Everything You Need to Know for CMEpalooza Week

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. It’s almost time for tipoff, so let’s have a song everyone.

Of Course We Are Doing It Again: It’s CMEpalooza Haiku!

palooza haiku
of course we did it again
you know you love it

coming in one week
cmepalooza fall
be there or be square

9 AM ET – Creating a Community of Care Through Innovative Education, Outcomes and Point-of-Care Tools

great kick-off session
not great is that I forgot
the oxford comma

10 AM ET – You Can’t Do That in CME!

my dad always said
never say “I can’t do that”
turn can’t into can

11 AM ET – Grants Hotline

you people sure have
a whole bunch of grants questions
grants hotline can help

Noon ET – Lunch

first ever lunch break
or breakfast or morning snack
east coast bias? yes

1 PM ET – Back to the Future (of CME)

a look at the past
how did our predictions do?
then predict again

2 PM ET – CME Fads: Gone for Good or Coming Back Around?

gamification
the mullet of CME?
really makes you think

3 PM ET – Jake Powers, CME Detective – Accreditation with Complications

this might be the best
or the most ridiculous
thing I ever wrote

4 PM ET – The Great, Big, Play at Home in Your Jammies CME Quiz

you can win money
with your CME knowledge
what a world this is

Sponsors

haikus for sponsors
just one of the many perks
though not a great one

Gold

first time gold sponsor
cool cats from Med Learning Group
peep their video

repeat gold sponsor
Academic CME
thanks for the lunch break

Silver

i am very close
to Prova Education
five miles from home

PER has been
around since the mid-90’s
here’s video proof

and now for a group
that needs no introduction
we all know Medscape 

it’s not in-fo-graphed
try four syllables not three
say “in-fo-graph-ed

HME — short for
Haymarket Medical Ed
with MyCME

lots of global groups
Global Education Group
sole silver sponsor

need education
that has creative concepts?
check out CEC

the lower case “i”
in ASiM CE
is a mystery

The Proud, The Few, The CMEpalooza Bingo!! Winners

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.

Last Chance for CMEpalooza Bingo!!

Scott tells me I am supposed to remind everyone about the CMEpalooza Bingo!! thing, so, fine. All the forms you need to play can be accessed by clicking on this link and you can get all the details on how to play by looking at Monday’s blog post. Entries are due this Sunday evening for some reason that makes zero sense to me, but whatever. I’m sure Scott has a good reason for it [eye roll]. But, you can win some cash money, so get those forms in soon!

OK, with that out of the way, let’s move on to the main reason for this blog post, which is to announce a totally original idea for a new game that I created all by myself. I call it CMEpalooza Day Bingo!!!

Now, you may be thinking to yourself that this sounds very similar to CMEpalooza Bingo!! and this will be very confusing. I assure you that CMEpalooza Bingo!! and CMEpalooza Day Bingo!!! are very different. For starters, I added the word “Day” and an extra exclamation mark to the title to make sure it was obvious which is which.

Second, you will not win any money in CMEpalooza Day Bingo!!! or any other prize. The enjoyment of participating will be prize enough! Also, Scott wouldn’t give me any money 😦

Lastly, CMEpalooza Day Bingo!!! is designed for you to play on the day of CMEpalooza (Wednesday, October 16). You now see the cleverness of the title, no? Just click here to print our your CMEpalooza Day Bingo!!! card and play along while watching all the sessions during CMEpalooza Fall. If you win, give yourself a hearty pat on the back, because we are all winners on CMEpalooza day!

Sing along with CMEpalooza

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.

It’s That Time Again – CMEpalooza Bingo!! is Here

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 scott@medcasewriter.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.

The Powers of the Afternoon Sessions

I am compelled to point out to everyone that at 3 pm ET on the day of CMEpalooza Fall (October 16), there is going to be a session that is essentially a dramatization featuring a CME detective named Jake Powers. I am not making this up. This is an actual session that you will be able to watch live, as it happens. Here is a sample scene:

Eddie Malone looks up from forging signatures on an LOA for a CME program that occurred 2 months ago and glares at his partner-in-crime, Frank Falco, who is pacing a hole in the already threadbare burnt orange rug in their fifth-floor walk-up.

“Sit down, you friggin’ lunatic,” Eddie growls around his unlit Cuban. “You’re makin’ me seasick with all the back and forth. You want me to yack all over these papers?”

Frank glaces at Eddie with the uneasiness of a terrier after two bowls of water and throws himself into a ratty yellow Lay-Z-Boy, dirty stuffing trickling out of the split seams.

“We shouldn’t a dunnit, Eddie! We shouldn’t a dunnit! It was too risky, and they’re on to us. I know it! We shoulda just gave ’em the buffet dinner like we said we was!”

“Shut your yap, you dang fool. It’s the perfect crime. We say we’re havin’ dinner, get grant moneys for it, don’t have the dinner, pocket the moolah, and no one’s the wiser!”

Frank shakes his head and takes a slug straight from the half-empty bottle of Jim Beam he’s been cradling like a baby.

“Somebody’s gonna snitch.”

“Yeah, well, snitches get sti-“

A pounding on the front door causes Frank to drop the bottle, amber liquid gurgling between cracks in the decrepit floorboards. He looks wildly at Eddie, eyes wide with fear. Eddie holds up a finger to shush him and reaches for the top drawer of his desk.

“Who is it?” he barks out, slowly removing his cellphone from the desk drawer.

The gravely voice that answers sends a tremor from the top of Eddie’s greasy head to the base of his scoliosic spine.

“It’s Powers. Jake Powers. I’m a CME detective, and you two rats are coming with me.”

Eddie begins thumbing a number into his phone while Frank babbles incoherently into his hands.

“Powers,” Eddie mutters. “Why did it have to be Powers?”

OK, I totally made that up. I have no idea what they’re actually doing, but it’s still intriguing, right? I mean, c’mon, a CME detective? What could be better than that? (Don’t answer that.)

The point is – and the point Scott made with yesterday’s post – you should definitely try to tune in for the afternoon sessions during CMEpalooza Fall. All the sessions are going to to be great, but the last two of the day, I think, are particularly creative and fun. You won’t want to miss them.

As a side note, for anyone wondering where the heck the idea of a CME detective came from, I am somewhat chagrined to admit it comes from an unfinished story I wrote on my old blog back in 2011. A period of time when I clearly had too much time on my hands. But if you are a sucker for original source material, feel free to give it a read.

Game Show Fanatic

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.

Fear Not Technology

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:

  1. 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!!)
  2. 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)
  3. 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.

Last Day to Submit a Question For the Grants Hotline

Let’s talk about Dolly Parton for a minute.

You probably know that Dolly wrote “I Will Always Love You.” (Scott: No, we don’t)

You probably know that Dolly wrote “Jolene.” (Scott: What’s a “Jolene”?)

But did you know that Dolly wrote “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene” on the same day? It’s true! That is a pretty amazing day. (Scott: Perhaps not as amazing as when I learned to whistle and blow a bubble on the same day, but I’ll give you this one)

You know what you could write that would make it an amazing day for you? You could write a question for our Grants Hotline!!

(Folks, this is the best I have at this point. After four blog posts asking for questions, I’m all out of ideas. Plus, I’m going to the Willie Nelson concert tonight, and I’m feeling a little distracted. Did you know that when Willie Nelson was writing the song “Crazy,” his first draft used the word “stupid” instead? This is also true! Willie is 86 years old and still touring…incredible. It’s probably because he owes the IRS millions in back taxes, but I digress…)

Today IS the last day to ask questions for our Grants Hotline. We have gotten several, but would love to have a few more. Once again, here is the form for you to submit. Deadline is whenever the Willie Nelson concert ends tonight!