CMEpalooza Spring Abstracts Are Due Friday!

ABSTRACTS FOR CMEpalooza SPRING ARE DUE FEBRUARY 1!
Click here to go to the abstract submission form (bottom of the page)

As I’ve mentioned here numerous times before, my personality definitely leans towards the introverted side of the social spectrum. Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good at repressing my natural inclinations to avoid human interaction, especially when attending things such as the Alliance conference.

Shockingly, I have found that I even sort of like talking to people… sometimes… and that people, maybe, kind of like talking to me? I don’t know, that might be pushing it, but I have found that it’s helpful for me to take little breaks of solitude during the day in order to recharge. This, however, can lead to things like this:

This, of course, leads to a follow-up question that I know you all are asking right now: Does this mean Scott is the extrovert of the CMEpalooza team??

The answer is yes.

Even more incredible to believe is that not only is he the extrovert of CMEpalooza, he is also our optimist. Stunning revelations, I know, but true! I’m the one who after two years of doing CMEpalooza informed Scott that this was probably our apex and it was all downhill from here. I’m the one who assumed no one would ever want to be a sponsor of our events. And I’m the one who every year assumes no one will submit an abstract to present at CMEpalooza Spring.

(Side note: My pessimism should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever watched a Sixers game with me. I love them, but always anticipate failure and defeat.)

To my delight, I talked with several people at the Alliance conference who said they were planning to submit an abstract for this year’s CMEpalooza Spring. Yay! I’m always thrilled that people still enjoy the palooza and want to participate.

(Do I think most of the people I talked to about submitting an abstract will change their mind and never do it?…NO!…I mean, no, I do not…but…I mean…ok, yes, I do, but ignore me…)

One of the questions that came up during these conversations is, “What topics are other people considering abstracts for?” To help answer that, I put together a list of the abstract titles from some of the people I talked with at the conference. I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ve not included their last names, but I think it will help give you an idea of what’s under consideration:

Donald T (politician/businessman, Washington DC) – Building a Wall Between Good and Bad Education
Joel E (basketball player, Philadelphia) – Learning to Trust the Process and Other Meeting Planning Tips 
Bruce W (entrepreneur, Gotham) – Unmasking the Learning Myths That Drive Me Batty
Cardi B (musician, Bronx) – I Like It!: True Confessions of an Accreditation Fanatic
Tom B (football player, Boston) – Deflating Expectations About Winning Grant Requests
Nancy P (politician, Washington DC) – Saying No: Advice for Negotiating with Difficult Faculty
Daenerys T of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt (Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons) – How to Train a Dragon: No, Seriously, That’s It…I Will Teach You How to Train a Frickin’ Dragon

And just in case the reminder at the top wasn’t enough, please remember that abstracts for CMEpalooza Spring are due on Friday.

Click here to go to the abstract submission form

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.

Submit an Abstract to Present at CMEpalooza Spring 2019 Now!

My son — who is 14-years-old and should be past this by now — has a favorite knock-knock joke that he is constantly trying to use on people, including me, whom he has told it to multiple times before. He clearly thinks I’m an idiot. Anyway, here it (WARNING: it is terrible.)

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Interrupting cow.
Interrupting cow w-
MOOOOO!!!

I sigh deeply, roll my eyes, and think, “Here we go again…” every time he tells it. It’s very similar to how Scott and I react every time we begin planning the next CMEpalooza agenda. Not that we don’t love CMEpalooza, but getting the agenda together can be a chore, which is why the spring palooza is always my favorite. We make all of you do most of the work for us! Yay!

As always, our goal with the CMEpalooza Spring agenda is to have the CME/CE community intimately involved in its development. This year, as we did last year, we are releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for anyone to submit an idea for a CMEpalooza Spring session. This perhaps sounds more impressive than it actually is since the RFP being “released” is just this blog post, but work with me here.

We are going to try to keep the process pretty simple. If you have an idea for a session that you would like to lead at CMEpalooza Spring (Wednesday, April 17), just complete the RFP submission form below by the end of the day on Friday, February 1. After February 1, Scott and I will review all of the proposals that we have received and select at least six for the agenda. Yes, we have gotten drunk on our own self-proclaimed power and will do all the selecting ourselves.

Here are a few guidelines:

  1. This is an online conference and all sessions are done via YouTube Live (Google Hangout). All presenters must have a computer, access to a decent internet connection, and a webcam. Most laptops produced after 2010 have one built in.
  2. Proposals will only be considered if they are submitted via the RFP submission form below.
  3. The deadline for proposals to be submitted is by 9 p.m. ET on Friday, February 1.
  4. We are open to pretty much any idea as long as it’s possible for us to do via YouTube Live and it relates in some way to CME/CE. The more creative, the better.
  5. Interactive formats with multiple presenters, such as panel sessions and interviews, are encouraged. Single-person PowerPoint lectures are discouraged, unless you can convince us that it’s going to be really, really good.
  6. Please verify the availability of all presenters for the date of CMEpalooza (April 17) before submitting their name in your proposal. If you don’t, we won’t be happy. Scott will probably scowl at you when you email to tell us one of your speakers is not available. You don’t want that. Trust me.
  7. There are six categories we are looking to fill for a well-rounded agenda. They are: Outcomes, Educational Design, Technological Innovations, Commercial Support, Accreditation, and CME Potpourri (anything that doesn’t fit in the other five categories). Your proposal should align with one of these categories. Ideally, we will select one proposal for each category, but we might decide to choose multiple proposals for one category based on what we receive. It’s our conference and we can do what we want.
  8. We don’t want to limit creativity, so there isn’t a limit on the number of proposals you can submit, but use common sense and be reasonable. We will likely only choose one proposal for which you are listed as the lead contact, so don’t submit 10 proposals or something crazy like that.
  9. We will try to notify you within a week of the deadline if your proposal has been accepted or not.
  10. If you have any questions, feel free to email Derek (thecmeguy@gmail.com) or Scott (scott@medcasewriter.com) or find us at the Alliance conference in a couple weeks.

I think that about covers it. I especially want to encourage people who have never presented at CMEpalooza to submit a proposal. We are always happy to have new presenters participate, and now is as good a time as any. The RFP submission form is below. Have fun!

CMEpalooza Is Coming

Folks, I’m going to be completely honest with you here. Scott and I have been doing this for a long time now (incredibly, this upcoming CMEpalooza Spring will be the 5-year anniversary of the very first palooza. You can check out the archive for that first one here and here.)

Sometimes, I sit down to write a blog post and the words just pour out of my fingertips and I can bang it out in 15 minutes. Other times — like today, and yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that — I sit down and stare blankly at my laptop for 15 minutes before I close it and go do something else (by “something else,” I usually mean watching highlights from last year’s Super Bowl for the umpteenth time. Did you know that the Eagles won? It’s true).

I haven’t written anything for the blog since October, and I’m definitely feeling a little rusty. I don’t even have any clever anecdotes from my little holiday break, which was very pleasant and relaxing, but bereft of much action and excitement. Would you like to hear about the 1000-piece puzzle of the London skyline I worked on? Everything was going fine until someone who will remain nameless (my wife, who denies it, even though it was definitely her) left the family room door open, and the cats laid waste to Big Ben like Godzilla rampaging through downtown Tokyo. Cats, man…

Where was I? Oh, right – CMEpalooza Spring is coming on Wednesday, April 17! Woohoo! Mark it on your calendars now!

Will it be a special Game of Thrones themed CMEpalooza in honor of the final season of GoT, which is also starting in April? YES!

Hold on a minute…

[…]

OK, I’m being told by Scott that it will definitely not be a special GoT themed CMEpalooza, as that would be “ridiculous.” Fine.

What we are going to do is have an open abstract submission process for anyone to submit a presentation idea for CMEpalooza Spring. We’ll open up the submission form in a week or so and keep it open until sometime after the Alliance conference, which ends on January 26 (which also happens to be my birthday, but please don’t send me any presents like air pods, a Joel Embiid City Edition jersey (I wear a large) or a pair of size 13 Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG  Storm Blue’s). Scott and I will then review all the submissions and pick the ones we think will make up the best agenda for CMEpalooza Spring.

So, start thinking up your clever and creative ideas now! We’ll have six categories that you can submit for: Outcomes, Educational Design, Technological Innovations, Commercial Support, Accreditation, and Game of Thrones.

Hold on a minute…

[…]

OK, I’m being told by Scott that Game of Thrones is not a category and it’s actually CME Potpourri, which sounds much less fun to me. Whatever. I’m also being told by Scott to mention that CMEpalooza Fall is currently scheduled for Wednesday, October 16, so make sure you mark that in your calendars, too.

Stay tuned for more abstract submission details next week!

CMEpalooza Survey and Jokes

Scott and I are still in recovery mode after a great CMEpalooza Fall on Wednesday, so I’ll keep this brief.

If you watched any of the CMEpalooza Fall sessions, we would love to have your feedback on our survey. It is only 7 questions, and I promise it won’t take you more than 5 minutes to complete. We have 95 completions so far which is, quite frankly, a stunning amount. I’m not even sure how to process that number right now, But we still want your input if you haven’t filled it out yet.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO TAKE OUR SURVEY!

As is tradition, here are the jokes that have been submitted on the survey thus far. They are all terrible, which means they are perfect.

Vandals destroyed the Origami Institute in Japan. We’ll keep you posted as the story unfolds.

Why did the scarecrow win an award? Because he was outstanding in his field.

What kind of dog does a scientist have? A lab!

Why don’t bears wear shoes? Because they have bare feet!

What’s the difference between the Philadelphia 76ers and a dollar bill? You can still get four quarters out of a dollar bill. (NOTE: whoever wrote this is now banned from CMEpalooza.)

Where Do I Watch CMEpalooza Fall?

Where do I watch CMEpalooza Fall?
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 play the air-horn version of a-ha’s Take on Me at full volume and no one will hear you except your neighbors, who might call the police, who might interrupt you while watching CMEpalooza. So, don’t play the air-horn version of a-ha’s Take on Me at full volume while watching CMEpalooza.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Fall at the office?
Yes.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Fall at home?
Yes.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Fall in a conference room with 150 other people?
Please do.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Fall while at a coffee shop?
That depends. Will you be drinking a skinny latte while watching? If yes, then no, you may not watch CMEpalooza Fall while at a coffee shop.

Can I watch CMEpalooza Fall with LeBron James?
I don’t know. Let’s ask him.

I guess he’s busy.

Do I have to pre-register or register?
Nope.

Do I have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza Fall? 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 come to your house and bake you his famous apple strudel.

Can I get a certificate for watching CMEpalooza Fall?
Actually, yes. Well, kind of. We’re not accredited or certified or anything like that, and we 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 Fall 2018, 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 CMEpalooza 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

We always get to as many questions as we can throughout each presentation.

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

Will the sound quality for each presenter be crystal clear with consistent volume and no glitches?
No. Will it be pretty good for most presenters? Yes. There will be some who sound better than others. There may be a few glitches and hiccups. That’s just how it goes with a free conference where presenters volunteer their time and use their own equipment. Some people aren’t comfortable doing a presentation while wearing headphones and a mic, so we don’t force them to use it. We do the best that we can with what we have available to us. That said, there seems to have been some improvements within Google Hangouts this year, so perhaps we’ll get lucky

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 whole new office full of interns who are real crackerjacks on the interwebs. Here they are hard at work, writing our latest blog post.

 

Guess What’s Coming This Week???

That’s right — it’s the start of the NBA season! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Also, CMEpalooza is on Wednesday. Woo.

As an additional reminder, we are actively seeking out audience questions in advance for our RFP SOS session. If you have any questions about the RFP process and why is works the way is does, now is your chance. Just go here and submit your question in the provided form. Thanks to all of you who have already sent in your questions!

Submit Your RFP Questions Now!

Do you have a burning question for the panelists of our RFP SOS session? If you do (or even if you don’t and just have something you’re mildly curious about), please submit it in the form below and Angelo, Maria, Ann Marie, and Jill will do their best to address it next Wednesday.

Maybe you are wondering why some companies put out public Requests for Proposal (RFPs) and some don’t. Maybe you are wondering who all has input in writing supporter RFPs. Maybe you want to know if you really, really, need to follow the RFP guidance on font, word count, etc. The possibilities are endless (not really – there is probably a limit somewhere).

(Side note: the last time Angelo moderated a CMEpalooza session, someone submitted a question to ask if he was married. Let’s just address that one now: Yes, he’s married. Am I annoyed that no one has every sent in a question to ask if I was married? I mean, no, but…maybe a little)