FAQ: Pennsylvania Medical Society CME Certificate Requirements

1. What are the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s requirements for a CME certificate?

The Pennsylvania Medical Society is committed to assisting members in meeting their CME requirements. We will continue to certify CME for members as an exclusive member benefit, free of charge. We believe this added value to your membership is now more important than ever.

The State Society’s criteria to receive a member CME Certificate is:

  • 100 total credit hours of continuing medical education
  • A minimum of 40 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM hours
  • 12 credit hours, either AMA PRA Category 1 or Category 2 CreditsTM, must be in the areas of patient safety or risk management

Note: For the Medical Society’s CME Certificate, maximum credit limitations may be applied to certain Category 1 activities requiring direct credit through the AMA.

  • Board Certification/Maintenance of Certification – 25 credits maximum
  • Medically Related Degree—25 credits maximum
  • Poster Presentations—10 credits maximum
  • Published Articles—10 credits maximum
  • Teaching activities—10 credits maximum


2. Why are the State Society certificate requirements different from the State Board of Medicine?

The State Board of Medicine mandates 20 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per two-year licensing cycle. For a two-year certificate, the AMA’s Physician Recognition Award sets a national standard of 40 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™. Many hospitals, managed care companies, and specialty societies have adopted this standard for credentialing or membership.

The State Board of Medicine’s licensure requirement includes 12 credit hours in Patient Safety or Risk Management topics.

The State Society believes members should receive a certificate that will not only meet the State Board of Medicine’s requirements, but also will continue to meet their requirements for hospital privileges, managed care participation, specialty society membership, etc. Our certificate requirements encompass both the State Board of Medicine’s regulations and the AMA’s Physician Recognition Award requirements.


3. How can the State Society’s CME certificate benefit me if I am an Osteopathic physician?

Under current AOA guidelines, the Society is not eligible to be accredited as an AOA Category 1A provider. This means that we are not able to award Category 1A credit or issue a CME certificate based on the osteopathic credit system. The State Society will continue to offer the CME certificate to all members because we feel that it is a valuable tool for credentialing. You must, however, meet the criteria based on the AMA credit system. Please check directly with your hospitals and managed care companies to find out if they will accept the Society’s CME certificate as verification of the completion of required CME.


4. Does the State Society offer CME to meet the patient safety/risk management requirement?

The State Society has developed two newsletters approved for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM, specifically designed to comply with the approved patient safety and risk management topics from the State Board of Medicine. Managing Risk and intouch are offered exclusively to Pennsylvania Medical Society members at no cost. Members can receive the newsletters through the mail or access the content online.

For more information, or to be added to the subscriptions list, please contact Susan Wigger at (800)228-7823, ext. 2637 or swigger@pamedsoc.org.

We also offer Studies in Patient Safety and Converge, online activities that satisfy patient safety/risk management requirements.


5. How do I get a State Society CME certificate?

You can get a certificate one of two ways:

  1. Tracker is a Web-based CME organizer that was launched by the Society in July 2004. With Tracker you can enter both AMA PRA Category 1 and Category 2 CME CreditsTM as they are completed. You also can monitor your progress toward fulfilling the criteria for a CME certificate as well as the Medical Board’s requirements for licensure. When the Society’s CME certificate requirement is met, submit a request for your certificate online.
  2. You can call the CME Office at (800) 228-7823, ext. 2623 or email cmeadmin@pamedsoc.org to request a paper application.

In addition, you must retain your original documentation (course attendance certificates) for at least two years in the event that you are randomly audited by the State Board of Medicine.


6. In the past I have submitted a report of CME to the AMA (or specialty society) and then just attached a copy of the certificate that they issue to the State Society’s reporting form. Can I continue to do that for the new cycle and new requirements?

The State Society offered the option of sending in a certificate from the AMA, AAFP or other specialty society in the past to alleviate some of the paperwork for our member physicians who reported to other entities that had a comparable CME requirement. Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to accept these certificates for physicians applying for the member CME Certificate.

In light of the new regulations for licensure in Pennsylvania, the State Society will now require patient safety or risk management credit hours in order to receive a CME Certificate. Since the AMA, AAFP and other specialty societies do not currently require patient safety or risk management for their awards, the requirements are no longer comparable. In order to obtain a Pennsylvania Medical Society CME Certificate, an itemized report will need to be submitted either using Tracker or by requesting a paper form.


7. Since the cycle has changed, how will I know when to apply for a CME certificate?

Since the Society’s certificate is now an optional member benefit, the CME office will no longer send paper forms to all members. If you are using Tracker, you can request a certificate as soon as you have completed the criteria for the current cycle. If you would prefer to submit a paper form, you can call the CME office to request a form when you receive your notification for license renewal from the State Board of Medicine.


8. How can I get more information?

If you have any other questions about CME or obtaining a CME certificate from the Society, please contact the CME office at (800) 228-7823, ext. 2623 or via email at cmeadmin@pamedsoc.org.