September 15, 2015

Feel Like a Kid Again at Disney World

family activities in disney world

We all need a little imagination in our lives. It’s the spark that makes us goofy, gives us great ideas and gets us to smile. Our Orlando CME conference gives you a chance to ride in teacups bigger than yourself and watch a castle change colors right before your eyes. That’s because our 2015 Orlando CME conference is minutes away from Disney World!

Make it a CME vacation by bringing the whole family to the happiest place on earth. Contrary to popular belief, Disney World is an adventure for everyone. Why? Because we all have an inner child in us no matter how old we are, a child that dreamed of stepping foot in Disney castles and talking to pirates and princesses.

Bringing your family to Disney World is sure to create some unforgettable moments for everyone. It’s not every day parents and children can marvel at something they both love and share stories about when they first saw Mickey Mouse. To help plan your travels through Disney World, we’ve created a list of the top five family attractions at Disney World.

1. Scream on Rock n’ Roller Coaster
If you and your family are feeling a bit adventurous, the Rock n’ Roller Coaster is the ride for you. Not only does it have sharp twists and turns, but it also plays classics such as Aerosmith while you ride. You can’t miss this ride, no really you can’t miss it. Just look for the giant red electric guitar and you’re there. It’s also perfect for selfies (if your family is into that).

2. Go for a spin on Alice in Wonderland teacups
Another oldie but goodie is the Alice in Wonderland teacups. We don’t know if there’s anything as iconic as that, no matter what age you are. Plus, grownups drink tea as well! This is a cool ride because it involves teamwork. If you want to spin as fast as you can, you and your family have to work together. Be mindful and don’t eat too much before you get on!

3. Smile on Splash Mountain
The Splash Mountain ride is also a must-see on your trip. It features one of the biggest drops at Disney World and gives you a little family bonding time as well! You get to go on a tour of Br’er Rabbit’s (From the Disney movie Song of the South) favorite places. He was a tricky rabbit, so you’ll mostly see him get into binds and then magically slip away, infuriating his chasers. And then, you guessed it, you’ll go down a mountain and make a big splash! Make sure to smile. There are no do-overs.

4. Watch the Main Street Electrical Parade
We love the Main Street Electrical Parade because it has a lot of lights to catch your eye. This parade happens almost daily at the Magic Kingdom as soon as it gets dark. You’ll get a map with the times when you get to the park. It features Mickey and almost every Disney character. Reminisce about which Disney characters you loved when you were kid (or still love) with your family and wave to them!

5. Make a wish at the Magic Kingdom fireworks show
Finally, the one thing you have to do at Disney World is go to Cinderella’s Castle for the fireworks show. We don’t want to give anything away, but you might hear a cricket lead the crowd in “When you wish upon a star.” Then, as if to highlight the magic at Disney World, the castle will change colors and fireworks will fill the sky. It’s a show to remember.

You’ll always have those moments when you walked through park with your family on the shimmering (yes in some parts it shimmers) ground. When you leave, remember what Walt Disney said: “We believed in our idea – a family park where parents and children could have fun – together.”

We focused a lot of the Magic Kingdom in our recommendations, but of course there is so much more. Let us know which Disney World attraction you’re most excited about in the comments below!

Put a Little Magic in Your Life at Harry Potter World

fun things to do at harry potter world

The only place to eat a chocolate frog, ride a dragon and tour a castle is at Harry Potter World, and you can visit it when you’re in town for the Orlando CME Conference in Florida from October 15-18!

Officially called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (but just Harry Potter World for cool people), Harry Potter World is just 20 minutes away from our hotel. Harry Potter World is one of the most family-centric amusement parks in Orlando partly because it’s an adventure for everyone, even if you’re not a fan. Younger Harry Potter fans will squeal when they taste butterbeer (don’t worry, it’s non-alcoholic), and even more mature folks will be amazed at the moving portraits and talking hats.

If you’re planning on attending the Orlando CME Conference, make it a CME vacation. Visiting Harry Potter World is sure to create memorable moments for you and your family. To help get the magic flowing in your veins, we’ve created a list of the top five things to do at Harry Potter World.

1. Get a wand at Ollivander’s Wand Shop
One of the most important things about wizards is the fact that they all have wands. In Harry Potter, getting a wand is a pretty big deal because, as Potter fans know, “the wand chooses the wizard.” What’s cool is that you and your family can get your very own wands at Harry Potter World and experience the wand selection process! To do this, go to Ollivander’s Wand Shop. You’ll enter with a group and see a wizard help someone (chosen from the audience) get their first wand.

2. Take a tour of the Hogwarts Castle (and get on the ride)
Every person who has read or watched Harry Potter has wanted to go to Hogwarts. They’ve waited by the window for the owl carrying the letter informing them that they’re a wizard. Although some may still be waiting, you can visit the Hogwarts Castle at Harry Potter World even if you’re not a wizard. The castle features a walking tour of popular sites from the movies and finishes with an exhilarating ride where they get to see a Quidditch game, dementors and the Whomping Willow.

3. Eat dinner at The Three Broomsticks
In the Harry Potter books, it is a rite of passage to be allowed to go to Hogsmeade, the wizard village where The Three Broomsticks is located. One of the signature drinks is butterbeer, a sweet drink that tastes slightly like butterscotch. At Harry Potter World, you can visit The Three Broomsticks to have a typical wizard meal, along with, you guessed it, butterbeer. Butterbeer is available cold or frozen.

4. Go to Zonko’s Joke Shop
Another staple of Hogsmeade, Zonko’s is where all the cool wizards go. It’s a joke store that sells wizard gags such as boxing telescopes (which is exactly what it sounds like so be careful) and extendable ears. You’re bound to be amazed at the shenanigans and come out laughing (at least, if the joke wasn’t on you).

5. Ride a dragon
Dragons are some of the most revered and feared creatures in the Harry Potter books and movies. The number of people who have seen dragons in the Harry Potter books is small, but guess what; you and your family can ride a dragon! The Dragon Challenge is a twin roller coaster that features two “dragons,” the Hungarian Horntail and the Chinese Fireball (which are basically one blue roller coaster and one red roller coaster side by side). This coaster is bound to leave you screaming and breathless from all the fun, and it’s the absolute must-see at Harry Potter World.

As you can see, this Orlando CME Conference will be absolutely magical. Let us know which one of these attractions you’re most excited about in the comments below!

September 10, 2015

5 Free Things to Do in Orlando

free things to do in orlando

In between all of the seminars and networking you’ll be doing at our Orlando CME conference this October, we hope you can find some time to take in the sites and relax a bit. Orlando is known for all of its eye-opening attractions and theme parks, but there is plenty more to see without burning through your vacation budget. Take your family with you on your CME vacation to Orlando and save a few dollars by checking out a few of the great activities the city offers free of charge!

1. The CityArts Factory has a unique and varied blend of art galleries throughout downtown Orlando displaying breathtaking pieces of art from both local and international artists, and your family can enjoy free admission the Saturday of our conference from 11:00AM-6:00PM.

2. If you love craft beer, take in a free tour of Orlando Brewing Company at 6:00PM on Friday or Saturday. They’re the only certified organic brewery in the entire state of Florida and have free entertainment every weekend the kids will enjoy while you relax with a refreshing pint of organic craft beer.

3. Your kids will love taking in the LEGO Imagination Center at the Downtown Disney Marketplace. They can create their own structures, work together with other kids to build towering buildings, and have a romping good time free of charge. Downtown Disney is just a 5-minute walk from our conference hotel!

4. Take the family for a picnic at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando. You can feed the swans that live there, take in a free concert at the park’s amphitheater, or check out their bustling farmer’s market each Sunday morning.

5. The Children’s Library, located on the first floor of the Orlando Public Library, regularly hosts special events such as readings, arts and crafts, movie nights, musical performances, board game nights and much more. Fun for the whole family!

These are just a few of the great free activities available to you in Orlando, and more are always popping up! What are some of free things to do in Orlando you recommend to the rest of your CME colleagues? Share with us below, and we’ll see you in October!

August 11, 2015

Planning the Perfect Date Night in Chicago

romantic date spots in chicago

If you plan on attending our Chicago CME conference this month and would like to plan a romantic date night while you’re in town, check out our recommendations for the best restaurants in Chicago. While it was difficult to narrow down the list, we feel that these choices reflect the quality and diversity Chicago restaurants have to offer.

1. Takito Kitchen – Takito Kitchen is a farm-to-table restaurant with a Mexican-inspired menu created by Executive Chef David Dworshak, who is known for his support of local farmers and seasonal offerings. The menu offers shared plates, ceviche, tacos and soups – all with a focus on fresh ingredients! Try its selection of mezcals and fresh margaritas while you’re there! Takito Kitchen is located at 2013 West Division in Wicker Park.

2. Avec – While Avec has been around since 2003, it is still one of the most talked about restaurants in Chicago. Chef Perry Hendrix has created a rustic yet sophisticated menu with Midwestern ingredients and a Mediterranean flair. The bar hosts wines from small wineries in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Avec is located at 615 West Randolph, 60661.

3. The Duck Inn – The Duck Inn is the newest creation from Michelin Star winner Chef Kevin Hickey. While it’s famous for its potted foie gras and bone-in short rib, the Duck Inn is also known for its selection of beers, wines and signature cocktails designed to complement the sophisticated menu. Imbibe with a cold pint in the outdoor sitting area surrounded by The Duck Inn vegetable and herb garden while you enjoy local music and events. The Duck Inn is located at 2701 South Eleanor, 60608.

4. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab – Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is not just famous for its delicious seafood and steaks – it’s also known for its beautiful dining rooms, excellent customer service, signature cocktails and wines as well as its homemade desserts. Joe’s offers gluten-free, vegetarian and children’s menus to accommodate the diets of every guest. Joe’s may be somewhat pricey, but once you taste your selection, you’ll know it was well worth it! Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is located at 60 East Grand Avenue, 60611.

5. Alinea – Alinea is one of the most unique restaurants in Chicago, if not the world! Alinea truly lives up to its name with its unconventional menu offerings and outstanding attention to detail. Chef Grant Achatz brings the best of molecular gastronomy to Alinea by elevating ingredients using innovative technology and equipment. Alinea is located at 1723 North Halsted Street, 60614.

These are just a few of the best restaurants for enjoying a romantic date night in Chicago. The Chicago night life is also full of unique bars and nightclubs with something for everyone to enjoy. What are some of your favorite places to frequent while in Chicago? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

August 10, 2015

Visiting Chicago’s Navy Pier

things to do at navy pier

If you’re planning on joining us for our Chicago CME conference this month, take advantage of some of the wonderful things Chicago has to offer while you’re in town, like the Navy Pier! With 26 miles of lakefront area, there’s no shortage of lakeside destinations in Chicago. If you’re looking to spend some time near the water, we know you’ll love spending it on Navy Pier.

Whether rain, wind or shine, there are always things to do at Navy Pier. From seasonal attractions, temporary public exhibitions and special events in addition to the permanent fixtures that make up the Pier, you’ll never find a shortage of activities here.

Chicago Children’s Museum
The Chicago Children’s Museum is packed with activities children of all ages will want to dive right into. The museum offers year-round activities including a tinkering lab, dino expeditions, a treehouse and climbing area as well as crafts and fun waterways that let your child explore the nature of water with pulleys, wheels and pipes. The museum offers free admission all day to children 15 and younger and waives all admission fees on the first Sunday of every month. So let your inner kid out and explore the possibilities!

IMAX Theater
If you’re looking for a bit more adventure without the hassle of buying traveler’s insurance, check out Navy Pier’s own IMAX theater. Situated directly across from the Children’s Museum, the theater is comprised of a six-story screen as well as exceptional digital surround sound and acoustics that will make you feel as if you were actually there. Whether sci-fi or documentary, the IMAX provides you with a realistic, one-of-a-kind experience you won’t soon forget.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
If you’re looking for entertainment that’s a bit more down to earth, you’ll appreciate the Shakespeare Theater. Also located on the Pier, the Theater boasts a leading international company dedicated to the production of new works, classics and family programming. The Theater holds about 650 performances throughout the season, including Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth, and has been the recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award.

LandShark Beer Garden
If all you really want to do is grab a drink, unwind and enjoy the beautiful Chicago skyline, head down to the LandShark Beer Garden, where live music is featured Wednesdays through Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Garden charges no cover, and great food like brats soaked in LandShark Lager is served here seven days a week.

What are some Navy Pier attractions you’d like to share with your fellow CME vacationists? We’d love to hear all about them in the comments below!

August 7, 2015

5 Family-Friendly Activities in Chicago

family friendly activities in chicago

If you’re heading to our August 2015 Chicago CME conference and are looking for family-friendly activities in Chicago, we’ve got some great recommendations for enjoying the Windy City when you’re not attending conference seminars. Let’s look at some of the ways you can turn your next conference trip into a family vacation in Chicago!

1. Navy Pier – At the Navy Pier, you can enjoy live music at the LandShark Beer Garden along with daily sightseeing and dinner cruises around Lake Michigan. The Navy Pier also has an IMAX theater that will be showing features including “Tornado Alley 3D” and National Geographic’s “Pandas: The Journey Home” the weekend of the conference. Stop by the Chicago Children’s Museum to experience “Boats” with the kids for a fun, realistic boating experience including the Captain’s Jacket, sails, steering wheels, buoys and more. The Navy Pier is located at 600 E Grand Avenue, 60611.

2. Museum of Science and Industry – Blow your kids’ minds with the amazing science experiments at the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere! Your kids can learn about airplanes, robotics, mathematics and the power of natural phenomena including tornadoes and avalanches with the museum’s interactive exhibits. This museum houses a model railroad, a German submarine captured during World War II and the Apollo 8 spacecraft that carried the first astronauts who orbited the moon. The Museum of Science and Industry is located at 5700 S Lake Shore Drive, 60637.

3. Lincoln Park Zoo – Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in America – and it’s free! It is the home of two newborn red panda cubs and their mother, Leafa. Other recent additions include a baby black rhino and two African lion sisters. The zoo is open daily with special events including nighttime tours of the park and parties on the patio with live music and drinks from Next Star Vodka every Thursday night. The Lincoln Park Zoo is located at 2001 N Clark Street, 60614.

Segway riders at the Adler Planitarium
4. Adler Planetarium – The Adler Planetarium is one of the first planetariums ever built in America. The Adler Planetarium allows you to learn about space with exhibits celebrating the first telescopes and missions to the Moon. With a VIP pass, you also get access to the Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, 360 CHICAGO or the Museum of Science and Industry. The Adler Planetarium is located at 1300 S Lake Shore Drive, 60605.

5. Chicago Riverwalk – The Chicago Riverwalk is a riverfront walkway on the south bank of the Chicago River in the downtown area. The Riverwalk has been recently extended to include another nine blocks, linking six different civic spaces together. The Riverwalk provides a unique and sprawling view of Chicago with restaurants, retail shopping and park benches for relaxing on the banks of the river. Free music concerts will be held every weekend until the end of August. The Chicago Riverwalk is located at E Upper Wacker Drive, 60601.

These are just a few of the top attractions in Chicago you can visit with the family while attending our 2015 Chicago CME conference this month. What are some of your favorite places to visit while in Chicago? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

July 30, 2015

Must-Try Chicago Food Spots

One thing every city is partially defined by is its food. If that were the only characteristic up for debate, Chicago would have to be near the top of the list when it comes to food in the United States. When you’re in between seminars at our Chicago CME conference this fall, stop in at a few of these spots and try some of the best food in Chicago.

Lou Malnati’s had to be on this list. Long considered one of the best spots to get a classic, Chicago-style deep dish pizza, Malnati’s has gained a cult following. Patrons will line up out the door for a chance to taste some of this rich and gooey deep dish pizza. So what makes it so special? Each and every pizza in Lou Malnati’s kitchen is handmade from scratch. Come with a smaller party and you won’t have to wait long to snag a table and dig in. Come with an appetite because the portions are generous!

A classic Cubano
Image credit: Megan C. on
Chicago is where you go for a traditional Cubano, right? Of course it is! Cafecito Chicago is home to the #1 rated Cuban sandwich in the Windy City. That classic blend of pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard will warm you up and have you thinking you’re eating in Little Havana. If you’re feeling adventurous, try their Guava Q sandwich which throws barbecue sauce and caramelized onions into the mix to give the Cubano some zing. One of the great parts about Cafecito is it’s light on the wallet! Most sandwiches only set you back $7-8.

Fat Johnnie’s Famous Red Hots is a must-visit spot if you love a good hotdog with some heat and character to it. Their Might Dog throws in tamales, cucumbers, cheese and chili sauce on top of some of those traditional Chicago dog flavors for a weird but delicious combination.

If you’re trying to network with your colleagues, take them somewhere cozy and upscale like Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf. The unique and welcoming atmosphere makes for a comfortable conversation spot and their menu is full of French-inspired items ranging from seafood to steaks and lamb. Come ready for a hearty meal!

The Pizza Pot Pie
Image credit: Susan H. on
Chicago Pizza And Oven Grinder Co. is one of the coziest spots to share a meal with friends and family. The menu items are passed down from generations and have that simple, rustic touch to them. Whatever you do, you have to order a pizza pot pie. The sauce is made from scratch with plump tomatoes and fresh herbs and vegetables, the cheese is a secret blend of several different kinds, and the dough is a triple-raised Sicilian style concoction. The pizza pot pie will have you looking at pizza in a completely different and delicious light.

Whether you’re trying to wine and dine colleges at one of the top restaurants in Chicago or just looking for one of the best places to eat in Chicago for you and your friends to enjoy a nice night on the town, you’ll find no shortage of options. Where do you plan to go when you’re in town for our Chicago CME conference this August? Let us know in the comments below!

July 10, 2015

5 Things to Do in Baltimore with Kids

kid-friendly activities in baltimore

The city of Baltimore has plenty of great things for kids and families to do. Once you’ve finished your seminars and networking for the day, go out and explore the Charm City with your family at some of these great spots and kid-friendly activities:

1. Artscape is America’s largest free arts festival, and it’s happening the very weekend we’re in Baltimore! You’ll find sculptures, dance, opera, film, music, street theater and much more at this gigantic festival in several neighborhoods around town. The festivities kick off Friday, July 17.

2. Head over to the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards. Located in the historic Camden Station rail house building, The Sports Legends Museum has all sorts of fun and unique exhibits your kids will love. Oriole Park is right next door in case you want to check out the beautiful field the Baltimore Orioles call home.

3. What kid doesn’t love a streetcar ride? The Baltimore Streetcar Museum has very affordable tickets for you and yours so your kids can enjoy unlimited rides of original, restored Baltimore streetcars and see all the great displays the museum has that highlight the history of the city’s transportation system.

4. Take the kids to aMuse Toys! aMuse is an independent and family-owned Baltimore business that strives to provide kids with engaging, innovative and creative toys. The kids will love you for it and they’ll walk out with a unique toy just for them.

5. All of that walking around and checking out museums is sure to get the family hungry. Take in some local cuisine by heading over to McCormick & Schmick’s for their world famous crab cakes. It’s a rite of passage for anyone visiting Baltimore and your kids will love the delectable cakes made of jumbo lump crab meat!

There are plenty of things to do in Baltimore with children, ranging from great food to festivals and museums. What are some family-friendly Baltimore activities you intend to do with the family? Let us know in the comments below!

July 9, 2015

5 Historical Tourist Spots in Baltimore

historical tourist spots in baltimore

Baltimore is a city full of rich history that has been well-preserved and represented, making it a great place to visit if you’re a history buff. Here are a few historical tourist attractions in and around Baltimore that you and your family should visit while you’re in town for our Baltimore CME conference!

1. Fort McHenry is a military fort situated right on the Baltimore Harbor. It’s most famous for its role in the War of 1812 against the British when it successfully defended the city harbor. An American flag was flown over the fort to signal victory over the British, and inspired one Francis Scott Key to write a little poem called “The Star-Spangled Banner.” You can reach Fort McHenry via water taxi from the Inner Harbor and catch the occasional re-enactment of the fort’s role in the War of 1812.

2. For fans of literature, visiting Edgar Allen Poe’s grave while in Baltimore is a must. Poe’s death remains a mystery to this day, adding to the appeal of the gravesite. Take a tour of Westminster Burying Ground (you have to bring a minimum of 14 of your best friends!) or set up a private tour in advance for smaller groups. You’ll get to tour the Burying Grounds, the Catacombs, and see a fifteen minute film on the history of the grounds and some of the famous Baltimore residents who are buried there.

3. If you love baseball, a visit to the Babe Ruth Museum is in store. The small museum highlights the life (quite literally – he was born there!) of George Herman Ruth and his ascent to stardom as one of the best hitters the game of baseball has ever seen. The museum was just recently renovated in June, giving the building updated amenities and accessibility for disabled patrons.

4. In one of our previous articles about Baltimore, we mentioned the city’s floating museums in the Inner Harbor. One of them is the USS Torsk, a submarine famous for sinking the last enemy ship of World War II off the coast of Japan. Preserved and sitting in Baltimore since 1972, the ship provides a close-up look of the cramped quarters seamen had to endure while out at war. A must-see for war buffs!

5. Mount Vernon is a neighborhood north of downtown that is home to the original Washington Monument which was erected in 1815. Inhabited by some of the city’s wealthiest families, the neighborhood is full of buildings featuring grand architecture and lavish design. The parks around the Washington Monument have been preserved, giving the area a look and feel right out of a history book. You’ll find the Peabody Institute, the beautiful Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, and the Walters Art Museum among other historical spots in the neighborhood. This area of town is a gem for any fan of architecture and United States history.

The Charm City is certainly not without sites to see if you’re a fan of history. What are some historical things for tourists to do in Baltimore that you hope to partake in while you’re with us later this month? Let us know in the comments below!

July 7, 2015

A Spotlight on Our Hospitalist CME Course

The trend of hospitals converting to a 24/7 inpatient care model has made the need for well-trained hospitalists higher than ever. Pair that with a retiring population and children being born regularly around the holidays, and now is the perfect time to explore your hospitalist training options. Dr. Stuart Forman or Dr. K. Ashok Kumar will be joining us at our Baltimore CME conference this month to discuss and demonstrate a variety of hospitalist CME topics including but not limited to:

  • Sonogram usage
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Ventilator management
  • Airway management
  • Arterial line placement

You’ll get hands-on experience in ER and non-ER procedures with models, pig cadavers and manikins as well as plenty of time to practice with a sonogram and ultrasound. Additionally, the hospitalist CME course will cover pre-procedure evaluation and post-procedure management, giving you all the tools you need to provide excellent patient care from the beginning to the end of their hospital stay. Join us in Baltimore in just a few short weeks for our hospitalist training seminar and get your practice ready for inpatient care!

July 2, 2015

Some of the Best Food in Baltimore

best food in baltimore

Baltimore has long been a city known for its eclectic cuisine. Nestled in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region, Baltimore takes culinary cues from all of its surrounding states as well as some international flair due to its waterfront location. While you’re in Baltimore with us for our July CME conference, you might want to visit a few of these restaurants and see if you agree that they serve up some of the best food in Baltimore!

1. If you’re big on farm-to-table dining, give Clementine a try. All of their produce comes from local farmers each morning and they cure their meats in-house. To get a little adventurous with your brunch, we suggest their Korean Hot Pot. It includes fried eggs, rice, pork belly and veggies doused in a sweet and spicy hot sauce. Another fun twist on a classic is their pan-seared duck hash with fig habanero sauce! You’ll also find plenty of brunch and breakfast mainstays like French toast and biscuits & gravy if you’d rather stick to classics.

corner charcuterie bar
Delicious charcuterie spread
Image credit:
2. The Corner Charcuterie Bar is much more than meat, cheese and crackers (but they have an amazing selection of meats and cheeses). Grab your colleagues and go on a culinary adventure with some of their unique menu items like kangaroo tartar, an escargot macaroni and cheese or sautéed frog legs. Not ready to dive in? You’ll still be able to find more traditional food items.

3. Peter’s Inn has one of the best always-changing seafood menus in town. Nestled in Fells Point just north of the water and east of the Inner Harbor, Peter’s Inn features seafood expertly paired with glazes and side dishes that let the freshness of the fish shine through. You might enjoy a nice piece of halibut with horseradish crème fraiche one day or a softshell crab dish the next. This place gets packed quickly, so plan ahead!

4. Baltimore has its own spin on the meats you’d normally find in a barbecue lineup. Chaps Pit Beef expertly cooks roast beef alongside barbecue meat mainstays like ribs and chicken over a large charcoal pit before they slice it thin and pile it high on a bun. You can douse your bounty in a homemade horseradish sauce for a rich and unforgettable meal. No other roast beef sandwich will be able to match up after you’ve had this one.

5. Visit Birroteca for some classic and modern takes on Italian cuisine. You’ll find mainstays like spaghetti and meatballs cooked to perfection with a huge selection of craft beer and cocktails available. Looking for something to share with friends? Try one of their artisan pizzas with unusual ingredients that just work; the Bianco has formaggi cheese, candied walnuts, sage and lemon thyme honey. It’s the perfect spot to relax with friends in a crowded but cozy dining area.

Baltimore is full of unique and delectable food. Whether you’re visiting hot spots in the Inner Harbor or branching out a bit to find a hidden gem, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious and memorable experience. When the seminars and networking are finished for the day, where will you go eat in Baltimore this July? Let us know in the comments below!

June 13, 2015

Baltimore's Best Sights to See & Things to Do

must-see baltimore attractions

From July 16-19, we’ll be hosting our Baltimore CME conference! The Charm City certainly has a lot of sights, places and activities that make it charming. Here are a must-see Baltimore sights and attractions to visit while you’re taking a break from your networking and CME courses:

  • Take a boat tour of the harbor! The city has tons of harbor cruise companies that are great for getting out on the water and exploring the city’s unique landscape. Some of the cruise companies even offer their tours in pirate ships, which is great if you have small children in tow.
  • Go to one of the city’s museums! The city is home to several unique museums such as the American Visionary Art Museum with its eye-catching displays of non-traditional art. Head over to the Walters Art Museum for more traditional art from around the world or take the kids to the Baltimore Museum of Art. You can also tour one of the city’s floating museums! The inner harbor features several historic, restored ships that can be toured. Are you a geek at heart? Then you have to check out Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. It’s chock full of old comic books and toys from your childhood. A little bit of nostalgia, for sure.
  • Take in an Orioles game! Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the stadium where the Orioles play, is credited with the popularity of cozier, more neighborhood-feeling baseball parks. Nestled right downtown, Camden Yards is easily accessible and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
  • Go on a food tour! Foodies will love the fact Baltimore has food tours available to expose you to the eclectic and cultural blend of cuisines the Charm City has to offer. Come with an empty stomach. You’ll leave stuffed!
  • Go to the aquarium! Baltimore has one of the most beautiful and unique aquariums in the country. As you move down the levels of the building, you’ll see interesting creatures that live in deeper ocean waters. It’s a great educational trip for you and yours, and the kids will love all there is to see.
  • Stroll around the Inner Harbor! The Inner Harbor is one of the most vibrant and charming spots in the city. It’s full of spots to shop or grab a bite to eat, and it makes a great date night idea when the lights illuminate the harbor’s waters. 
  • See a show at Hippodrome Theatre! The Hippodrome’s beautifully restored interior makes it one of the best spots to see a live show. The atmosphere draws you into the performances on stage and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

What are some of your favorite things to do in Baltimore? Share them with us, and we’ll see you in July!

June 11, 2015

5 Must-See Attractions in Las Vegas

must-see attractions in las vegas

In between all the networking and course instruction, you’ll need to find some time to relax and enjoy Las Vegas a little! The city is much more than just casinos and great food, so we want to share some must-see Las Vegas attractions you should be sure to visit while you’re in town.

1. You won’t get a more breathtaking view of the city than on the High Roller Ferris Wheel. The tallest observation wheel in the world, the High Roller is a great place to take your sweetheart for an unforgettable view and a romantic ride.

las vegas sites bellagio fountains2. The Bellagio Fountains are some of the most eye-catching and extravagant fountains you’ll ever see. Every half hour from 3-8PM and then every 15 minutes after until midnight, the fountains shoot water up to 460 feet in the air from over 1,200 separate streams, and the streams of water are perfectly choreographed to classic show tunes. You have to stop and admire it at least once while you’re in town!  They are just across the street from the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, our conference location.

3. Head over to the Atomic Testing Museum for a one-of-a-kind museum experience. The exhibits highlight Nevada’s history as America’s nuclear guinea pig. Learn more about the culture surrounding atomic testing and nuclear research of decades past, as well as the always thought-provoking discussion on extraterrestrials! The museum features over 12,000 unique artifacts for you and friends or family to explore. Enjoy group tours or audio tours to move at your own pace.

4. Keeping in the museum vein, the Mob Museum is a must-see. Las Vegas’ early days were heavily influenced by mob activity, making it a checkered but truly unique and fascinating chapter of the city’s history. Learn more about famous mobsters who had a hand in goings-on around the city, explore exhibits that share the history of mob business and corruption, and learn more about the federal agents who brought down the biggest names in the mafia. Group and private events are available.

5. One more museum! The Neon Museum (pictured at top) is an amazing way to experience a piece of history that is truly unique to Las Vegas. An outdoor walkthrough, the museum boasts dozens and dozens of vintage neon signage from old Las Vegas hotels and casinos. Learn more about how Las Vegas became Las Vegas with this fun and vibrant collection of relics.

What do you think are some of the best attractions in Las Vegas? Do you plan to visit any others we didn’t highlight while you’re in town for our CME conference later this month? Let us know in the comments below!

June 8, 2015

6 Family-Friendly Activities in Las Vegas

family friendly las vegas activities

Although Las Vegas may be best known as an adult playground, there are quite a few attractions here that are perfect for a family. These include a 4,777-foot roller coaster, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, a fascinating Titanic exhibit, an aquarium full of sharks, a place to play historic pinball machines and one of the country’s most picturesque drives.

Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York
new york new york las vegasThis roller coaster takes riders on a memorable ride that includes drops of up to 144 feet and speeds up to 67 mph. After you step into cars that have the look of New York City taxis, you will zip past detailed replicas of the Statue of Liberty and other New York structures and enjoy some spectacular views of the Strip’s southern end. The ride includes a pair of inversions and a number of towering drops. Note that the Family Fun Flight for Four provides a substantial discount over paying for four individual rides.

High Roller at the Linq
For those looking for a more relaxed ride, consider heading to the High Roller, which opened at the end of the Linq’s dining, entertainment and shopping promenade in 2014. This 550-foot tall Ferris wheel is the world’s tallest, and it provides some pretty incredible views of the Strip and the rest of the Las Vegas Valley on its 30-minute journey. The cabins accommodate up to 40 people, and there is room for riders to sit as well as stand and walk around. Children 13-17 years old enjoy a substantial discount on tickets while those under 12 ride free.

Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition at Luxor
This fascinating exhibit features 25,000 square feet of artifacts retrieved from the Titanic and a fascinating, detailed recreation of the Grand Staircase. Some of the more interesting relics located here include pieces of luggage and an unopened bottle of champagne, which dates to 1900. However, perhaps the most fascinating artifact is The Big Piece, a 26-foot long section of the ship’s hull, which weighs 15 tons; it is the largest artifact ever pulled up from the ship, which rests on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean about 350 miles southeast of Newfoundland. However, what will likely resonate with you most are the stories of those who took this majestic ship on its fateful journey.

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
Perhaps this attraction’s most interesting features are its glass-enclosed tunnels, which place you within feet of many of the world’s most interesting forms of sea life. Its waters are filled with sharks, jellyfish, piranha, rays, sawfish and sea turtles. In fact, more than 2,000 animals are swimming around its nearly 2 million gallons of water. The aquarium also offers an opportunity to feed sea turtles, sharks or stingrays for an additional fee.

Pinball Hall of Fame
This is a great place for children and those who are children at heart to play some of its hundreds of pinball machines, which date from the 1950s. Some of the more recent ones are based on films such as “Avatar” and “Iron Man.” Conversely, many who make the trip here are unable to resist its classic video games such as Centipede, Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros. There is no fee to enter this attraction, and the machines cost 25 cents and up to play.

red rock canyon national parkRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
One of the highlights of this recreation area is its 13-mile scenic drive, which takes drivers through beautiful desert landscapes and within sight of incredible limestone cliffs and picturesque rock formations. The road is also popular amongst runners and bicyclists while several beautiful trails are accessible from it. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area lies about 30 minutes west of the Strip.

Where do you plan to take your family when you’re in Las Vegas for our CME conference later this month? Let us know in the comments below!

May 22, 2015

A Spotlight on Allergy Testing

With summer just around the corner, allergy sufferers are prepping for sneezing, running noses, itchy eyes, and daily medication to suppress all that discomfort. Now is a great time to get your practice up to speed on allergy testing so you can become a trusted resource for allergy treatment and diagnosis. Dr. Jay L. Gruhlkey will be joining us at our Las Vegas conference next month to discuss a wide range of allergy-related topics including:

  • The epidemiology of allergic, non-allergic and mixed rhinitis as well as the evaluation and treatment of these three disorders
  • Demonstrations of current testing and screening methods
  • Demonstration and safety discussions regarding immunotherapy

With Dr. Gruhlkey, you’ll learn how to administer and interpret allergy tests using a variety of applicators. The CME course for allergy testing will also cover when it’s appropriate to carry out immunotherapy programs. All of these topics will be taught through active, hands-on application. The course will also touch on rhino-sinusitis and its relationship to asthma. Once the course is complete, you’ll understand the importance of doing cost-effective screening before testing and what steps to take once allergens have been identified.

Allergy season is about to reach full swing! Will you and your practice be ready to cater to your patients? Join us in Las Vegas and learn more about allergy testing!

May 15, 2015

Great Las Vegas Restaurants to Visit

best restaurants in las vegas

When you decide to venture out of the hotel and see what sort of food Las Vegas has to offer, you’ll have no shortage of options. From international cuisine that’s causing blogger buzz to world-renowned chefs setting up shop downtown, the breadth of food options in Las Vegas is limitless. Below are a couple spots we recommend you try while you’re in town for our CME conference next month:

Garlic prawns at Lotus of Siam
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1. Lotus of Siam – This Thai food establishment is void of frills but chock full of delicious flavor and features a courteous wait staff. Located on the east side of Vegas, Lotus of Siam has become a popular stopping point for locals and visiting foodies alike with its Northern Thai cuisine full of fresh ingredients and bright colors. To add some icing on the cake, the prices at Lotus of Siam are incredibly modest. You’ve got to try it!

2. Market Street Café – Open 24 hours, the Market Street Café inside of the California Hotel & Casino features an array of dishes with Hawaiian flair. People rave about their oxtail soup and Hawaiian staples like island curry stew and saimin noodle soup. This place is a great option for eating on a budget.

3. Veggie House – This spot has been rated as one of the best vegan/vegetarian restaurants in town. Not only do the chefs offer plenty of options for those who don’t eat meat, they’ve found creative and delicious ways to bring traditionally meat-based dishes onto the menu. At Veggie House, you’ll find a unique take on General Tso’s chicken and Cajun shrimp, just to name a few!

4. Texas de Brazil – This place is a must if you consider yourself a carnivore. You’ll enjoy continuous tableside service as servers come by with all sorts of meats and carve them right off the spit and onto your plate. People have said the atmosphere here is a bit more upscale without being snooty, so it’s the perfect spot to take a colleague and network while still feeling relaxed. Reserve a table and try them out today!

5. I Love Sushi – You don’t have to absolutely love sushi to eat at I Love Sushi, but it doesn’t hurt to have an open mind. The skilled chefs at this joint like to get a little inventive with the ingredients in their rolls. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to find all the sushi staples here, but if you want to go out on a bit of a limb then this is the place to do it! Locals say it’s affordable and offers great service. Menus are available on Yelp and TripAdvisor.

peppermill restaurant las vegas
Peppermill Restaurant
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6. The Peppermill Restaurant & Fireside Lounge – Open 24 hours, The Peppermill Restaurant & Fireside Lounge is a Vegas institution, having been on The Strip for 40 years. You'll find huge portions, a full bar and even a fire pit to catch up with your friends after a successful night at the tables. The menu is full of diner staples and omelets made with 10 eggs. Bring your appetite!

7. Mastro’s Ocean Club – Mastro’s is a great place to go with your significant other. Just don’t let the fact that it’s located in a mall deter you! Mastro’s Ocean Club has a full range of delicious and fresh seafood options for you to choose from, and you can even build your own platter. The restaurant includes daily live entertainment with an elegant, classy and cozy atmosphere. The perfect date night!

8. Tacos el Gordo – This is the place to go if you’re looking for some authentic Mexican food while you’re in town. Fresh, expertly prepared meat is cooked on vertical rotisseries to keep the meat moist and delicious, and fresh tortillas and toppings pull the tacos together for an unforgettable experience. Tacos el Gordo is a great place to get a quick meal that doesn’t cut corners!

Feel like staying in? See what restaurants our host hotel, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, has to offer! Where you do plan on grabbing a bite to eat while you’re with us in Las Vegas for our CME conference? Sound off in the comments below!

May 12, 2015

6 Big PA Statistics for 2015

The job market for physician assistants has been growing steadily over the past few years, and 2015 will be no different! From increased average salaries to more and more opportunities for specialization, the PA career path is experiencing a boom right now. Check out this handy infographic we put together with some physician assistant statistics if you're debating what medical field to focus on for your education or your career!

PA stats 2015

May 11, 2015

7 Must-Visit Las Vegas Clubs & Casinos

best las vegas night clubs

When all of your courses and networking are finished for the day, it’s time to check out some of the nightlife that Las Vegas has become so famous for! From iconic casinos like Caesars Palace and the MGM Grand to new hotspots popping up year round, Las Vegas has nightlife attractions that will suit anyone’s tastes. In no particular order, here are a few we recommend you visit while you’re in town.

Marquee at The Cosmopolitan has plenty of space, big dance floors, an outdoor pool area and several different rooms so you can find a spot that fits your party style. It’s a great spot for catching a DJ spinning records in a club-like atmosphere and a great place to dance and let loose. It can get a little crowded, so plan ahead and build in some time to make your way through the lines!

Beacher’s Madhouse at The MGM Grand is a great option for a variety show with plenty of low-brow humor. You’re also bound to find plenty of celebrity impersonators to take your picture with while you and your friends are out having a good time. Don’t come to Beacher’s with any preconceived notions of what you’re going to see; the shows are funny, unique and sometimes completely spontaneous!

caesars palace
The eye-catching fountains outside of Caesars Palace.
If you intend to gamble while you’re in town, you have to visit the granddaddy of all casinos, Caesars Palace. The hotel and casino features the largest variety of games available in Las Vegas with arguably the best service in town and an unforgettable ancient Roman setting. Aside from traditional table games, you can enjoy a spacious and comfortable sports book for racing bets. Ready for a little nightlife? Head over to the casino’s Omnia nightclub for great DJ acts in a beautiful and timeless venue, or catch famous comics and musicians in concert like Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld and more.

las vegas the venetian hotel
The beautiful Venetian Hotel.

The Venetian offers visitors a glimpse into Venice life with its beautiful European architecture and waterways. Sights aside, the casino offers over 230 table game spots covering mainstay games like blackjack and roulette as well as novelty games. Check out the beautiful pool deck with its pristine columns and pool tiling, or dine on cuisine created by famous, world-renowned chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck. Feeling up for some dancing? Head over to the casino’s TAO night club, which features specialty rooms playing varieties of music and even the Snoopadelic Cabaret, a hip-hop version of a 1920s speakeasy designed by rapper Snoop Lion!

If you’re on a bit of a budget, try the 1OAK club at The Mirage. The space feels like an extravagant movie theater due to its main room seating that slopes gradually downward towards the dance floor in the middle. The seats are large, plush and comfortable for you and all of your guests. On Friday nights, it has Flashback Friday events with musical acts you might remember from decades past!

If you’re short on cash, experience a piece of Las Vegas history by checking out El Cortez. The longest-running casino in town, El Cortez features cheap blackjack, craps, keno, poker and more so you can try your lucky hand without burning a hole in your wallet. It even features coin-operated slot machines, which are becoming a dying  breed in Sin City.

Don’t feel like bothering with the commute to another casino or club? Head out of the conference center and down one floor to the casino at Planet Hollywood where you will find a full selection of gaming stations for popular table games! You’ll see headlining acts like ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and excellent cuisine offered at a variety of restaurants. Stop in for a relaxing treatment at the spa, soak up the sun at the pool, or partake in some glamorous shopping at the Miracle Mile Shops.

What are some of your favorite nightlife spots in Las Vegas? Let us know in the comments below!

May 7, 2015

Our Las Vegas 2015 CME Conference

las vegas cme 2015

From June 26 – 29, we’ll call Las Vegas home as we host our 2015 Las Vegas CME conference. Much like we did when we covered our San Diego conference, we’ll be building out a comprehensive series of blogs to inform you on the details of our Vegas CME conference as well as fun attractions and eateries in Las Vegas. Come back to this post over the coming days to find out more about how you can turn your Las Vegas CME trip into a business trip and a vacation!

We’ll set up shop at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, right in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip! From our hotel, you can walk or take short rides on public transportation to some of the most luxurious casinos and venues in the city. Before we get into all of the great things Vegas has to offer, here’s a review of the professional opportunities we have in store for you during the conference.

Aesthetic Procedures will be offered from June 26 – 27 and instructed by Dr. Paul A. Fox. You’ll go over topics like cosmetic evaluation, familiarization with lasers and how to operate them, facial peels, Botox and more. You can receive up to 151 15 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits!

Allergy Testing and Immunotherapy for Primary Care Physicians will be offered as a one-day course on June 26, taught by Dr. Jay. L. Gruhlkey. This course is a fantastic option for any primary care physician who wishes to learn how to administer and interpret allergy tests. You’ll discuss clinical factors regarding allergic, non-allergic and mixed rhino-sinusitis as well as the evaluation and treatment of these disorders through hands-on, active participation. You can earn up to 8 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits.

Medical Billing, Coding and Documentation with Joan Gilhooly from June 28 – 29 will cover everything you need to know from a billing standpoint and touch on CPT codes and ICD-10 coding prior to the transition happening a short five months from now, making this a perfect time to get more prepared for the new coding set. The CME course will cover benefits, coverage policies, changes in coding usage, audits and much more. Earn up to 11.75 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits.

Dermatologic Procedures with Dr. James W. McNabb from June 27 – 28 covers all things dermatological, from skin lesions and biopsies to cryosurgery, electrosurgery and dermoscopy. Up to 15 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits can be earned through this dermatology CME course.

ECG Interpretation with Dr. Russell D. White from June 27 – 28 will help you compute mathematical evaluations for rates, interval lengths and QRS vectors as well as help you identify and analyze cardiac abnormalities and develop appropriate treatment plans. Earn up to 11.75 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits through this CME course!

Hospitalist Procedures will be taught from June 27 – 28 with K. Ashok Kumar, MD. Topics discussed will cover a wide range of inpatient care procedures like sedation, lumbar puncture, ultrasounds, airway placement and much more with the goal of preventing and managing potential complications of these procedures. You can earn up to 16 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits through our hospitalist procedures CME course.

Joint Exam and Injections will be covered from June 27 – 28 with Dr. B. Kent Diduch and will discuss joint anatomy and function, imaging techniques for evaluation, clinical testing, exam techniques and joint aspirations and injections. With arthritis and chronic joint pain becoming a prominent problem for an aging population, now is the perfect time to bring your practice up to speed on joint exams and injections and earn up to 16 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits in the process.

X-Ray Interpretation will be taught as a one-day course on June 26 with Dr. Mark Needham. The course will cover viewing x-rays in standard sequence to improve diagnostic accuracy, recognizing abnormalities and improved cross-sectional imaging interpretation. Sign up and earn up to 8 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits from our x-ray interpretation CME course!

If you register for our Las Vegas CME conference by May 27, we’ll take $100 off your registration fees if you use the code EBJUN at checkout! Register for two or more of our courses and take an additional $200 off your registration fees with code LVNV2 at checkout!

As for Las Vegas itself, there are some great things to see and do while you’re in town! Planet Hollywood itself has an abundance of amenities, including wave pools to practice your surfing, a spa for massages, facials and other treatments after a long day of instruction and networking, a plethora of shops, restaurants and entertainment options and much more. Looking to explore Las Vegas a little more? The city is known for its nightlife and casinos as well as its wide range of world-class restaurants. Below are just a few you can sample.

For a classic gaming experience, head on over to the MGM Grand. The MGM is one of the most iconic casinos in Las Vegas, with more than 170,000 square feet of gaming space for every type of game under the sun. Catch a sporting event in the building’s famous sports arena or take in one of the few remaining Sigma derby machines in Las Vegas and bet on electronic horse racing.

For a breathtaking look at the Las Vegas skyline, the Voodoo Rooftop Nightclub can’t be beat. It sits 51 stories above the ground with a full range of drink and food options for you and your friends. Voodoo’s amazing views and comfortable setting will put you in a party mood in no time.

If you want a dining experience with style and sophistication, book yourself a table at Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse in downtown Las Vegas. Regularly rated as one of the best dining experiences in the city, Vic & Anthony’s features an award-winning menu and a classy atmosphere that’s perfect for networking with business partners.

What are some spots you intend to visit while you’re in Las Vegas next month with us? Let us know in the comment section below!

May 6, 2015

A Quick Trip to San Antonio

best spots to visit in san antonio

From June 6 – 7, we’re hosting a short, one-class CME conference in San Antonio. That leaves ample time to explore the city on a quick trip! Below are some spots we recommend you check out while you’re in town.

The River Walk – Of course we’d start out our list with The River Walk. Winding through the heart of downtown, the The River Walk is lined with plenty of restaurant and bar options. At night, thousands of strings of lights illuminate the water, making it a unique and romantic spot to take a date. Plenty of festivals will feature boats floating down the river, and the San Antonio Spurs even celebrated their NBA championships with a floating parade down the water!

The Majestic Theatre – You can catch any kind of show at The Majestic. From comedians to musicals and concerts, the Majestic offers it all in a great location downtown close to restaurants and bars. The venue is small and cozy, making for an intimate and memorable experience, and the building’s 1920s interior has been kept in perfect condition.

San Antonio Missions – The area is home to a collection of beautiful Spanish missions, and the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park includes a walking trail featuring five missions. Learn about some of the earliest Spanish colonization and take in the beautiful architecture of the buildings. The city has more than just The Alamo, so visit them all!

Natural Bridge Caverns – If you love caves and geology, you can’t miss Natural Bridge Caverns. Guided tours last over an hour and give you plenty of time to explore the winding and rocky paths of the caverns. Just be sure to wear good shoes for walking and go into a tour knowing you’ll get hit with a few water droplets from time to time!

San Antonio Botanical Gardens – Spring and summer are perfect times to visit the city’s colorful and vibrant botanical gardens. The layout is easy to follow and the flora represents all sorts of flowers and trees that call Texas home. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a little piece and quiet after a long day.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas – Bring the family out for some fun and adventure at Six Flags Fiesta Texas! There are plenty of rides for young ones, adrenaline junkies, and water park enthusiasts. Grab lunch at one of the parks several restaurants with a variety of domestic and international cuisine, or do a little shopping for Texas souvenirs to take back home!

What places do you plan to visit when you’re in town for our San Antonio CME conference? Let us know in the comments below!