Take Our Survey and I’ll Stop Bugging You

Alternative titles for this blog post that were left on the cutting room floor:

  • Take Our Survey And Express Your Disappointment That You Didn’t Get to See a Repeat of Me Freaking Out Due to My Laptop Spontaneously Shutting Down Again
  • Take Our Survey So You Can Tell Us How Much You Liked Our Collared Shirts
  • Take Our Survey or Else Scott Will Drive to Your House and Throw Pebbles at Your Window Until You Take It
  • Take Our Survey or Else I Will Drive to Your House and Stand Outside Your Window Holding a Boombox Over My Head Playing “In Your Eyes” Like John Cusack in Say Anything

Anyways, if you happened to watch any of the CMEpalooza sessions last week, please take our quick survey. It’s super-helpful to us to help plan future iterations of our event and gives us a little bit better idea of how many people watched. Here’s the link:


And to the person who responded to our survey and requested an evaluation to rate all the sessions: No.

Oh, and if you weren’t able to join us live, all the sessions are archived on the Spring agenda page. Enjoy!

Where Do I Watch CMEpalooza Spring?

Where do I watch CMEpalooza Spring?
You watch it on the LIVE page.

Will people be able to hear me on the Hangout?
No. You are not on the Hangout. You are only watching a video feed of the Hangout. You can sing Everybody Have Fun Tonight by 80’s legends Wang Chung at the top of your lungs and no one will hear you except your neighbors, who might call the police, who might interrupt you while watching CMEpalooza. So, don’t sing Everybody Have Fun Tonight by 80’s legends Wang Chung at the top of your lungs while watching CMEpalooza.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring at the office?

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring at home?

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring in a conference room with 100 other people?
Please do.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring while at a New York Mets game? 

Can I watch CMEpalooza Spring with Vice President Mike Pence?
I don’t know. Let’s ask him.

I guess he’s busy.

Do I have to pre-register or register?

Do I have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza Spring? I love paying registration fees.

No. You don’t have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza.

Do I have to take a survey afterward?
Well, you don’t have to, but it would be nice if you did. It’s only seven questions and shouldn’t take you more than 60 seconds. If it takes you more than 60 seconds, Scott will give you free swing dance lessons.

Can I get a certificate for watching CMEpalooza Spring?
A surprising amount of people have asked us this over the years, and we have never had one. This year, we have one. Now, we’re not accredited or certified or anything like that. We also have no way of verifying whether you actually watched any of these sessions or not. But if you want a certificate of completion that you can use to self-report participation in CMEpalooza Spring 2017, here you go. I’ll also post it on the LIVE page tomorrow.

How do I ask questions to the presenters?
Good question. There are three ways you can ask questions:

  1. Send a text to the Educational Measures text line at 267-666-0CME (0263)
  2. Tweet a question using the #CMEpalooza hashtag
  3. Click on the Google Slides link on the LIVE page and enter your question there

Do I have to watch all the sessions?
YES! No. Watch what interests you.

What if I’m busy during the day of the live broadcast?
All the sessions will be archived on the website, probably within 15 minutes of the conclusion of the session. How are we able to do it so fast? We have a new intern who is a real crackerjack on the interwebs. Here he is hard at work, writing our latest blog post.

CMEpalooza Haiku

I thought about not doing CMEpalooza Haiku this time, but it’s Scott’s favorite recurring post and he begged and begged me to do it again. I hate to disappoint the guy, so here again are summaries of each CMEpalooza Spring session in haiku. Enjoy!

april the nineteenth
cmepalooza spring
here we go again

best learning formats?
you’ll find out at ten a.m.
from the horse’s mouth

cookie dough is good
just like your programs should be
the worst: vanilla

one, two, and three A’s
forays into the four A’s
five is one too much

if the word “network”
causes you fear and loathing
this session’s for you

what is “data viz?”
not sure, but you’re a poet
and might not know it

such a foggy world
is CME compliance
here is clarity

the day’s last session
a mistake celebration
so perfect for scott

don’t forget to watch
the GAME Company Spotlight
it’s today at noon

You Could Be Doing This, Too

This is the blog post where I remind all of you that you could be doing this, too. Not literally sitting in a coffee shop at 21st and Walnut Sts. in Philadelphia typing a blog post while you wait for your 10-year-old daughter to finish orchestra practice (she plays the violin. I am easily the least talented person in this family…), but you could be using the same tools that Scott and I use to run CMEpalooza. This is what we use:

  • WordPress for our website/blog
  • YouTube Live (née Google Hangouts) to stream presentations
  • WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for promotion

That’s basically it. Yes, there’s a little bit of a learning curve for using these things, but less than you might think. Every year the technology gets better, the video quality improves, and it gets easier for people to use. We have far fewer tech issues now than when we first started doing CMEpalooza (OK, yes, the first session of CMEpalooza Fall 2016 went completely offline for a few minutes, but that was because my stupid laptop crapped out, which was my own dumb fault) and the majority of our faculty are able to come right onto their session Hangouts with little difficulty. The technology works. It’s not perfect, but it works pretty dang well.

Now here’s the kicker. Do you know how much it costs for us to produce CMEpalooza? Any guesses?


I pay 25 bucks for the CMEpalooza.com URL (which I pay all on my own. Do I ask Scott to chip in? I do not, because that’s the kind of guy I am. I’m a giver.) That’s it. Everything else is free. I’m not including the hours Scott and I put into it, but the website cost is the only monetary expense involved. This is definitely something you can afford to try.

In closing, let me remind you of a couple of upcoming CMEpalooza-related activities.

CMEpalooza Presents…Our 2017 Spring Agenda!

Quick show of hands: Who would like to read another one of my rants about people who continue to write “CMEpalooza” incorrectly (you know who you are, by the way)?

OK…OK, nobody.

Who would like to read 5,000 words from Scott breaking down all the sessions in the CMEpalooza archive into an NCAA March Madness-style bracket, complete with a final CMEpalooza Session National Champion?

OK…OK, I see one guy in the back with his hand rai-…no…no, he was just scratching his nose.

And who would like me to just get to the agenda?

That’s what I thought. Let’s get right to the agenda then. Below is the (mostly) final agenda for CMEpalooza Spring. We might have a few edits or updates between now and April 19, but this is pretty much it. We’re really thrilled with our lineup and think it will be our best CMEpalooza, yet. Onward!

9 a.m. ET
Breakfast Session Sponsored by Prova Education

Topic and Speakers TBA

10 a.m. ET
Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Learning Preferences of Healthcare Providers
How can we be sure that we are providing our audience with the best formats for learning? This session will provide answers to all our burning questions around how HCPs learn through an engaging interview with a well-respected family physician. He is a prolific educator and has advised many CME providers on the development of certified education. The interview will discuss different formats used in CME that are engaging to a HCP audience and how learners prefer to receive their education. This will then be tied to the type of data we as CME providers can glean from these different educational formats.

Amanda Glazar, PhD, CHCP, Director, Medical Education, Kynectiv

Paul Doghramji, MD, Family Physician, Collegeville Family Practice

11 a.m. ET
Two Scoops of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Please!
CME activities have become too vanilla. Redundancy abounds and it has become more and more difficult to differentiate one program from another. What does it take to be truly innovative? What are groups doing to separate themselves from the masses? This panel of commercial supporters will discuss what they look for in a grant proposal, the elements that make an activity stand out from the crowd, and provide examples of innovation in education that they have funded recently. Learn how to turn your vanilla program into two scoops of chocolate chip cookie dough!

Karen Roy, MSc, Principal and Co-founder, infograph-ed, LLC, Principal, Ardgillan Group, LLC

Angelo Carter, PharmD, Director, Grant Officer, Global Medical Grants and Research Collaborations, Pfizer
Helen Kostarides, Consultant, Medical Education Grants – Oncology, Lilly Grant Office, Eli Lilly and Company
Greselda Butler, CHCP, Senior Manager, Grants and Contributions, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical Inc

Noon ET
Lunchtime Session Sponsored by Genentech

Forays into the Four “A’s”: Promoting Systems-Based Changes in CME
After the identification of a system-based educational gap, providers are typically challenged with Activating, Advancing, Aspiring toward and/or Allocating resources to help address and close that gap. This is the reason why The Expanded Learning Model for Systems (TELMS) was developed to serve as adjunct to existing learning models. In this session, provider representatives will provide examples of specific initiatives that tackled one or more of these challenges in a system-based setting and offer suggestions on how to avoid potential pitfalls that can trip up similarly proposed initiatives.

John Ruggiero, PhD, Associate Director, Genentech U.S. Medical Affairs, Learning & Clinical Integration

Donna Harris, Senior Director, US/Global Education, Med-IQ, LLC
Caroline O. Robinson, PhD, Senior Director of Learning and Analytics, Prime Education
Linda Gracie-King, Managing Partner/Co-Founder, Axis Medical Education
Matthew Frese, General Manager, MedLearningGroup
Rob Braun, Senior Director, Medscape Education
Pamela Peters, PhD, Director of Quality and Strategy, Medscape Education

1 p.m. ET
Networking with the Best of Them: How to Make Friends and Influence People
As we work to develop educational interventions that encourage our clinician learners to work effectively in multidisciplinary teams, it is pXXXrudent that we also do this within our own organizations. Within most of our organizations, networking intra-departmentally and cross-departmentally is critical, as is doing so between CE providers, industry, and other stakeholders. As such, we have all witnessed the fruit borne out when networking has been optimized and the stank of when it has not. This session will provide useful tips from seasoned CE professionals on how to make friends and influence people as we all strive to implement better CE/CPD.

Monique Johnson, MD, CHCP, Director, Medical Affairs, Imedex
Susan Yarbrough, CHCP, Director, Continuing Professional Development, Imedex
Allison Kickel, CHCP, Senior Director, Business Development, Imedex

2 p.m. ET
What is Data Visualization and How Can I Apply It?

Is there any room for improvement in how you present data and information in a succinct and digestible fashion? For most if not all of us, the answer is YES! Providers and supporters can all benefit from the use and understanding of Data Visualization (“data viz”) techniques and tools. Visual processing plays a large role in how human beings experience the world, and the integration of visual messages that are easily interpreted with minimal cognitive stress can tremendously help in message communication. In this moderated panel, we will review some basic data viz concepts and techniques, review case studies and hear from different stakeholders in the CEHP community who have benefited from the use of data viz in their communications.

Anne Roc, PhD, Senior Medical Director, PlatformQ Health Education

Bhaval Shah, PhD, Principal (Creative) and Co-founder, infograph-ed, LLC
Julia Shklovskaya, MPA, Senior Manager, Independent Medical Education and Medical External Affairs, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Lauren Welch, MA, Vice President, Outcomes and Accreditation, Med Learning Group

3 p.m. ET
Is That Compliant? Separating Fact from Fiction in Accredited CME
Can the supporter have a copy of the participant list from the program? Does the medical director who sits in the office next to mine qualify as a non-biased reviewer to resolve a conflict of interest? Can this faculty member with a conflict of interest disclosure 3 pages long serve as the course chair? What if the answer to these questions was “Yes, yes, and yes,” but at the same time “Probably not a good idea”? There is an incredible amount of misperception and misunderstanding about what does and does not comply with ACCME criteria. Much of this may be due to fear of rules that do not exist and an understandable abundance of caution. This session will explore some of the difficult-to-answer questions in CME compliance and provide clarity between what is compliant, non-compliant, and compliant-but-a-bad-idea.

Michael Baffuto, CHCP, President, Integrity Continuing Education

Brooke Taylor, Assistant Dean for Continuing Medical Education, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Mindi Daiga, MBA, VP, CME Compliance and Operations, Pri-Med
Beth Brillinger, CHCP, Director of Accreditation, CME Outfitters, LLC

4 p.m. ET
Celebrating Our Mistakes: A Retrospective Analysis of “What Went Wrong”
We celebrate our successes in work and in life – applying for awards, highlighting our breakthroughs in grant proposals – that all help us get through the day. But it’s often in our failures that we learn the most that adapt our approaches for the future. This case-based session will retrospectively examine several “failures” of our team of presenters, providing insight into why these initiatives failed and what they and others can learn from those failures.

Scott Bradbury, Director of E-Learning, American Academy of Pediatrics

Mary Ales, Executive Director, Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association
Erica Klopp, Director, Continuing Education, Reading Health System
Ellen L. Cohen, Cert.Ed., Dip.Ed., CHCP, Director, CME Accreditation & Maintenance of Certification at American College of Cardiology

We Need To Have A Chat About CMEpalooza

Hey gang! Derek here. I wanted to have a little chat with all of you about CMEpalooza. Not the actual Spring event, mind you. Until we have the agenda totally set (we’re almost there), we don’t have much more to tell you about it. No, I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend lately, and I wanted to bring it to a quick end. I’m here to talk to you about the word “CMEpalooza.”

Here’s the thing — it’s”CMEpalooza.” It’s not “CMEPalooza” or “CMEPALOOZA” or…(ugh)…”CME palooza.” It’s one word with the first three letters capitalized. It’s a mash up of “CME” and “palooza.” It’s a palooza of CME. It’s CMEpalooza.

In one of the first emails Scott sent me when we first started working on CMEpalooza together, he referred to it as “CMEPalooza.” I responded to him with a threat of fisticuffs if he ever spelled it that way again. It’s one of the few arguments I’ve ever won with him. To be fair, most of our arguments rarely extend beyond this exchange:

Me: Hey, should we try this?
Scott: No.
Me: Why not?
Scott: Because it’s dumb.
Me: Good point.

So, winning this argument was no great feat. Still, I even had “CMEpalooza” t-shirts made. See?


What I’m trying to-…wait a minute. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That’s right — CMEPALOOZA T-SHIRT CANNON AT THE NEXT ALLIANCE CONFERENCE!!! I can see it now. The first day’s keynote speaker finishes up and we’re just about ready to break for the first round of plenary sessions, when all of a sudden a loud siren begins to sound, I run onto the stage with a massive t-shirt cannon while Scott grabs the microphone and yells out “WHO WANTS A T-SHIRT?!?” The crowd goes wild as  Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It”  blares overhead and I begin firing t-shirts left and right. Man, that would be great.


Where was I? Oh, right — just remember: If you’re writing it out, it’s “CMEpalooza.” All one word, no capital “P.” Now, does anyone know where I can rent a t-shirt cannon for cheap?

Not Fake News: Vote for the CMEpalooza Spring Agenda NOW!

The title says it all, so let’s get right to it.

Click here to vote for the CMEpalooza Spring agenda!

The process is pretty simple (Should you trust the process? Yes. Yes, you should.) You will see six different categories in the survey: Outcomes, Educational Design, Case-Based Approaches, Commercial Support, Accreditation, and CME Potpourri (a deceivingly hard word to spell correctly.)

Under each category are three possible sessions (thank you to our colleagues who helped develop some of these ideas). Pick your favorite session, and only that one session, for each category. Click the SUBMIT button. That’s it.

Click here to vote for the CMEpalooza Spring agenda!

Voting will stay open until Friday, February 17 and…wait a minute. Is next Tuesday Valentine’s Day?? Uh oh. How the h-…sorry, sorry…got distracted…

Voting will stay open until Friday, February 17, and we will close it up at the end of the day. Then we will tally up the votes and the session from each category with the highest total will go on the Spring agenda. At that point, Scott and I will begin the faculty selection process.

Is that a quick turnaround to find faculty for CMEpalooza Spring? Yes, it is.

Am I a little nervous about that? I might be.

Do I blame Scott because it was his idea? Definitely.

Are we up to the task? Of course!

Now go vote (remember to hit SUBMIT)!

Click here to vote for the CMEpalooza Spring agenda!

Good News for the Left Behind

BREAKING NEWS! The Alliance 2017 Annual Meeting is coming up in a few days! (Yes, I’m mocking CNN who uses the “Breaking News” chyron like it’s a name badge.) I imagine a good amount of you reading this are planning to head out to San Fran for the conference, but a fair amount of you will be staying at home (yeesh, what a great observation by me. “Some of you are going and some of you aren’t.” Brilliant. This is the type of insightful analysis the CMEpalooza blog has become famous for. I should have made Scott write this post. I need more coffee.)

Hey, I get it. We can’t all go the conference every year, and it’s expensive to send an entire staff. I didn’t go last year. Here’s a picture of me thinking about all my friends at the conference while I stayed home:


But I come with good news! Oh yes, it’s very exciting times here at CMEpalooza HQ. So exciting that Scott jumped up and danced a little jig (it was…not great.) That’s right, folks — the CMEpalooza archive has been updated! Woooooo!!!


Fine. It might not be that exciting, but it is a nice resource. I added all the sessions from CMEpalooza Fall 2016 to the archive and we now have over 60 sessions in 11 different categories for your viewing pleasure (side note: they are free). So, while your boss is away at the Alliance conference during your free time, pop on over to the archive and check out some of the sessions you may have missed. Interested in learning more about evaluation and outcomes? We have 18 sessions in our Outcomes section. If you watch them all, we’ll give you our special Master of Outcomes sash, which you will be required to wear around the office and everyone has to refer to you as “The Outcomes Master.”

“Hey, do you have any suggestions for improving our evaluation response rates?”

“Beats me. Let’s ask The Outcomes Master.”

“You mean Larry?”

“That’s his old name.”

And there’s lots of other topics to browse through. Check it out!