The FAQs for CME learners and prospective CME applicants are updated regularly. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact the CME Office at: (323) 563.9349 or via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is CME?
Continuing Medical Education (CME) consists of educational activities, which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and/or professional performance relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. The content of CME is the 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 healthcare to the public.
What does AMA “PRA” stand for?
The American Medical Association Physician's Recognition Award (PRA) and the related credit system recognizes physicians who demonstrate their commitment to staying current with advances in medicine by participating in certified CME activities. Established in 1968, the AMA PRA today stands as the most widely accepted award for recognizing physician CME achievement. AMA PRA credit is recognized by many state licensing boards, medical specialty boards, hospital credentialing bodies, and other entities. The AMA Physician's Recognition Award or AMA-approved application is currently accepted in many states as documentation for purposes of licensure reregistration.
Who is the ACCME?
The ACCME is the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. It is the organization that sets the standards for the accreditation of all providers of CME activities. ACCME providers are dedicated to the identification, development, and promotion of standards for quality CME utilized by physicians in their maintenance of competence and incorporation of new knowledge, in order to improve quality medical care for patients and their communities. For more information on ACCME, visit http://www.accme.org/
What is the ACCME’s relationship to the AMA?
The ACCME owns the accreditation system and accredits providers that demonstrate compliance with the criteria for accreditation, which grants such organizations the authority to certify appropriate educational activities for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. The AMA owns the credit system. Both organizations work in collaboration and support one another’s standards and policies. As well, the AMA has a seat on the ACCME’s Board.
What is the difference between direct providership and joint providership?
A direct provider activity is one that is planned, implemented and evaluated by the accredited provider (e.g., departments, colleges and/or schools within CDU). A joint provider activity is one that is planned, implemented and evaluated by the accredited provider and a non-accredited education partner (e.g., community partners).
When will I receive my CME certificate?
Certificates of credit for Regularly Scheduled Series events (i.e. Grand Rounds) are issued quarterly and will be e-mailed. Certificates of credit for all other CME activities will be issued (i.e. e-mailed) no later than 6 weeks following participation in a CME activity.
As a physician in the state of California, what are my CME requirements?
Physicians licensed in the state of California are required to complete at least 50 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ during each biennial renewal cycle. In addition to state requirements for maintenance of licensure, additional requirements may be set forth by certifying boards and/or institutions where a physician practices.
What type of CME credit do physicians need?
AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ is the most common type of credit physicians need for maintenance of licensure. In order for an activity to be designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, it must be planned and implemented by an accredited CME provider.
What is the difference between AMA Category 1 and Category 2 credit?
Category 1 CME activities are formally planned activities that are certified for credit by an ACCME accredited provider and in compliance with the ACCME standards for Commercial Support. Category 2 CME activities are physician self-reported educational activities that a physician engages in to improved their knowledge, competence and/or performance as it relates to the care of their patients. Examples include, but are not limited to
- Consultation with peers and medical experts
- Developing and reviewing quality assessment data (morbidity and Mortality)
- Use of electronic databases in patient care
- Engagement of enduring materials not designated Category 1 (reading medical books, periodicals, and web sites)
- Small group discussions
- Self-assessment activities
- Medical writing (abstracts, journal articles, book chapters)
What happens if I cannot attend a CME activity for the entire time?
It is the responsibility of the learner to claim credit commensurate with their participation in a CME activity.
Do I need to complete an application to receive CME credit?
Yes. An application for Credit must be fully completed and turned into the CME representative in order to receive credit (physicians) and/or a certification of participation (non-physicians).
Who is eligible to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ ?
Only MDs and DOs can claim AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Others learners who may be among the target audience for a CME activity will receive a certificate of participation indicating the activity was certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. These learners will need to speak with their respective licensing board as to whether or not this credit is transferrable, and if so, the process. Below are links which may be useful for potential non-physician participations:
- California Board of Registered Nurses: http://www.rn.ca.gov/licensees/lic-renewal.shtml#ce
- American Association of Physician Assistants: http://www.aapa.org/cme.aspx
- American Association of Nurse Practitioners: http://www.aapa.org/cme.aspx
What if I forgot to complete an application to receive CME credit?
If you attended a CME activity but forgot to turn in your evaluation and application for credit, please contact Tamika Morris, MHSA Academic Affairs Coordinator Office of the Dean, College of Medicine (323) 563-9349 (323) 563-5918 fax email@example.com
There was an error with my certificate. How can I get it fixed?
For corrections to your CME certificate, please contact Tamika Morris in the CME Office at: (323) 563.9349 or via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I am speaking/presenting, can I receive credit?
Faculty who develop an original CME presentation are eligible to receive credit for their initial development and presentation of this content. This type of credit is awarded for what the ACCME terms “Learning from Teaching.” In order to receive credit, you must first coordinate with the CME Office, as additional documentation is required, beyond the development and presentation of CME content, in order to receive credit.
How do I find out about future CME events?
Visit the CME Homepage for upcoming CME events taking place on CDU’s campus and/or within the community.
I am not a physician. Can I still receive CME credit?
Non-physician participants cannot be awarded CME credit, but can still receive a certificate of participation indicating an activity was certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.
I am in need of extra CME credits how can I go about getting them?
There are a number of CME activities available to physicians. Visit the CME Resources page for upcoming CME events taking place on CDU’s campus and/or within the community.
Prospective CME Applicants
What type of content is eligible for CME?
ACCME accredited providers must provide CME that contains content which serves 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 the 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.
When do I contact the Office of CME to begin planning a CME program?
CDU’s Office of CME must be contacted at the very beginning of program planning. Many educational, financial and logistical planning elements require substantial advanced planning for optimum results. As well, this lead time provides you the time to work with the Office of CME to ensure success of the CME activity. All CME activities must be based on an identified gap in physicians’ professional practices and must align with the mission of CDU.
What are initial steps to begin planning a CME activity?
An initial planning meeting with the Office of CME must be scheduled in order for CME staff to walk through CDU’s CME application and planning process, as well as to review timeframes and deadlines. The Office of CME works collaboratively with each applicant to ensure clarity as to the CME process and to confirm understanding of the information required to complete a CME application. Once an application is complete, the following steps are taken:
- Formal presentation of the application to the CME Advisory Committee
- When/If the application is approved, scheduling of a project kick-off meeting with the course director and the Office of CME occurs within two weeks of approval to develop an activity timeline and confirm roles and responsibilities moving forward in the planning process
Can I advertise credit for my program prior to approval of my application?
No. You may not make any mention of credit in any promotional piece unless the activity has already been approved for credit. You may, however, advertise your activity in advance of approval if you do not mention credit. The AMA and ACCME require that the final announcement for any activity must clearly advertise the credit and include the required ACCME statement. Please contact the Office of CME prior to printing or sending any announcement mentioning credit.
Who needs to disclose personal financial relationships?
No. You may not make any mention of CME credit in any promotional piece unless the activity has already been approved for CME credit. You may however, advertise your activity, in advance of approval, if you do not mention CME credit. The AMA and ACCME require that the final announcement for any activity must clearly advertise the CME credit and include the required ACCME accreditation statement. Please contact the Office of CME prior to printing or sending any announcement mentioning credit.
What is considered a commercial interest?
A ‘commercial interest is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.
What is meant by a relevant financial relationship, which must be disclosed?
A relevant interest is any financial relationship, in any amount, which (a) occurred within the past 12 months, and (b) the individual has the opportunity to effect the content of CME about the products or services of that commercial interest.
Does a CME staff member need to attend the course?
The Office of CME requires that a member of its staff or designee be present at all live CME-certified activities.