American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated March 2016 

AOA CME Requirements

Q.  What are the dates of the current CME Cycle?

A. The current CME Cycle will run from Jan. 1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2018.

Q.  What are the CME requirements of the AOA?

A. AOA members are required to obtain 120 credit hours in a three-year cycle, with at least 30 credits in Category 1-A. The remaining 90 credits may be obtained in Categories 1-A, 1-B, 2-A, or 2-B. Osteopathic board certified physicians must earn at least 50 of their total 120 credits in their primary specialty.

Q.  Can I submit CME credit now to apply to future CME Cycle requirements?

A. No. Credits acquired during this cycle cannot apply to future CME requirements. If the date of the activity reflects attendance from a previous cycle, those credits will not be applicable toward the physician’s current CME requirement.

Q. I recently completed my residency or fellowship. How does this affect my AOA CME requirements?

A. AOA members are exempt from the CME requirement while in a postdoctoral training program. Upon completion of the training program, the CME requirement will be prorated based on the end date of the program.

Q.  What is my CME requirement for state licensure?

A.  CME requirements for state licensure differ between states. Please contact the appropriate state licensing board for more information.

Q. Are Life Members required to fulfill the AOA CME requirements?

A. Yes, AOA Life members in active practice are not exempt and must fulfill the CME requirement.

Awarding CME Credit

Q.  May I earn CME credit for participating in activities for CME on the Internet?

A.  Osteopathic physicians may earn up to 15 credits of their Category 1-A requirement from real time interactive Internet CME, e.g., live programs per CME cycle. For additional information, please refer to the AOA CME Guide (Pages 9-10).

Q.  What is the policy for awarding CME credit for risk management programs and the total number of credits permitted per CME cycle?
A.  Risk Management Programs
  • Risk management programs will be granted Category 1-A credit if they are clinical in nature, sponsored by an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsor, and meet the 1-A faculty/hours requirement for AOA Category 1-A credit.

  • Risk management programs will be granted Category 2-A credit if they are clinical in nature sponsored by an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsor but do not meet the 1-A faculty/hours requirement; are sponsored by an AMA-accredited organization; or an AAFP-approved program.

  • Risk management programs will be granted Category 1-B credit if they are administrative in nature and sponsored by an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsor.

  • Risk management programs will be granted Category 2-B credit if they are administrative in nature and are provided by an AMA-sponsor or AAFP-approved.

  • A maximum of five CME credits may be earned for risk management courses per year, 15 per CME cycle.

  • Please refer to the “AOA Specialty Continuing Education (CME) Policy” for additional information regarding specialty CME for risk management programs.

Q.  What is the policy for awarding CME credit for managed care programs and the total number of credits permitted per CME cycle?
A.  Managed Care Programs
  • Managed care programs will be granted Category 1-A if they are sponsored by an AOA accredited Category 1 CME sponsor and meet the 1-A faculty/hours requirement for AOA Category 1-A credit.

  • Managed care programs will be granted Category 1-B credit, if they are sponsored by an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsor and the program does not meet the AOA Category 1-A faculty/hours requirement.

  • Managed care programs will be granted Category 2-A credit if they are sponsored by an AMA-sponsor or AAFP-approved.

  • A maximum of five CME credits may be earned for risk management courses per year, 15 per CME cycle.

  • Please refer to the “AOA Specialty Continuing Education (CME) Policy” for additional information regarding specialty CME for managed care programs.

Q.  May I earn credit for osteopathic preceptoring?

A.  Osteopathic physicians serving as preceptors/GME faculty in any AOA approved osteopathic or ACGME-accredited 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/hospitals the Program Director or Director of Medical Education must provide a signed evaluation of the physician's participation to the AOA Department of Client and Member Services verifying the teaching activity.   

No credit is available for preceptoring physician assistants or nurse practitioners.

Q.  Does the AOA grant CME credit for allopathic-sponsored programs?

A.  Yes. CME programs which are sponsored by an ACCME accredited provider for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™; approved by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), or approved by an internationally known sponsor acceptable to the Council on Continuing Medical Education (CCME) are eligible for Category 2 credit through the AOA. To obtain the Category 2 credit, please email, fax or mail certificates of attendance to the AOA Department of Client and Member Services.

Q.  Does the AOA grant Category 1-A credit for Standardized Life Support Courses or Bioterrorism Courses?

A. Yes. Standardized Life Support courses are eligible for a maximum of eight credits of Category 1-A per CME cycle. Any remaining credits left over after the initial eight have been awarded will be recorded as Category 1-B. Online standardized courses will be awarded CME credit for the practical part only.

Bioterrorism courses are eligible for Category 1-A credit up to a maximum of eight credits per three year CME cycle. The remainder of credits will be awarded Category 1-B CME credit. Self-study or home study courses are not eligible for 1-A or 1-B credit. 

Q. How is CME credit awarded?

A. CME is generally awarded on an hour-for-hour basis. However, physicians may earn a ½ credit per issue for each medical journal read or audiotape listened to, and may earn five credits per medical textbook read during a cycle.

Board and Specialty Certification

Q. What is the CME requirement for certified physicians?

A. AOA Board Certified Physicians

  • Physicians who are board certified are required to earn a minimum of 50 CME credits within their specialty in each three-year CME Cycle. These credits may be earned in Category 1 or Category 2. (Please see your Specialty Board for clarification.)

  • Certification of Added Qualification (CAQs): For osteopathic physicians holding certification(s) of added qualification (CAQs), a minimum of 25% of the credits (13 credits) must be earned at the level of the CAQ. At least 30% (15 credits) must be earned in the primary certification.

  • CME sponsored by osteopathic specialty affiliates in the individuals declared specialty, will be applied to this requirement on an unlimited hour-by-hour basis.

  ABMS Board Certified Physicians

  • Physicians who are both AOA and ABMS board certified are required to earn the same specialty CME credit hours as DOs who are AOA board certified only.

  • Physicians who are solely certified in an ABMS specialty are required to obtain a minimum of 10 Category 1-A credits in AOA sponsored CME programs during each three-year CME cycle to meet AOA specialty requirement.

  • Physicians who are solely certified through the ABMS must meet the 120 hour AOA membership requirement.

Please contact your certifying board for information regarding the use of preceptoring or other credits towards this requirement. Osteopathic physicians may refer to the “AOA Specialty Continuing Education (CME) Policy” for additional information regarding specialty CME program requirements.

NOTE: Under current AOA policy, failure to meet the AOA specialty CME requirement is interpreted as a failure to meet the individual physician’s CME requirement. This could result in the loss of AOA membership and in turn result in the possible loss of certification.

Q. What is the policy for granting Category 1-A credit for non-osteopathic programs accredited by the ACCME or approved by the AAFP, for AOA members that hold certificates for specialties or subspecialties with less than 300 certificate holders?

A. In recognition of AOA members who hold specialty or subspecialty certificates in specialties with less than 300 certificate holders may have difficulty accruing the necessary AOA 1-A credits required for membership, such members may apply AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ or AAFP Category 1 credits to their AOA 1-A credit requirement up to the maximum of 15 CME credits per CME cycle to meet the Category 1-A credit requirement for membership.
To qualify for AOA Category 1-A CME credit under this policy the following criteria must be met:

  • Osteopathic physicians must be a member of the AOA.

  • Physicians must be AOA or ABMS certified.

  • The specialty/subspecialty must be listed as a qualifying specialty.

NOTE: Lists of specialties and subspecialties with less than 300 certified members are available on the AOA’s website at Osteopathic.org (Click Here To View). This exemption only applies to the 30 Categories 1-A CME credits required for membership in the AOA.
 

CME Activity Reports

Q.  How can I check my CME status or obtain a copy of my CME report?

A.  AOA members may view their CME reports by going to the AOA’s website: clicking on the View My CME Report; and logging in with their AOA ID number or username and password. Members may also contact AOA’s Customer Resource Center (CRC) at (800) 621-1773, option 1, to have their report emailed or faxed. CME reports are free of charge and available to AOA members only.

Q. What should I do if I’ve never created an account to view my CME Activity Report?

A. Members who have not created an account to view their CME Activity Report should contact the AOA's CRC at (800) 621-1773, option 1, to receive a password.

Non-Qualified CME Activities

Q. What programs are ineligible to receive AOA CME credit?

A. The following are ineligible for AOA CME credit:

  • No credit is available for preceptoring physician assistants or nurse practitioners.

  • Though the AOA applauds volunteer work, such work does not qualify for CME credit.

  • Studies completed in the quest for advanced degrees such as Master’s or Doctorate, do not quality for CME credit.

  • Touring medical facilities does not qualify for CME credit.

Obtaining 1-A Credits

Q.  How can I obtain AOA Category 1-A credit?

A.  Category 1-A credit may be earned by attending formal, face-to-face osteopathic programs that are sponsored by AOA-Accredited Category 1 CME Sponsors. A list of AOA Category 1 CME Sponsors may be found on our website: http://www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/accreditation/Pages/cme-sponsor-accreditation.aspx.

For a listing of upcoming programs that are eligible for Category 1-A credit, please refer to the AOA Calendar of Events located on our website: www.osteopathic.org/Calendar

Reporting Credits

Q.  How should CME credit be reported to the AOA?

A.  For CME activities sponsored by an AOA-Accredited Category 1 CME Sponsor: it is the responsibility of that CME Sponsor to report all CME credit to the AOA. Credits submitted by a physician for such activities will not be accepted by AOA.

For non-osteopathic-sponsored CME activities: it is the physician’s responsibility to report these CME activities to the AOA. A certificate of attendance or a letter of verification from the CME sponsor, along with the physician's AOA ID number, must be provided.

Q.  Where can I obtain CME forms for reporting CME credit to the AOA?

A.  CME Reporting Forms can be found on our website: www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/development/continuing-medical-education/Pages/cme-reporting-forms.aspx

Q.  Where can I obtain a copy of the CME Guide for Osteopathic Physicians?

A.  The CME Guide may be found on AOA’s website: www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/development/continuing-medical-education/Pages/cme-guide.aspx

Q. What are the email, mailing address and fax number for reporting CME activities?

American Osteopathic Association
AOA Department of Member and Client Services
Customer Resource Center
142 E Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60611-2864
 

Fax:  312-202-8202

Email: crc@osteopathic.org

For additional information or questions not answered in this FAQ, AOA’s Customer Resource Center (CRC), at (800) 621-1773, option 1, is available for assistance.