CME CME Guide CME Exemptions/Reductions

CME Exemptions/Reductions

2016-18 CME GUIDE

CME Guide outlines circumstances under which CME requirements are waived or reduced

Exempted members included physicians who are retired, currently in training or active duty members of the military.

NOTE: The following CME Policy Updates were placed in effect following publication of the 2016-18 AOA CME Guide.

  • 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.

From the CME Guide:

AOA members exempted from the CME program requirements include:

  • Retired physicians no longer holding an active license to practice medicine;
  • Physicians residing outside the geographic boundaries of the United States and Canada;
  • Students; interns; residents and academic fellows participating in AOA recognized or ACGME accredited postgraduate programs;
  • Physicians serving in the military and assigned to positions other than in his or her specialty or those physicians on active duty who are involved in significant military operations; and
  • physicians who have received disabled status.

AOA Life Members in active practice are not exempted from the CME requirement.

DOs in the Military: Reductions/Waivers

The Council on CME is aware of the difficulty osteopathic physicians in the military, Veterans Administration, and U.S. Public Health Service may have in acquiring
osteopathic continuing medical education. The Uniformed Services encourages osteopathic physicians to fulfill his or her obligation to CME and the AOA believes it is
essential that an osteopathic physician obtain a portion of this education in osteopathic sponsored programs. Therefore, AOA required physicians on active duty to obtain a minimum of five (5) CME credits per year, or fifteen (15) of the thirty (30) required Category 1-A hours per three-year cycle, be received in osteopathic venues.

This reduction is available only to those physicians on active duty who have accumulated a total of one hundred and twenty credits (120) hours of CME and who request said reduction from the Council on CME. The total CME requirement will be proportionally adjusted for time spent out of the United States.

Osteopathic physicians serving in the uniformed services, who are engaged in active military operations, may be granted a waiver of his or her AOA CME requirement for membership if that physician is CME deficient at the end of the current CME cycle.

Any osteopathic physician, other than career military personnel, who is called to active duty, emergency need duty, military operation, or placed on stand-by, and is CME deficient at the end of a CME cycle, may request to have his or her CME requirement waived or reduced.

Extenuating Circumstances

In the event that a physician is prevented from obtaining sufficient credit, e.g., serious illness, financial, or family problems, he/she is urged to report this to the AOA Council on Continuing Medical Education and the AOA, as they may qualify for a reduction in the requirements. Changes in a physician’s practice status at the beginning of the CME cycle may reduce his or her AOA CME requirement. For additional information on extenuating circumstances, please contact the AOA Department of Client and Member Services at (888) 62-MYAOA (888-626-9262).

AOA exemptions or reductions in the number of required credits, for membership or certification, do not affect individual state CME licensing requirements. The Council on CME will grant no reductions of CME credit hours without due cause unless policy advises otherwise.

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