By Pennsylvania Medical Society; Updated Oct. 6, 2017
The following FAQ addresses DO (osteopathic) requirements for licensure. For MD (allopathic) requirements,
What are the requirements for licensure?
The State Board of Osteopathic Medicine regulations state that to renew a medical license, a physician will need:
What is the difference between Category 1 and Category 2 credit hours?
Category 1-A is defined by the American Osteopathic Association as those activities that have been approved by an AOA-accredited sponsor.
You will know an activity is Category 1 because all of the promotional materials will contain a statement similar to the following:
“This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the AOA Council for Continuing Medical Education. The (sponsoring organization, such as the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association) is accredited by the Council for Continuing Medical Education to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians.”
Your CME certificate will also state that the activity has been approved for AOA Category 1-A credit.
Category 2 credit hours consist of CME that has been approved by one of the following:
- An accredited provider of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
- A state medical society accredited provider
- The American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP)
Physicians can also earn Category 2 credit hours by reading authoritative medical literature.
How many credit hours need to be in patient safety or risk management?
Twelve (12) credit hours are needed in patient safety or risk management.
Do the patient safety or risk management credit hours need to be in Category 1 or Category 2?
According to the regulations, the patient safety or risk management credit hours can be in either Category 1 or Category 2.
If I have 12 Category 1 credit hours in patient safety or risk management topics, may I count these for both the Category 1 requirement and the patient safety/risk management requirement?
Yes. If any of the patient-safety credit hours that a physician has earned are AOA Category 1-A credit hours, they can be counted toward both the Category 1 requirement and the patient safety/risk management requirement.
How do I know if a CME activity is patient safety or risk management?
The following list of topics that will satisfy the patient safety/risk management requirement:
- Improving medical records and record keeping
- Reducing medical errors
- Professional conduct and ethics
- Improving communication among physicians and with other health care personnel
- Communication between physicians and patients
- Preventive medicine education
- Health care quality improvement
As long as the CME activity falls within these topics, you can count it toward the patient safety/risk management requirement. The course does not have to state, and very likely may not, that it is a patient safety or risk management course.
Who will I need to report to in order to renew my license?
The State Board of Osteopathic Medicine is not requiring a report of CME at the time of license renewal. The license renewal form will contain an area for physicians to attest that they have completed the required hours.
By attesting that the requirement is completed, a physician may be subject to a random audit by the Osteopathic Board. If audited, a physician will need to show evidence of the completion of the required credit hours. Failure to produce the request evidence will result in a fine and possible suspension of license.
How do I prove Category 2 credits if I am audited?
Category 2 credit hours must be documented in the form of a physician log or diary and forwarded to the American Osteopathic Association or the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, if the physician is a member.
Documentation should include:
- The date the activity was completed
- A description of the activity (article title, resident teaching, consultation with peers, etc.)
- Location (name of journal, hospital, home study, web site, etc.)
- The number of credits claimed (actual time spent in the activity)
If you have additional questions, please call the CME Office at (800) 228-7823, ext. 2623.