Getting away to a tropical island and doubling for continuing medical education (CME) credits is ideal. And if you follow a few simple rules of thumb you’ll make good use of your trip.
Get your CME credits
In order to get CME credits for a conference or course in Hawaii you’ll need to do a few things:
- Take the CME pretest. Several conferences require that you take the pretest on line before the CME course starts. Usually, the deadline is 1-2 weeks before you travel. If you miss this pretest deadline you can’t get credit for the course.
- Register onsite the first day. CME providers need to demonstrate attendance to grant credits, that means sign in as soon as you can so you get credit for the most time you can.
- Know the attendance rules. If you have sign in every morning and every afternoon to get credit for a day, plan your schedule around those rules.
- Take the post-test. There is a deadline for taking the post-test too: know it, complete it, and enjoy the rest of your trip.
Where to stay
If your conference is going to be at the Hawai’in Convention Center you will be in Waikiki. Most event coordinators will arrange with a “host hotel” and the benefits of staying there are proximity to other attendees, usually a shuttle bus to the convention center, some social events at the hotel, and some sort of discount at the hotel. The downside is that medical societies often select expensive hotels, so if you are on a budget consider looking into other lodging options near the host hotel.
The Hilton Hawaiin Village is a massive complex of hotels and shops on the beack in Waikiki. It’s a nice place to stay, but expect a premium on everything. Luaus are done most nights, except Fridays and Saturdays. On these nights individual organizations/parties will host luaus, and you can check if your conference is hosting a luau. Expect to pay about $120 for a ticket.
Planning your day around CME
There are a few ways to schedule your day. If you are going to be attending all the CME sessions you’ll be free only before and after the sessions. If you can afford to skip some sessions, it’s probably worthwhile to decide whether you want to be free in the morning or in the afternoons and schedule events accordingly.
If you’re coming from the mainland you’ll probably be up around 4AM, with a bit of a wait before your first session at 7 or 8. There are some events that you can do that early. Rumor has it that the fish market at the Honolulu port has a fish auction every morning at 5:30 that is open to the public. You can also ask your hotel conceirge about sunrise trips, although these won’t be free and might not get back for the start of your first morning session.
There are several half-day trips that can be made from Waikiki and that get you back for your afternoon CME session (or if you go in the afternoon, you can be back for dinner and drinks at sunset). You can take a bus to the Diamond Head crater, with a nice hike/climb up to a World War II look out post. This is a moderately challenging hike, so if you cannot climb stairs or are claustrophobic (tunnels) you might avoid this trip.