FAQ about CME

What is “CME”?

Continuing medical education (CME) is sometimes used as a generic term for any educational activity for health care providers. More often, “CME” or “CME credit” refers to the most common type of physician continuing education credit, the AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. For the purposes of this FAQ, CME refers to the latter type of credit.

What is AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM (CME credit)?

CME credit is a continuing education credit owned by the American Medical Association. Physicians earn CME credit by attending events sponsored by an accredited provider and use the CME credit towards re-licensure, re-certification, and renewal of hospital privileges.

Can non-physicians use CME credits?

Non-physicians can receive a certificate or transcript verifying their hours of attendance at a CME event. Certain health provider organizations may accept these contact hours; individual health care professionals should check with their licensing body to ensure that the contact hours at a CME event will be accepted. CPD does not guarantee that contact hours will be valid for non-physician health care professionals and is not responsible for changes in license requirements.

What is an accredited provider?

An accredited provider has been approved to sponsor activities for CME credit, either through the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or through a State Medical Society. CPD holds national accreditation from the ACCME.

How does an accredited provider sponsor an activity for CME credit?

Accredited providers must comply with all ACCME criteria and AMA policies on CME. For details on these criteria, please see the Links page. For specific CPD policies, please refer to the Policies and Forms page. For additional information on CME and/or CPD policies, please contact Doug Hudson via email or phone (919-537-3811).

Are there other types of physician credit?

  • Category 2 credit is “physician-initiated” credit; that is, the physician claims credit for any educational activity that is not sponsored by an accredited provider for Category 1 credit. The NC Medical Board recently ruled that physicians do not need to track or report Category 2 credit for re-licensure. For other purposes (re-certification, renewal of privileges), individual physicians should check with the appropriate organization. CPD does not offer or support Category 2 credit.
  • American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) credit is a type of credit used specifically by Family Physicians. It does not convert to AMA credit. CPD does not generally offer AAFP credit, although we would consider doing so if it would be beneficial to a CPD sponsored activity. For more information, please refer to the AAFP CME FAQs (link goes to external site.)
  • Maintenance of Certification (MOC). While not a CME credit per se, MOC is an important part of physician continuing development. All 26 specialty boards require members to fulfill the requirements of MOC for re-certification. Individual physicians should refer to their particular specialty board for details. CPD can offer assistance with MOC activities.