What were the early years like at CME LLC? Diane Turner, an early CME employee who currently serves as faculty director, remembers the sometimes enjoyable, sometimes stressful job of single-handedly putting out Psychiatric Times, organizing continuing medical education meetings, paying bills and serving patients.
"I started working for John in 1985," said Turner, "and at that time, he had only one other person on staff. They were putting on about six meetings a year, and had just come out with the first issue of Psychiatric Times. In addition to that, John was still seeing his private patients."
Within a few months, the meetings and the magazine grew, and Schwartz slowly began phasing out of psychiatric practice.
Turner remembers the dedication that was required to put out a monthly psychiatric magazine on a shoestring.
"We had to do everything ourselves," she said. "This included 'pasting up' the magazine, then taking it to the local typesetters, where I [virtually] lived, going back and forth all day long. "
There also was great difficulty selling advertising in the early days. "No one knew who we were," Turner explained, "so they were reluctant to advertise in the paper. John and I used to buy stamps at the local post office and send the magazine out to potential advertisers just to familiarize them with us."
However, once the advertising started coming in, it didn't make their jobs any easier.
"Sometimes ads came in late, or pulled out, so we were constantly having to start from scratch. Some nights John would sleep in the office, doing a lot of the work himself to get the magazine out the door."
Once Psychiatric Times became better recognized in the field, it caught the notice of potential advertisers. This attention signified the company's first major growth spurt, as more advertising meant a larger publication, and thus a need for more employees.
One of those new employees was David DeNinno, who now serves as CME LLC's president, COO and publisher.
DeNinno remembers that when he started in 1988, CME had just begun organizing their first annual meeting, the U.S. Psychiatric Congress. They had only one product offering, a home study course on malpractice and liability.
"John was committed to producing high-quality information and meeting customers' needs," he said. "That appealed to me, so I joined the company."
In looking back over his years with CME LLC, DeNinno is especially proud that the company has never deviated from its original intention, which was to provide high-quality, useful information to health care professionals and interested consumers by employing outstanding people and exceeding customer expectations.
"I think what got me excited in coming here, and keeps me excited today, was John's comment that as a psychiatrist he was only able to help one person at a time, but CME LLC educates tens of thousands of providers in a variety of specialties to become better clinicians. And in some small way, that's helping improve the quality of life for millions of patients every year.
"Everyone at CME LLC, takes great pride in that."