CMEPaloozing into Spring

Scott Kober and Derek Warnick knocked it out of the park again with Spring 2018’s two-day CMEPalooza. The agenda was jam-packed with sessions on the pressing need for outcomes standardization, the rationale for including patients as education planners, the effectiveness of digital interventions to change health behaviors, and strategies from Silicon Valley and theater to improve education delivery (a favorite).

One of the new features this time around was the Poll Everywhere audience response system, which audience members could use on their smartphones (if they downloaded the app) or on their browser. We used Poll Everywhere in the session I moderated on improving faculty teaching skills with Robyn Snyder (Director of Education Design, American College of Cardiology), Ailene Cantelmi (Director, Educational Development, France Foundation), and Eve Wilson (Medical Director, France Foundation).

One of these challenges is that faculty can be ‘intimidating.’

I get it. When I was a trauma operating room nurse one of the surgeons we worked with had a phenomenal temper (and by phenomenal, I mean awful). A very tall, broad man, this surgeon was Irish, and his hot-temperedness was excused by everyone he worked with (this wouldn’t happen nowadays, would it?). But here’s the thing. He was not only was rude, loud, he sometimes threw instruments in the operating room. In fact, he was dangerous. This behavior is inexcusable and feeds on a stereotype of surgeon as god.

The scholarly literature is replete with descriptions of power dynamics and perceived power differentials between physicians and other healthcare professionals. These differentials are often informed by class, gender, education, ethnicity and are no doubt replicated, in some fashion, in the relationships between educators and faculty.

But the perception of faculty as intimidating may also spring from uncertainty about the legitimacy and credibility of one’s own occupational or professional knowledge base. As CME continues to evolve, there’s a reminder here to double down on the collective effort and will it takes to validate foundational CME knowledge and skills.

CMEPalooza is certainly part of this effort, as are various initiatives driven by the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions. Get involved!