AAFP CME Requirement Changes Benefit Family Physicians

July 14, 2016 02:13 pm Chris Crawford

With an eye toward simplifying CME requirements for Academy members, the AAFP Board of Directors has approved condensing about half of so-called informal CME activities into one category for scholarly activities.

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Previously, members could claim a maximum number of credits for self-directed individual activities such as published research, clinical research, paper presentations, exhibit presentations, medical writing, peer review and writing test questions.

However, effective immediately, these activities can be reported simply as scholarly activities and will qualify for AAFP Prescribed credit. Members may claim a maximum of 100 credits in this area per three-year re-election cycle.

"We didn't take away members' ability to claim credit for the scholarly pursuit of knowledge; we reduced the complexity of how members report this information," Amy Smith, M.B.A., AAFP senior manager of CME credit systems and compliance, told AAFP News.

Members can earn CME credit in both formal and informal categories. Formal CME includes activities that have been certified by the AAFP for Prescribed or Elective credit. Informal CME includes self-directed learning activities that are not certified for credit.

Elaine Conrad, director of the AAFP's membership division, told AAFP News, "This effort is intended to simply make things easier for members by streamlining requirements."

The AAFP's CME reporting tool already has been modified to accommodate this change.

As a reminder, the AAFP's CME requirement calls for members to obtain a minimum of 25 credits from live learning activities every three years.

To qualify, live activities must be held in real time, include two or more people and offer either Prescribed or Elective credit. Examples include medical seminars or conferences such as AAFP clinical courses, lecture series, live webinars or life support activities (e.g., advanced cardiovascular life support, advanced trauma life support, basic life support, pediatric advanced life support).

Teaching also counts as a live activity, and members are allowed to report a maximum of 60 AAFP Prescribed credits every three years for teaching health professions learners.

Questions about this CME requirement change can be asked by email or phone at 800-274-2237.

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