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How to Get CME Credits: 8 Ways to Earn

By June 17, 2024CME Activities

Continuing medical education is incredibly important for multiple reasons and is therefore required by state medical boards, specialty societies, and employers. Even though you are likely required to earn CME credits, you don’t need to dread the experience. The American Medical Association recognizes seven CME formats as well as direct credit; these categories are broad and there are many ways to earn the credits you need!

1. Live Activities

Live activities, which present new information to an audience in real-time, can be either in person or virtual.

  • Conferences: CME providers host conferences in locations around the world, including on cruises.
  • Annual Meetings: Members can often claim CME credits for attending their especially society’s annual meeting.
  • Lectures: Live lectures, such as those in a series, may offer CME credits to attendees.
  • Grand Rounds: Some, but not all, grand rounds are approved for CME credit. Check with organizers for accurate information.
  • Webinars: Many of the live activities already mentioned, including conferences and grand rounds, are available virtually.
Upcoming Conferences

Earn CME credits with American Medical Seminars in person or via webinar!

2. Enduring Materials

For many providers, enduring materials that can be completed at any time are an efficient and effective way to learn new information and earn CME credits.

  • On Demand Video: CME conferences and lectures are often recorded and made available for learning at any time via a website or app. These items may also be downloadable so you can learn without an internet connection.
  • Podcasts: If you’re an avid podcast listener, it will be easy to earn CME credits via audio series from popular CME companies.
  • Question Banks: Question banks are especially valuable for providers studying for board exams. Digital flashcards are another CME option in this situation.
  • Books: Some CME providers and medical publishers share information in print format in addition to more interactive enduring materials.

3. Journals and Publications

CME providers pair articles from a peer-reviewed professional journal with relevant questions to help learners reflect on the contents of the article. The number of credits available depends on how long the activity should take, much like other types of CME.

4. Internet Point of Care

Also referred to as internet searching and learning, point of care CME gives providers the ability to claim CME credit for the research they’re likely already doing to better serve patients. This “self-directed, online learning” allows physicians to learn deeply in areas relevant to their clinical practice.

5. Performance Improvement (PI) CME

PI CME is highly personalized to a healthcare provider or team. The American Medical Association dictates this type of CME should have three steps, guiding practitioners through the assessment, improvement, and reevaluation of a specific element of their practice.

6. Test-Item Writing

Becoming (and remaining) a physician requires many, many tests. The practitioners who write those tests may be able to claim their contributions as CME credit. If you’ve researched, written, and reviewed test items for exams, boards, or peer-reviewed self-assessment activities, you may be eligible!

7. Manuscript Review

Much like earning CME credits from engaging with journal articles, physicians can also earn credits as prepublication manuscript peer reviewers. This CME activity has shown “positive learning outcomes” for reviewers, especially for those who refer to additional sources.

8. Direct Credit

The AMA knows teaching information is one of the best ways to learn it yourself. Direct credit opportunities include publishing peer-reviewed articles, poster presentations, and teaching at a live activity. More traditional modes of learning can also be used toward CME credit requirements under this category, such as earning a medically-related advanced degree, American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member-board certification or ABMS Maintenance of Certification (MOC), or an ACGME-accredited residency or fellowship.

Professional Name & Certification Type are Required.

To claim credit, you must supply your Professional Name and Certification Type on the Account Details page.


» Click the Update Account Details button. On the next page provide your information and click the Save Changes button.