Continuing Medical Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Important and useful information about continuing medical education, the ACCME, and credit designation.

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) sets the standards for the accreditation of all providers of CME activities. The ACCME has two major functions: the accreditation of providers whose CME activities attract a national audience and the recognition of state or territorial medical societies to accredit providers whose audiences for its CME activities are primarily from that state/territory and contiguous states/territories. The ACCME's seven member organizations are the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Association for Hospital Medical Education (AHME), the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), and the Federation of State Medical Boards of the U.S., Inc. (FSMB).

Continuing medical education consists of educational activities which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. The content of CME is that body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine, and the provision of health care to the public.

The declaration that an activity meets the criteria for a specific type of credit. In addition, designation relates to the requirements of credentialing agencies, certificate programs or membership qualifications of various societies. Only an accredited provider can designate CME credit. The accredited provider (Alpert Medical School CME) is responsible to these agencies, programs and societies in the matter of designation of credits and verifications of physician attendance. NOTE: The designation of credit for specific CME activities is not within the purview of the ACCME or the state medical associations as accrediting bodies.

Needs assessment is a process of identifying and analyzing data that reflect the need for a particular CME activity. The data could result from a survey of the potential learners, evaluations from previous CME activities, needed health outcomes, identified new skills, etc. Needs assessment data provide the basis for developing learner objectives for the CME activity.

Sponsorship of a CME activity by two institutions or organizations when only one of the institutions or organizations is accredited. The accredited provider (Alpert Medical School Office of CME) is required to take responsibility for a CME activity when it is presented in cooperation with a no accredited institution, or organization and must use the appropriate accreditation statement.