Learn about requirements and processes for earning AOA continuing medical education.
NOTE: The following CME Policy Updates were placed in effect following publication of the 2016-18 AOA CME Guide.
The AOA assigns CME credit to four categories: 1-A, 1-B, 2-A, and 2-B. Select an option below to view details for each category.
AOA Category 1-A credits will be granted to attendees for formal educational programs designed to enhance clinical competence and improve patient care. These programs must be sponsored by an AOA accredited Category 1 CME sponsor and are limited to:
Consists of formal face-to-face programs or interactive online programs that meet the Category 1 quality guidelines, faculty requirements, and which are sponsored
by AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsors.
Topics must be related to any of the Seven Core Competencies listed below, as the core competencies have been recognized throughout the continuum of osteopathic education as essential and critical to the development and maintenance of osteopathic physicians’ overall education. The core competencies are as follows:
Physicians who participate as lecturers in osteopathic medical education in a didactic format are eligible to receive Category 1-A credit for their participation. Credit is granted on an hour-for-hour basis. Methods of this education are limited to:
CME credits will not be awarded for preparation of lectures.
The following standardized CME programs sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration or United States Armed Services are eligible for Category 1-A credit.
In addition, all standardized CME courses offered by the Civil Aeronautic Institute or Federal Aviation Administration for the purpose of maintaining an aeromedical examiner designation are eligible for Category 1-A.
AOA Category 1-A credit will be awarded for formal CME programs to participants who are on active duty or employed by a uniformed service. Category 1-B will be awarded to all other federal CME activities.
Grand rounds will be considered for AOA Category 1-A credit. To obtain this credit, grand rounds programs must be submitted in series of three and must meet the requirements for Category 1-A credit.
Osteopathic physicians serving as formal judges for osteopathic clinical case presentations and research poster presentations at a formal CME function will be awarded AOA Category 1-A credits. This credit is granted on an hour-for-hour basis. The physician may earn up to a maximum of ten (10) credits per AOA 3-year CME cycle.
AOA Category 1-B credits will be granted to individuals who complete the following activities:
Physicians may receive credit for their participation in the following areas:
Osteopathic physicians serving as preceptors/GME faculty in any AOA approved osteopathic or ACGME-accredited graduate medical education program may be granted Category 1-B credit.
A maximum of 60 AOA Category 1-B credits for faculty/preceptoring may be applied to the 120-hour requirement per CME cycle.
Osteopathic physicians who serve as core clinical faculty for graduate medical education programs, regardless of the institutional residency affiliation, may be granted Category 1-B credit.
To obtain credit for faculty and core faculty, the institution/hospital Program Director or Director of Medical Education (DME) must provide a signed evaluation of the physician’s participation to the AOA Department of Client and Member Services
verifying the physician’s teaching activity.
No credit is available for preceptoring physician assistants or nurse practitioners.
A maximum of fifteen (15) Category 1-B credits per CME cycle will be awarded to AOA members who pass an AOA recertification examination or obtain a certification of added qualification.
Category 1-B will be granted to osteopathic physicians who educate and participate in patient care in non-administrative hospital department staff activities to include care based committees such as critical care committee, utilization review, pharmacy and
therapeutics, patient safety, tumor board, morbidity and mortality or any other patient care oriented committee designed to improve patient care. This credit will be granted regardless of the institution’s educational affiliation.
To obtain credit the institution’s medical staff office or CME director must document the physician’s participation.
The Council on Continuing Medical Education may recognize non-osteopathic specialty or subspecialty programs for Category 1-B credit, when there is essentially no equivalent course content available within the osteopathic profession. Credit for such programs
will be applied to all physicians in that specialty or subspecialty who participate in the course.
These courses must be provided by an Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) accredited provider for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ or the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) credit, or provided by an internationally known sponsor acceptable to the CCME. An eligible program is defined
as a course consisting of at least three (3) credits hours. Home study activities/courses do not qualify under this policy.
To request consideration of a non-osteopathic course for Category 1-B credit, the osteopathic physician must write to the AOA Department of Client and Member Services at AOA Headquarters in Chicago and provide the following:
The applicant should be aware that this request will be forwarded to the specialty affiliate to verify that similar programs and/or lectures have not been or are not being offered by an AOA-accredited CME provider.
The AOA performs reviews of non-osteopathic courses as a member service. Nonmembers may request AOA Category 1-B credit for non-osteopathic sponsored CME programs by following the same procedure outline, along with payment of a $25.00 application fee and a $10.00 processing fee for each program submitted for review.
Osteopathic physicians can earn two credit hours of AOA Category 1-B credit for each issue of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) read and passing of the respective CME quiz with a minimum grade of 70%.
Non-members who forward hard copies of completed quizzes to the AOA Department of Client and Member Services will be charged a fee of $25 per JAOA quiz for staff time to grade, record and provide a letter to the DO as documentation of applicable CME. In addition, non-members have the capability of completing the quizzes online
by visiting AOA Online Learning.
Reading of all other medical journals qualifies for AOA Category 2-B credit and is awarded one-half (0.5) hour of CME credit for each journal read.
Credit will not be awarded for meetings that are primarily administrative in nature.
Category 2-A includes formal educational programs that are sponsored by an ACCME accredited provider for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™; approved by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP); approved by an internationally known sponsor acceptable to the CCME, or an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME Sponsor that does not meet the faculty/hours requirement for Category 1-A credit.
Category 2-B credit also shall be awarded for the following: