by Angie Doskicz, CPCS.
The American Medical Association (AMA) defines Continuing Medical Education (CME) as “educational activities which 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.”
CME is vital to a physician’s lifelong continuous learning and improvement, but can also be a requirement for:
- Maintenance of state licensure
- Maintenance of board certification
- Hospital or surgery center privileges
The most common type of accredited CME, is the AMA PRA Category 1 credit™. Accredited CME ensures that the educational activity is: independent of commercial interests, based on practice gaps, based on valid content, effective in improving practice and is often linked to quality and safety.
This ensures the integrity and validity of the educational activity and this accredited CME can often be the only type of CME that state medical boards and that the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) will accept for their specific requirements. Often, physician assistant, advanced nurse practitioner and other allied health professional board certifications will also accept this accredited CME for their continuing education and maintenance of certification requirements.
Many accredited CME activities are offered online through the specialty boards, professional associations and medical education companies. Currently, there are only a few regional programs in Northern Colorado that offer live accredited CME activities and CME accreditation.. Physicians can also self-claim CME credit for activities such as teaching an accredited CME activity, publishing articles, and passing ABMS initial board certification and re-certification.
It can be difficult to stay on top of all the various CME requirements for state licensure and the ever-changing requirements for board maintenance of certification (MOC). While the State of Colorado does not currently require CME for medical licensure, that may be changing soon.
Angie Doskicz, CPCS is a Credentialing Specialist for EMP and is also the President-Elect of the Colorado Alliance for Continuing Medical Education.