CME Guide

Lifelong Learning

Explore basic guidelines for meeting AOA CME requirements

If you're AOA board-certified, you'll need to follow your specialty board's CME requirements to maintain certification. Here's how.

The AOA continually strives to offer CME opportunities that explore the latest clinical advances and developments in medicine. The following information is intended to serve as a step-by-step guide for meeting basic CME requirements.

The current CME guide focuses on the CME cycle effective Jan. 1, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2018.

CME Policy Updates

  • The requirement that physicians earn 120 general CME credits per three-year CME cycle to maintain membership is no longer being enforced per a vote from the AOA Board of Trustees on July 21, 2016. The change was made to lessen the burden of required CME reporting for physicians.
  • If you’re AOA board certified, you must follow your specialty board’s CME requirements in order to maintain your board certification. Currently, AOA certification boards require physicians to earn 120-150 credits per CME cycle, with at least 50 of those credits in your specialty area. For details on requirements in your specialty, check with your certification board.
  • In the upcoming 2019-2021 CME cycle, physicians will be required to earn at least 60 specialty CME credits from AOA- or ACGME-accredited sponsors. Individual AOA certifying boards may implement additional requirements, including osteopathic-specific CME requirements. The AOA Board of Osteopathic Specialists is determining how this change will be implemented. Check with your certifying board for details on requirements in your specialty. Learn more in the Board of Trustees Resolution on CME for Osteopathic Continuous Certification, passed in March 2017.

CME Guide

The 2016-2018 AOA CME guide outlines processes and requirements for earning CME during the current reporting cycle. The Policy Updates outlined above may impact the reporting criteria outlined in the CME guide.

The Council on Continuing Medical Education maintains the right to update the guide as needed. The Council reserves the right to evaluate all programs and activities on an individual basis to determine if and the amount of credit granted at its discretion.

Guide Sections:

Statement of Purpose

CME Requirements

Types of CME Credit

Life Support Courses

CME for Certified Physicians


Reporting CME Activities


Requesting AOA Category 1-A CME Credit for Allopathic CME Activities

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