American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

2016-2018 CME Guide

CME Exemptions/Reductions


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.

  • Physicians who have received disabled status.

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

Osteopathic Physicians in the Military: Reductions/Waivers

The Council on Continuing Medical Education is aware of the difficulty that 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.

  • AOA requires physicians on active duty to obtain a minimum of five CME credits per year or 15 of the 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 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/her CME requirement waived or reduced. 

Extenuating Circumstances

In the event that a physician is prevented from obtaining sufficient credit, such as serious illness, financial, or family problems, he or 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 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 (800) 621-1773, Option 1. 

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 without due cause unless policy advises otherwise. ​


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