My CME Lectures story
2 weeks ago I was at a lush hotel on invitation by a big foreign pharmaceutical company for a crash course on Asthma. I had heard they were awarding 10 CME (continuing medical education) points, so I went. I woke up early and found my way to Eko hotel. The environment was enough to gawk at and the reception was more than welcoming. On registration, I was given a comic book on an asthma story, some pamphlets, a pre test and a feed back form. The ushers were respectful and water was on the tables. Because people kept strutting in, the tables had to be removed to accommodate more people, yet the room was as cold as Canada. We had the tea break before we even started so as to save time while waiting for The Africans. We were allowed to help ourselves with pastries and cookies and tea or coffee. The lectures were fast paced but apprehensible. I was never bored. At lunch break, it was like a banquet. I found my friend and classmate and we began to do what chicks do: take selfies. From selfies, we exchanged phones and snapped each other, then we even called someone to take pictures of the two of us. We were frantic. We stood at a vantage point to get a glimpse of the pool side. It was idyllic. My friend was shocked at the ratio of whites to the blacks that were there. I saw only one black lady. I'm sure the whites would have thought we were tourists with the way we took pictures of the pool, sky, trees, e.t.c. At the end of the lectures, we were given certificates and forms of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) bearing our 6 CME points. I was disappointed to have 4-less of what I expected, but I was more than grateful to even have the 6, plus the state-of-the-art treat I had received. All for free!
Today, I went for a similar event at Protea hotel, Ikeja. Shhh. Before you conclude that my weekend job is hotel hunting, let me explain. All doctors except those in the residency program and perhaps house officers are expected to show a particular number of CME points during their annual renewal of license to show they've been updating their knowledge since they left medical school. Pharmaceutical companies take advantage of this to organize lectures and sometimes market their products. They use the CME points as bait 'cause otherwise their hall will be empty. Some CME courses are price-tagged and some like those of these multinational pharmaceutical companies are entirely free.
So I went for this one. I didn't even know who was organizing it or what topic was going to be discussed. I only got a text from the same friend saying there was a course holding at Protea hotel by 9am. I didn't even know how many CME points it was worth. Since I was practically free today, I jumped at it, got to the hotel and then found out about the organizers and that the discourse was on diabetes.
I had gone there empty-stomached 'cause I left quite early and knowing that there'd be tea break, I didn't bother much. Unfortunately, tea break was shifted till after two lectures. OMG, those were hours of writhing abdominal cramps. I wondered if I actually had worms. The first lecture was interesting though. The anchor was funny but quite slow and he was very much practical. For that I really appreciated him. The second was as boring as my Embryology lectures in 2nd year of medical school. It was a video lecture and a white man was speaking. I don't know if it was his accent, or that it was lengthy or that it was cold, but practically half of the hall was asleep. I dozed off at some point too and woke as my head was about to hit the back of my chair. It was a relief to finally hear it was time for tea break. And it was around 12:20pm. We spent too much time on the queue, had a smidgen of spring roll and cake. My friend couldn't make it for this one, so I walked alone until someone recognized me.
'Chidiogo!', I heard at my back.
Her face was familiar but I couldn't remember her name. We hugged and got talking. And from talking, we took selfies and then we got another to snap us. The third lecture had begun but we didn't care. 'That last lecture was boring', she beefed. 'Very boring', I seconded. I finally got in. Another white man was on the video. He was younger and more lively. I was following at first, then he got technical and I got lost somewhere in the HbA1c targets and dilemma of post prandial or fasting basal doses of insulin.
At the end of the lecture, we had to queue up again to collect our CME certificates and lunch tickets, until someone sensible suggested they gave it to us while seated. We sat, soon we were up again. The company's organization was clearly below par. The only part I preferred to that of last 2 weeks was the lunch. A 'real' buffet was served. You know when Nigerians say buffet, they mean you are at liberty to pick your plate and point the food you want, while a straight-faced server dished out a spoon and called for the next person. Not here though. You could binge at your own risk. Waiters were there to pour out water in your glass and clean up the table. After eating, I said my goodbyes and
That's been the story of my weekends these days. So if you see me in the banquet hall of say Intercontinental hotel next week, you know what brings me there.