Waiting in the #CMEchat Lounge

Know what the best part is about attending large conferences like the Alliance for CME’s Annual Meeting?

Is it the diverse educational offerings? No, that’s the excuse we use for going.

Is it the always riveting keynote address? (ahem) No.

Is it the the opportunity to spend time in some of our country’s finest cities? (Let’s see, fairly high odds that my boss will read this, so…) No, certainly not.

Is it meeting up with old friends and colleagues you only see at meetings and conferences? Yeah, that’s kind of it, but not quite.

Is it the time you spend outside of the actual sessions, the time spent hanging out in the hotel lounge with colleagues old and new, throwing out new ideas, rehashing old questions, shootin’ the breeze? Bingo!

I did not attend the 2011 Alliance Meeting, the first one I’ve missed in years, and found that it was the “lounge time” I missed the most. Where else can you ask questions like “Have you ever gotten more than 5 people to complete Stage 3 of a PI CME activity?” or “Do you have any clue what Criteria 21 means?” and have those around you instantly understand what you’re talking about? In the organized educational sessions, you’re learning what someone else wants you to know. In the informal down time, you’re learning what YOU want to know.

So how does this relate to the upcoming #CMEchat? At first, I was going to do this post on “Why #CMEchat Matters”, but after some thought, decided that was a redundant topic. If you’re reading this post, I’m going to guess that you already understand the important role that something like #CMEchat can fulfill. It has the potential to give us, the CME professionals of the world, an arena to interact and learn from like-minded individuals on a weekly basis, rather than relying on the occasional meet-up at an annual meeting.

And that’s all well and good. I’ve had a peek at the topics for the inaugural #CMEchat, and it should be a fascinating conversation. But I’ll tell you the part of this that has me the most excited and hopeful; the development of a CME community of professionals that extends beyond the weekly Twitter chat…a virtual #CMEchat lounge. Some of the best knowledge and insights I have gained have come from that informal time in hotel lounges with other colleagues. I am hopeful that the connections I make through #CMEchat can provide a similar, more consistent source of peer interaction.

I hope you take the time to participate in today’s #CMEchat. I look forward to continued discussions in the lounge afterwards.

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