Continuing Medical Education/Continuing Professional Development

  • What Is Continuing Medical Education (CME)?

    Continuing Medical Education (CME) consists of educational activities that serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession.  The content of CME is that body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine, and the provision of health care to the public.  

    This broad definition of CME recognizes that all continuing educational activities which assist physicians in carrying out their professional responsibilities more effectively and efficiently are CME. A course in practice management, for example, would be appropriate for practitioners interested in providing better service to patients.

    Most states now require physicians to earn CME for licensure, and many hospitals require CME for hospital privileges. Malpractice insurance companies may require physicians to earn CME as well.

    Physicians may participate in worthwhile continuing educational activities which are not related directly to their professional work and these activities are not CME.

  • Who Accredits CME Providers?

     The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) is an independent accreditation body for institutions and organizations, which provide CME for physicians.  Accreditation by the ACCME assures the medical community and the public that such activities provide physicians with information that can assist them in maintaining or improving their practice of medicine.  Accreditation is granted on the basis of the provider's demonstrated ability to plan and implement CME activities in accordance with the ACCME Accreditation Criteria; Standards for Commercial Support and Accreditation Policies - www.accme.org

  • What is the American Medical Association's Physician's Recognition Award (AMA-PRA)?

    The American Medical Association (AMA) awards the Physician's Recognition Award (PRA) to physicians who earn 150 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ over a 3-year period (1-year and 2-year certificates are also given). If you believe you have qualified to receive the PRA, please contact the AMA's Office of Physician Credentials and Qualifications at 312/464-4665 or visit the AMA Web site at www.ama-assn.org.

  • How Is My CME Credit Documented?


    Some states require physicians to list each of the CME activities in which they participate. Other states require physicians to sign a statement attesting to the completion of CME. Many states enforce their reporting procedures by randomly auditing physicians. In any case, the burden of proof of CME falls on the individual physician to keep track of the CME activities he or she completes. The best way to do this is to keep a detailed file of all CME activities, including the certificates of participation provided upon the conclusion of any CME activity by the providing organization. These certificates indicate the type of CME credit given and the number of credits for which the activity was designated. The individual physician is required to keep track of the time spent on the activity and claim the number of credits he or she actually spent on the activity (not to exceed the maximum number of designated credits).

  • What does the AAP provide regarding credit?

    Members of the American Academy of Pediatrics or PediaLink subscribers have complimentary access to their CME transcript, which lists each of the AAP-provided CME activities in which the member participated for that year. This transcript does not replace the certificates of participation you receive for each activity; it is meant only to assist in keeping track of the various activities completed each year. Members and PediaLink subscribers can print a transcript report directly from PediaLink. Non-members and non-PediaLink subscribers can request a transcript of their completed CME activities; there is a $25 charge for each year requested. Transcript request and payment should be sent to American Academy of Pediatrics - Publications, P O Box 776422, Chicago, IL 60677-6442.  Please include your name, AAP ID#, the year requested, your check payment and contact information should we need to reach you.

    The transcript is issued for one calendar year. In order to have an activity listed on the transcript, the activity must have been completed in that calendar year.

  • How Can I Find My State's CME Requirements?

    CME requirements for medical licensure vary greatly from state to state. While some states do not require CME for licensure, other states require as many as 50 CME credits per year. For more information on your state's CME requirements, contact your state medical licensing board.

  • How many CME credits am I required to complete each year?

    These requirements vary from state to state, even from institution to institution. The Academy does not have a requirement that members complete a certain number of CME credits to maintain membership status. Individuals should contact their state board of medical licensure, state medical societies, employers/hospitals/managed care organizations, etc. to inquire about their specific requirements. Individuals may also want to refer to the American Medical Association's (AMA) Information Booklet on The Physician's Recognition Award (PRA) for more information about qualifying for the AMA PRA certificate or visit www.ama-assn.org.

  • How do I find out more information about taking the board examination in pediatrics (or any of the pediatric subboard examinations)?

    The American Academy of Pediatrics does not administer any of the certification or Maintenance of Certification examinations in pediatrics or the pediatric subspecialty areas. These exams are administered by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and all questions regarding test dates, content outlines, eligibility for CME credit, certification/Maintenance of Certification issues, etc. must be referred directly to the ABP. They may be reached at 919/929-0461.

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