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Category: CME


CME for Dormant Specialty Boards

2019-21 CME GUIDE

Requirements for DOs who hold time-limited certificates from dormant specialty boards

Learn how much overall and specialty-specific CME you need to earn beginning in the 2019-2021 CME cycle.

Due to the small numbers of physicians training in the specialties, the following specialty certifying boards are in dormant status, or will become so later in 2019:

  • American Osteopathic Board of Nuclear Medicine (AOBNM)
  • American Osteopathic Board of Proctology (AOBPr)

In addition, the following subspecialties under the American Ostepoathic Board of Pediatrics (AOBP) are in dormant status:

  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Pediatric Endocrinology
  • Pediatric Pulmonology

Physicians who hold active time-limited certificates in these specialties will have the following CME requirements beginning in the 2019-2021 CME cycle:

  • 120 total CME credits per 3-year AOA CME cycle
  • Of the total 120 credits required, a minimum of 25% must be specialty-specific*

* Specialty-specific CME will be verified by the diplomate via a self-attestation form, subject to random audit by the AOA.

Physicians who need a copy of the self-attestation form should contact to request a copy.


Standardized Life Support Courses

2019-21 CME GUIDE

Earn CME for completing coursework in standardized life support

Find out how much credit you'll receive if your certificate of completion does not specify a number of credits.

If a physician submits a certificate of completion for a standardized life support course, the amount of CME designated will be recognized by the AOA. In cases where the certificate of completion does not list a specific number of credits, CME will be awarded per the categories listed below.

Standardized Life Support Course CME Credit
Course name Provider course Refresher course Instructor course
Advanced Trauma Life Support 17 8 11
Advanced Cardiac Life Support 12 6 8
Basic Life Support 4 2 8
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (AHA) or Advanced Pediatric Life Support (AAP) 14 8 9
Neonatal Advanced Life Support 8 4 6
Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics 17 8 9
Adult Fundamentals of Critical Care Support 13 8 13
Pediatric Fundamentals of Critical Care Life Support 13 8 13
Advanced HAZMAT Life Support 24 24 31
Advanced Burn Life Support 7 7 4.5
Basic Disaster Life Support 7.5 7.5 7.5
Advanced Disaster Life Support 15.5 15.5 4

Non-qualifying Activities

2019-2021 CME Guide

The following activities are not eligible for CME credit

Learn to distinguish between CME-eligible and non-CME-eligible professional service opportunities.

The following activities do not qualify for credit toward CME requirements:

  • Volunteer work
    The AOA applauds volunteerism, but such work does not qualify for CME credit.
  • Medical facility tours
  • Healthcare committee and departmental meetings
    These meetings do not qualify for CME credit unless they fall under the activities listed in “Committee and Hospital Staff Work.”
  • Osteopathic state licensing board participation
  • Inspections
  • Physician administrative training
  • Quality assessment programs
    While participation in quality assessment programs does not quality for CME credit, participation in quality improvement and quality assessment programs may count for OCC Component 4 credit through the Quality Improvement Activity attestation.
  • Observation at medical centers
  • Medical economics courses

Reporting CME

2019-21 CME Guide

AOA policies for reporting CME activities

Osteopathic CME is automatically reported to the AOA. Learn what you need to do to report CME from other sources.

Reporting osteopathic CME

Reporting of osteopathic CME credit to the AOA is the responsibility of the accredited AOA Category 1 sponsor. Credits must be submitted by the accrediting sponsor and will not be accepted directly from a physician. Category 1 sponsors have ninety (90) days after the program to submit CME credits.

Reporting ACCME or AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™

Reporting of CME earned from an ACCME-accredited provider for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ or AAFP CME programs to the AOA is the responsibility of the physician. A certificate of attendance must be provided to the AOA Department of Client and Member Services at indicating the total number of hours attended. Transcripts from other institutions (hospitals, CME trackers, etc.) will also be accepted if it contains the total number of hours. Submissions should include the physician’s name and AOA ID number.


CME Proration

2019-21 CME GUIDE

Proration for initial and reactivated certification

Newly board certified or reactivated physicians will have their CME requirement prorated only for the current AOA CME cycle.

Initial certification

When a physician first becomes certified, their CME requirement will be prorated for the current AOA CME cycle only. Prorations will be based on the date of certification, as follows:

Initial certification proration
Entry date Prorated requirement *
Jan. 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019 83%
July 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2019 67%
Jan. 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 50%
July 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020 33%
Jan. 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021 17%
July 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021 No requirement until the 2022-2024 CME cycle


Reactivated certification

When a physician reactivates an expired/inactive certification, their CME requirement will be prorated based on the amount of time the certification was inactive, as follows:

Reactivated certification proration
Length of inactivity Prorated requirement *
1–180 days 83%
181–360 days 67%
361–540 days 50%
541–720 days 33%
721–900 days 17%
901–1,096 days No requirement until the 2022-2024 CME cycle


* In cases where the prorated amount does not equal a whole number or number ending in 5, the amount will be rounded down to the nearest half point. All prorations apply to each CME requirement (total, category-specific, etc.).



CME Exemptions, Reductions & Waivers

2019-21 CME GUIDE

Common situations that may require a CME reduction or waiver

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

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

Below is a list 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.

Reduction/Waiver Policies
Type Reduction/Waiver
Retirement • 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 prorated requirement 
Military (non-career military personnel, includes physicians called to active duty, emergency need duty, military operation,or placed on stand by) • Reduction of 1/6 of all requirements for every 6 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
Military (assigned to positions other than his/her specialty) • Reduction of 1/6 of all requirements for every 6 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
Military (career military personnel, including Veterans Administration and U.S. Public Health Service) • The BOS is aware of the difficulty physicians in the military have in acquiring osteopathic CME. If a military physician is deficient at the end of the CME cycle, a waiver of the remaining requirement may be granted
Working outside the geographical boundaries of the United States and Canada (includes missionary service) • To qualify, a diplomate must be out of the country for a minimum of six continuous months and provide documentation from an employer or volunteer/missionary work with dates of service
• 6-12 months’ service = 1/3 reduction in each requirement
• 1-3 years’ service = 50% reduction in each requirement (maximum allowed is 50%)
Full medical disability (permanent-no intention to return to work) • Diplomate must provide letter from a treating physician.
• 100% of the requirement is waived
• If a disabled physician ever returns to practice (even in an administrative position), they will have a prorated requirement
Medical disability (temporary – e.g. unable to work currently, but anticipating eventual return to work) • Diplomate must provide letter from a treating physician.
• Up to 12 months’ illness = 1/3 reduction in each requirement
• 13-24 months’ illness = 2/3 reduction in each requirement
• 25-36 months’ illness = 100% waived
Maternity/paternity leave • Documentation of approved FMLA from employer required. (For self-employed physicians, documentation from a treating provider may be submitted in lieu of FMLA paperwork)
• 25% reduction in each requirement for diplomates who have taken maternity/paternity leave during the CME cycle
Other extenuating circumstances • In the event that a diplomate is facing circumstances that prevent them from obtaining sufficient credit, he/she is urged to contact the AOA Department of Client and Member Services at (888) 62-MYAOA (888-626-9262) or, as he/she 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

Types of CME Credit

2019-21 CME GUIDE

CME category and activity descriptions

Explore criteria for earning Category 1 (osteopathic) and Category 2 (allopathic) CME.

The AOA assigns CME credit to four categories: 1-A, 1-B, 2-A and 2-B. Category 1 is typically osteopathic CME and Category 2 denotes allopathic CME. Category A is usually live activities while Category B is not (with a few exceptions). View a detailed breakdown of options for each category below.


CME Requirements

2019-21 CME GUIDE

Review OCC Component 2 requirements

For the 2019-2021 CME cycle, all non-time-limited diplomates not participating in OCC will be required to earn 120 total CME credits.

The following requirements apply to all physicians who hold osteopathic board certification through the AOA and its specialty certifying boards (also known as diplomates). Select your diplomate status below to view general requirements:

Time-limited diplomates

All time-limited diplomates certified by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) are required to meet CME credit hour requirements for the 2019-2021 CME cycle as part of Osteopathic Continuous (OCC) Component 2.

The number of CME credits required is set by each specialty certifying board. Physicians entering the mid-cycle will have their credit requirements prorated. Learn more.

A physician’s CME Activity Report will outline his or her total CME requirement and the amount of credits required in Categories 1 and 2. The table below lists the requirements by specialty board. Diplomates who hold time-limited certifications must complete the Lifelong Learning/CME requirement as outlined below in addition to the other components of OCC.

Non time-limited diplomates

Traditionally the AOA has required 120 total CME (150 for Emergency Medicine, Family Practice, and Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine) for non-time-limited physicians.

For the 2019-2021 CME cycle, all non-time-limited diplomates will be required to complete 120 total CME regardless of specialty. These credits must be earned in the same proportions as those for time-limited diplomates, in accordance with the rules and caps outlined in the CME Guide.

The requirements outlined in the specialty table below apply to non-time-limited diplomates who choose to voluntarily participate in OCC.

Specialty-specific CME

In the past, AOA specialty certifying boards have required specialty-specific CME. Active AOA specialty certifying boards will not require diplomates to obtain specialty-specific CME during the 2019-2021 CME cycle. All faculty of Category 1-A and Category 2-A CME must be board certified by an AOA or American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) board or have been appropriately credentialed as outlined in Appendix D to qualify as Category 1-A or 2-A.

There is a specialty-specific CME requirement for those diplomates holding time-limited certification from a dormant specialty certifying board (see Appendix F).

Please note the requirements listed on the following pages are for the purposes of AOA certification only. It is the responsibility of the individual physician to stay informed about their CME requirements for state licensure, membership in other organizations, etc.

CME requirements by specialty board per 3-year cycle

For the 2019-2021 CME cycle, all non-time-limited diplomates will be required to earn 120 total CME credits regardless of specialty, unless they choose to voluntarily participate in OCC. All time-limited diplomates and non-time-limited diplomates voluntarily participating in OCC are required to meet the requirements of their board(s) as listed below:

Conjoint certifications

Conjoint certifications are subspecialty certifications. As such, all conjoint certificate holders must abide by the requirement of their primary certification board. There is no additional CME required to maintain a conjoint certification.