CME CME Guide CME Exemptions/Reductions

CME Exemptions/Reductions

2019-21 CME GUIDE

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

Exempted diplomates include physicians who are retired or active duty members of the military.

CME Policy Updates

The new standards eliminate the requirement for specialty-specific CME. Each individual certifying board has set its own CME standards for osteopathic continuous certification. In addition, 120 hours of CME per cycle is now required for diplomates holding non-time-limited certification.

Also, changes were made to the types of CME credit awarded for specific activities. CME will now be awarded for:

  • Residency and fellowship
  • Exams taken for the purpose of initial board certification
  • Unlimited hours of standardized life support classes

From the CME Guide:

AOA exemptions or reductions in the number of required credits for certification do not affect individual state CME licensing requirements. The Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS) will grant no reductions of CME credit hours without due cause unless policy advises otherwise.

Below is a listing of common situations that may result in a reduction or waiver of the Lifelong Learning/CME requirement for OCC. For situations other than those listed below, please contact your AOA specialty certifying board.

  • Diplomates who place their certification into official “retired” status will not have a Lifelong Learning/CME requirement. Certificates returned to “active” status from “retired” status will have a pro-rated requirement.
  • Physicians working outside the geographical boundaries of the United States and Canada. To qualify, a diplomate must be out of the country for at least six continuous months and provide documentation from an employer or volunteer/missionary work with dates of service. Physicians may receive a 1/3 reduction in each requirement for six to 12 months of service and 50% reduction in each requirement for one to three years of service.
  • Physicians who have received permanent full medical disabled status with no intention to return to work. Disabled physicians who decide to return to practice must meet a pro-rated requirement.
  • Physicians who have received temporary medical disability but anticipate returning to work may receive a 1/3 reduction in each requirement for up to 12 months of illness, a 2/3 reduction in each requirement for 13-24 months of illness and 100% waiver in each requirement for 25-36 months of illness.
  • Diplotmates who take maternity/paternity leave during the CME cycle may receive a 25% reduction in each requirement.

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DOs in the Military: Reductions/Waivers

The BOS is aware of the difficulty physicians in the military have in acquiring osteopathic CME. If a military physician (career military personnel, including Veterans Administration and U.S. Public Health Service) is deficient at the end of the CME cycle, a waiver of the remaining requirement may be granted.

Any physician, other than career military personnel, who is called to active duty, emergency need duty, military operation or placed on stand-by may request a reduction of 1/6 of all requirements for every six months of qualifying service. Military physicians assigned outside their specialty also may request a reduction of 1/6 of all requirements for every six months of qualifying service. Military orders, including anticipated length of service (or final length of service if at the conclusion of service) are required to qualify for this reduction.

Extenuating Circumstances

In the event diplomates face circumstances that prevent them from obtaining sufficient credit, they are urged to contact the AOA Department of Client and Member Services at (888) 62-MYAOA (888-626-9262) or, 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.

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