CME cruise conference: Give yourself a break

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 56, No. 4, May 2014, Page 165 Editorials

As you go about your daily routines many of you are, sadly, unaware of your recent missed opportunity. I am writing this editorial while lying in bed looking out at the beautiful grounds of the Intercontinental Resort in Tahiti. Sure, it’s raining, but that doesn’t detract from the joy I feel at rubbing this in your collective face. Also, rain doesn’t really bother me as I have spent most of my life dwelling in the rainforest that is Vancouver.

I have just completed the BC Medical Journal’s biennial CME cruise with a significant number of your lucky colleagues. We sailed aboard the beautiful Paul Gauguin ship out of Papeete, Tahiti, on 1 March. We visited the Society Islands of French Polynesia and the Cook Islands of New Zealand. Included as stops were Huahine, Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Taha’a, Bora Bora, Moorea, and back to Tahiti, where I am now 10 pounds heavier and significantly slower (mentally and physically). It is possible that we were unable to enter one lagoon due to a swell almost capsizing the tender boat, but that is actually a vicious rumor spread by the New England Journal of Medicine, as they are jealous of us.

The m/s Paul Gauguin is an amazing ship where everything is top-notch. The food is first-class and abundant, accompanied by delicious quality wines. Even if one tries to be good about choices and portion sizes, the food pimps bring trays out to you while you lounge by the pool. Speaking of the waiters, they and the rest of the staff are friendly, polite, and work very hard to make your holiday experience memorable. I am not sure how I am supposed to return to pulling out my own chair, carrying my own plate, and placing my own napkin on my lap—oh, the horrors. If you managed to roll off your deck chair and venture ashore, available excursions included snorkeling, diving, boat rides, hiking, wave runners, ATVs, bus tours, off-road vehicles, whale riding (just threw that one in to see if you were still paying attention), and more. 

Many new friendships were made and much laughter was shared. Life-long memories were forged in the Polynesian sun and I am sure these stories will be handed down from generation to generation in solemn ancestral ceremonies. However, a reminder to all of you conference attendees: what happened in the Taha’a motu lagoon stays in the Taha’a motu lagoon! I should probably briefly mention that CME was provided during days spent at sea by excellent speakers well versed in their respective specialties (see the two blogs posted at for details of the CME). 

Much of what we do as physicians involves health promotion and disease prevention. So, it is time to help yourselves by planning for the next BCMJ excursion. Remember, you only have 2 years in which to save while anxiously scouring our award-winning journal for the next CME cruise announcement. I realize this is a long time to wait, but missing another once-in-a-lifetime (well, every couple of years) opportunity is sure to lead to even greater depths of despair. I suggest you visit our website at least daily and read every BCMJ issue cover to cover, particularly DRR’s editorials, to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

David R. Richardson, MD. CME cruise conference: Give yourself a break. BCMJ, Vol. 56, No. 4, May, 2014, Page(s) 165 - Editorials.

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