinny, gawky, white dudes, just like me. I was the next Bert Convy, a Bill Cullen just waiting to be discovered, a Wink Martindale with a normal name.
As I got older and school interrupted my game show habits (my elementary school nurse was partial to Password. Amazing how often I got a stomachache exactly at 10 am), I had to settle for those game shows that came on in the after school hours. They perhaps aren’t as well remembered, but there were lots of them and I loved (OK, liked) them all. Hot Potato had amazing graphics. That was my favorite.
Fast forward to 2019. No, I am unfortunately not going to be the next Bob Eubanks, but when it came time to figure out a session to anchor CMEpalooza Fall 2019, I figured it was time to live out my boyhood dream. And so was born The Great, Big, Play at Home in Your Jammies CME Quiz. It’s from 4-5 pm ET on Wednesday, October 16.
This session has everything a good game show needs:
- Competition – everyone can play, for free, using the Poll Everywhere app or by going to a URL we’ll provide before the session (it’ll be http://www.pollev/cmepalooza). You need to be smart and answer quickly to rack up the points.
- Catchy theme music — Derek has promised to sing “Edelweiss” at the start of the session
- Really cool celebrity guests — If you liked Nipsey Russell or Soupy Sales popping up on every single game show in the ’80s, you’ll love the celebrities joining us for this session (they are also known as “faculty”). Each of our “celebrities” has been integrally involved in developing questions and/or serving on the planning committee for the CCMEP/CHCP exam so they know their stuff.
- Prizes – Yes, even better than a year’s supply of Turtle Wax. There will be at least $500 in prize money to be given out. Medscape is currently our sole prize sponsor, but if your organization wants to join in, shoot me an email and we’ll figure something out.
Now, go away. The Game Show Network is doing a marathon of Supermarket Sweep reruns starting in 5 minutes.
That shriek of terror you heard a few weeks ago at 9:15 am ET? Yeah, that was Derek when I emailed him to tell him that Google Hangouts On Air (GHOAs) were officially, finally, kaput. It was something that had been rumored for a while but frankly, we don’t listen to rumors (well, unless it’s a rumor about the Philadelphia 76ers trading a 2023 second-round draft pick for a third-string center. That we are interested in. [note from Derek: this feels like Scott is challenging me to work current 76ers third-string center Kyle O’Quinn into my next blog post. Challenge accepted, Kober!!).
As you may be aware, we’ve been using GHOAs (or its more recent incarnation, YouTube Live, which was the same thing with a different name) since the very beginning of CMEpalooza. It was technology that was predictable, reliable, relatively easy to master, and, of course, free. Being a Google product, it automatically linked to YouTube, making it easy for us to embed broadcasts on the CMEpalooza website and then archive. The technology wasn’t perfect, and we learned a lot about troubleshooting problems over the years, but all in all, it worked well enough and we knew how to use it for our needed purposes.
So then you can imagine there was good reason Derek began shrieking like, well, this when I broke the bad news to him. Truth be told, I was panicked a bit myself as I quickly searched the Interwebs for “Replacement technology for Google Hangouts.” I figured it would take a while – a day, maybe two – before we found something that might, maybe, work as a platform for CMEpalooza.
Happily, it took all of about 15 minutes before we stumbled onto a website called StreamYard, which has a broadcast platform that was developed by two millennials who look like they graduated high school one night, rolled out of bed the next morning, and threw something together before heading to Taco Bell for a 4 pm chalupa. Here they are (I won’t even try to pronounce “Geige” but I will steal his hair. Heck, I’ll steal anyone’s hair):
Derek and I did some initial testing of the StreamYard platform, and found it intuitive, relatively easy to master, and, of course, free (for now). Like GHOAs, Streamyard also links directly to YouTube. It looks slightly different than GHOAs from a viewers perspective, but it’s a pretty decent facsimile. In some ways, it’s even better than GHOAs. They don’t have a lot of useless bells and whistles, they added some useful screen sharing features, and other small stuff that you probably don’t care about.
We wanted to wait until we had done a few AV tests with our Fall panelists before crowing about our sleuthing, but now that we have several behind us that all went smoothly, cock-a-frigging-doodle-doo. Yeah, that’s a rooster and not a crow. I know. Move along.
So here are today’s takeaways:
- Derek panics easily (another note from Derek: Am I worried that Scott just jinxed us by bragging about how great this new technology works? Of course I am!!)
- There are young people who are really good at technology and can create stuff in their sleep (as long as they are still living at home and don’t have to pay rent)
- CMEpalooza is saved.
And oh yeah, it’s a month(ish) away from our broadcast date of CMEpalooza Fall (Wednesday, October 16). Don’t forget.
When Derek and I flew down to our multi-day, tropical, semiannual CMEpalooza retreat earlier this summer, we spent many days thinking and strategizing about the future of our wildly-successfully extravaganza.
Me (said silently): “We’ve come so far in 5 years, but we could go so much farther. How do we expand our footprint and impact on this world so desperate for our education?”
Derek (said aloud): “I wonder how many more banana daiquiris I can consume before Happy Hour pricing ends?”
Yes, we all get there in our own ways, but once our focus sharpened (the answer, Derek tells me, was five. Five more banana daiquiris), we did indeed come up a lot of exciting and innovative ideas. Alas, all of those exciting and innovative ideas unfortunately were forgotten the instant that our kindly cocktail waitress told Derek after banana daiquiri number 4 that, “You look like you need a vacation.”
Thus was born the International CMEpalooza Summer Promotional Road Trip.
In early August, I spent several days lugging my family around Montreal speaking to countless potential CMEpalooza consumers about our event. I don’t speak a lick of French, but just kept saying “Mon dieu!” every time a question was asked of me. “Mon dieu!” just seems like a catch-all kind of phrase although I admittedly don’t really know what it means. I only got a few questionable looks.
Derek meanwhile took on the more difficult task of traipsing through the United Kingdom spreading the good word about CMEpalooza (note from Derek: this is true, though technically speaking I drove, not traipsed. Nothing like hurtling down the narrow streets of Cornwall at 55 MPH to make you feel alive!). His sullen, slightly disgruntled personality seemed perfect for the task, and I’m told by reliable sources that he fit in just fine. Alas, his introverted personality restrained him from actually, you know, trying to talk to anyone about CMEpalooza, but I’m assured that he used some sort of Jedi mind tricks to do what he promised.
And now we’re back again, settled in to domesticity in our homeland, with at least 2 new subscribers to our blog and 1 likely new viewer of our Fall sessions. That’s the owner of the ice cream parlor, or café crème glacee (see, I did learn some French!), around the corner from our Montreal accommodations who I saw, oh, every 4 hours for 7 consecutive days before he finally asked, “What the heck is this CMEpalooza think you keep talking about?” Mon dieu, monsieur!
You’ll be hearing much more from us in these next few weeks – we promise – about our Fall meeting coming up on Wednesday, October 16, as we ramp up our preparations and connect with our panelists to see what kinds of kooky ideas they have spun off of our original concepts. Meanwhile, enjoy your last few hours of summer this Labor Day. Derek suggests a banana daiquiri.
Anyone else have a nagging spouse? I sure do!
(She doesn’t read the blog so she’ll never know I told you – mums the word, people)
But when it comes to Derek and I, it’s often up to me to play the role of the nagger to the nagee (is that a word? Let’s pretend for today that it is).
Day 1 Nag: “So, how are your sessions coming along for the Fall agenda? We gonna make our deadline of the end of the month?”
Day 2 Nag: “I repeat, how are your sessions coming along for the Fall agenda? We gonna make our deadline of the end of the month?”
Day 3 Nag: “If you don’t answer me, I’m going to tell everyone in the blogosphere that you still wear Aquaman Underoos (It’s true. He does. Don’t ask me how I know). One more time — How are your sessions coming along for the Fall agenda? We gonna make our deadline of the end of the month?”
(Finally, a response)
“Sorry, I was busy watching replays of the Game 7 of the 1986 Philadelphia 76ers-Milwaukee Bucks series on YouTube. Can’t believe Doc missed the game winner. What am I supposed to be doing again?”
The man never lets me down.
But to Derek’s credit, as usual, he rose to the task, got himself organized, adjusted the waistline of his Aquaman Underoos, and got to work. He begged, pleaded, and cajoled. One success led to another, and then another, until, “Yes, Scott, yes, my sessions are ready. Sort of.”
And so, on this last day of July, we indeed have an agenda to present for CMEpalooza Fall. It’s pretty great. Click here for the CMEpalooza Fall agenda.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some laundry to do, groceries to buy, and plants to water. You’ll have to wait another week or two before we start telling you more.
A few weeks ago, Derek wrote about an upcoming meeting of the austere CMEpalooza planning committee that was on the calendar after weeks and weeks of coddling and begging. As those of us in the industry are familiar with, getting anyone to carve out time in their schedule for a planning call can be quite painful.
Well, imagine dealing with a whole cadre of egos (“My time is more important than your time”) where any affront is taken personally (“Wait, why are we rescheduling this meeting because she is unavailable? I told you I was unavailable, and you told me that was too bad. I hate you guys.”) and perhaps you have a sense of what Derek and I have to deal with on a semiannual basis.
OK, OK, so perhaps our planning committee isn’t quite as austere as I hinted at earlier. OK, OK, perhaps it is just Derek and I. Nonetheless, scheduling was a bit more challenging this year than most.
As you may recall from Derek’s near-catastrophic snafu with jury scheduling this spring, he is not always great at planning around important events in CMEpalooza-ville. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he bailed on our first meeting when he realized he had to see the dentist to get a few cavities filled. That’s what a lifetime of Laffy Taffy every night after dinner will do to your teeth, folks. (Note from Derek: Tough but fair.)
I was to blame (well, kinda sorta) for the second cancellation – water damage to our property caused by massive construction going on next door that is slated to be completed… oh, sometime in 2068.
But never fear my feathered friends, Derek and I persevered! Our personal assistants stayed with it, cross-referencing dates and times to find a Friday afternoon where we could both sit down and talk through ideas for CMEpalooza Fall.
But alas, another chink in the armor. Derek chose a Mexican restaurant near his house as our meeting spot. We show up. Oops. “I guess it isn’t open for lunch,” he says.
For some people, this would have been the last straw, but again, we persevered! Fortunately, another mediocre restaurant was located just across the street. What luck! OK, OK, there are lots of restaurants within a few blocks of where we met, but I’m simply trying to create some drama here.
Anyway, we sat down, ordered our iced teas and lemonades, and got down to business.
Let me approximate how these planning meetings typically go.
Me (rifling through many pages of notes and doodles during my preparation for the meeting): “So, what session ideas so you have for the next CMEpalooza?”
Derek (rifling through a blank notebook): “I dunno. Maybe something about grantors?”
Me: “So it’s on me again, eh?”
Imagine then my surprise last Friday when Derek actually had, gasp, several good ideas! I mean it everyone, a week at the beach must have sparked a few neurons into creative overdrive deep within Derek’s cerebral cortex. Between my mediocre ideas and his, we actually have a good collection of topics and formats for the Fall meeting (Wednesday, Oct. 16). We still need to flesh things out, get moderators/presenters on board, negotiate schedules, and everything else, but hey, at least we’re building momentum.
Let’s just hope life gets out the way for a while.