AAFP Criteria for the Clinical Content of CME
Eligible for Prescribed and/or Elective Credit
CME activities are eligible for AAFP Prescribed and/or Elective credit if they contain clinical content that meets the criteria of one of the following categories:
- Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM): Evidence-based medicine is the integration of current best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values.1 For family physicians, evidence-based medicine is also of value in making decisions about the care of families and communities. AAFP considers CME clinical content to be evidence-based (EB CME) if it is presented with practice recommendations supported by evidence that has been systematically reviewed by an EBM source.
- Customary and Generally Accepted (CGA) Medical Practice: Customary and generally accepted (CGA) medical practice is comprised of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions that are accepted by the practicing medical community for given indications in individual patients, families and communities. CME content is acceptable as customary and generally accepted medical practice if it is consistent with one or more of the following:
- Diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations presented in the books or review articles from the journals listed in the Brandon/Hill Selected List of Books and Journals for the Small Medical Library, excluding texts 16 through 24, and also excluding the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. (In this context, a "review article" is one that presents an overview of a specific medical topic by discussing the results of many research articles published by various authors; the purpose is not to present the author's personal research.)
- Expert consensus statements of governmental agencies and institutions of the United States in which the evidence has not been graded.
- Original scholarship, including research methodology and findings, as well as case reports. Such scholarship represents the customary and generally accepted educational practice of presenting new and valuable information that is not yet based on acceptable levels of evidence. CME content based on original scholarship is eligible for credit if disclosed as such.
- Neither evidence-based nor customary and generally accepted medical practice, but not deemed dangerous or ineffective. For a CME activity to be eligible Prescribed credit under this criterion the following additional guidelines must be followed:
- The content must be presented in a manner that is primarily intended to inform physicians about the treatment options so that they may engage in a meaningful discussion with patients.
- The content must not be delivered in a manner that is intended to instruct the physician on the practical application of the content.
- The presentation must offer a balance explanation of potential benefits and risks.
Ineligible for Prescribed Credit
CME activities are not eligible for AAFP Prescribed credit if they contain clinical content that meets the criteria of the following category:
- 50% of the total activity content does not meet the eligibility criteria for AAFP CME credit.
Ineligible for Credit
CME activities are not eligible for AAFP credit if they contain clinical content that meets the criteria of the following category:
- Medical Practice that is deemed Dangerous or Ineffective: Dangerous medical practices are diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in which the risks substantially outweigh the benefits to patients. CME content is ineligible for credit if it promotes to physicians, or teaches physicians how to use, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions deemed dangerous or ineffective by one or more of the following:
- The Commission on Continuing Professional Development (COCPD)
- Findings (meta-analyses or systematic reviews) reported by sources acceptable to the COCPD
- Governmental agencies and institutions of the United States
- Sackett DL., Straus SE, Richardson WS, Rosenberg W, Haynes RB. Evidence-Based Medicine: How to Practice & Teach EBM. 2nd ed. London: Churchill Livingstone; 2000.