The President’s Perspective

By David Wiljer, PhD

President, Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education

A little bit country …

David Wiljer, PhD

We are excited to be hosting the SACME Annual Meeting soon. Whether you will be joining online or in person in Nashville, we can’t wait to all be together. We already have over 200 attendees, and it’s not too late to register. This event will be a great opportunity for us to come together, find inspiration, and recharge as we shape the future of CPD.

The SACME 2023 Multichannel Meeting (Tym Peters is still trying to explain the multiverse to me and says I can be Happy Anywhere–Shelton, 2021) is shaping up in an exciting way, with something for everyone in the CPD/CME Community. From our Keynote (might there be music in Nashville, seriously?) by David Price to our panel presentations on CPD/QI, the value proposition of CPD, partnering with patients, and the SACME education toolkit, we will unpack some grand ole and new ideas about CPD and strike some new chords for CPD, that’s the way it is on the Nashville scene (Hank Williams Jr., 1985). Workshops, oral and poster presentations, networking, and social interludes will round out our program.

Speaking of music, did you know that Gibson still makes some guitars in Nashville, Tennessee (well after they moved most of their production from Kalamazoo in 1974 – two years before the first SACME meeting)? I might be obsessed with guitars. I have two Gibson guitars, a semi-hollow body ES-339 and a classic ’56 LG 3 (you know if you know). And, I have spent 15 years trying to learn to play them (and a few others). It turns out, it might not be the guitar…. But play the guitar, play it again (Johnny Guitar, Peggy Lee, 1954). Alas, I have a great teacher, Steve Briggs (who had a Swing-a-Billy Orchestra called the Bebop Cowboys). Each week we meet and talk about music and teaching and learning and we strum a few bars. Mostly, we talk about the challenges of teaching, techniques, ways of engaging learners, and continually improving and developing as educators. His enthusiasm for teaching is infectious – he cares deeply about every one of his students and the teachers around him – he is humble and funny and gracious. He teaches from the perspective of passion and compassion, and I don’t miss a week. So, what does this have to do with us – well, great teaching, of course.

I was reflecting on the great teaching we experience in CPD/CME and trying to think of some of the most in- spiring educators that I met or listened to over the years, and there have been many. The educator who inspired me the most over my career was Pamela Catton. Unfortu- nately, she passed away at too young an age several years ago, but she remains with me every day, as she inspired me to try to be the best educator through compassion, caring, following the evidence, and putting our patients first in every conversation. Ivan Silver has always in- spired me to experiment and to re-imagine and reinvent boundaries of learning and teaching. I have also learned so much from incredible colleagues like Asha Maharaj and Morag Paton, who we know well from their work on the Scholarship Awards Subcommittee. Asha and Morag are dedicated CPD/CME professionals who continually demonstrate excellence and push the boundaries in the work that they do. And you will hear more about Morag’s recent PhD thesis and research that brings to light the im- portant work that administrative professionals do, often unrecognized, in furthering our field.

As our educators are so important, I am very excited about the work that SACME is doing to support educa- tors and high-quality education. We are encouraging the use of our recently minted CE Educator’s Toolkit, com- pleted in collaboration with ACCME, and we are revi- talizing our educational activities through the Capacity Building Subcommittee, the Faculty Development Committee, and the Technology-Enhanced CPD Committee, just to name a few. In addition, members of the Academy have worked extremely hard to develop an outstanding mentorship program to ensure that we share experience and inspire others to reinvent the future of CPD and its activities.

In addition, I have heard so many inspiring educators at SACME. You will be able to revisit some of their recent hits on the Annual Meeting platform – one of our mul- tiple learning channels for this year’s conference. And, I have no doubt that we will all add more memorable and inspirational moments to our records in Nashville and fu- ture meetings to come. Stay tuned. So, my challenge and ask of you, as you prepare for the meeting, is to spend a moment reflecting on great inspirational educational mo- ments and share them with us. If you send them to me directly, (re: CPD Inspiration), or post them on our Annual Meeting platform, we will take a moment to celebrate our great teachers, share some of your memories with our community, and summarize some of the themes for a future issue of Intercom.

Anyhow, enough from the Ramblin Man (Betts, 1971), and we will see you in Nashville.

David Wiljer, PhD President, SACME, 2023


SACME Annual Meeting 2023
2023-1 Annual Meeting Intercom Intercom Intercom Editions

Annual meeting preview

Our annual meeting is now just a couple of weeks away, and I’m thrilled about the prospect of implementing our multi-channel approach. We have a lot of questions – can we bridge the gap between in-person and livestream channels, or synchronous and asynchronous channels? Can we successfully manage interactions between virtual and on-site attendees? Will we have enough volunteers to make it work?

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