Continuing Medical Education (CME)
Category 1 continuing medical education are courses or programs designated by the American Medical Association or the California Medical Association related to one of the following: patient care, community health or public health, preventive medicine, quality assurance or improvement, risk management, health facility standards, the legal aspects of clinical medicine, bioethics, professional ethics, or improvement of the physician-patient relationship.
Any physician who takes and passes a certifying or recertifying examination administered by a recognized specialty board is granted credit for 100 Category 1 continuing medical education hours for four consecutive years.
To obtain a physician recognition award (PRA), a physician must participate in 150 hours of continuing medical education (CME) courses, of which 60 hours are approved Category 1. If more than 60 hours of Category 1 courses are obtained, a copy of the PRA application should be submitted to the Board to receive the appropriate amount of credit.
The organization sponsoring the program must provide documentation that includes the participant's name, course title, dates of
attendance, the sponsoring organization and accrediting agency name, and hours received. The Board cannot accept continuing
medical education without verifying documents.
Hospitals have “lunch meetings” that are approved for Category 1 credit and offered to all physicians. Physicians having trouble finding Category 1 courses may call the California Medical Association (CMA) for assistance at (415) 882-5183. CMA has an article with suggested continuing medical education opportunities and is available upon request.
The law requires every military physician comply with the continuing medical education (CME) requirements. However,
reasons of war or being aboard a ship for extended periods of time (several years) which may preclude a physician from participating in
CME may be considered for a waiver. The Application for Waiver of Continuing Medical Education During Renewal Cycle form
is available on the Board’s website.
If a continuing medical education (CME) waiver is granted for a renewal period, 100 approved CME hours must be completed by the next renewal.
Continuing medical education (CME) documentation is only required if a physician is being audited. During a license renewal, the physician must complete the self-certification statement on the renewal application form and return it to the Board with the renewal payment.
If you undergo a continuing medical education (CME) audit, you will be require to provide certificates of completion of CME courses or
programs. The certificate shall include the name of the physician as the participant, the name and date(s) of the CME course or program,
the number of approved Category 1 hours or prescribed credit hours granted for attendance, or a copy of the medical specialty board
certificate (equivalent to 100 hours of credit).
The Board will allow a physician to renew their license one time following the audit to permit him or her to make up any deficient continuing medical education (CME) hours. However, the Board will not renew the license a second time until all the required CME hours have been documented. Furthermore, a physician may be charged with "unprofessional conduct" for misrepresenting compliance with the CME requirements during the license renewal process. (Title 16, California Code of Regulations, Section 1338.)