PA State Board of Medicine CME Requirements for Unrestricted License (MD)




 In order to renew a license, completion of 100 credit hours of continuing medical education in the preceding biennial period, which runs from January 1 of the odd year through December 31 of the next even year, will be required for medical doctors.

                 Twenty (20) of those credit hours must be completed in AMA PRA Category 1 activities.      

                At least 12 hours of the 100 must be completed in activities related to patient safety or risk  management and may be completed in either Category 1 or 2.

                The remaining credit hours shall be completed in either Category 1 or Category 2 approved  activities.

 PRA/BOARD CERTIFICATION certificates are NOT proof of CME compliance by themselves. In addition to submitting a copy of their Board Certification or PRA certificates, the physician must supply copies of the certificates/documents submitted to earn the above.

 Please note: These certificates must include all of the required acceptable information.* All dates must fall within the two year time frame of the renewal cycle.

 The following are guidelines established by the Board for CME

 Category 1 activities are those that have been approved by an accredited provider. Your CME certificate will also state that the activity has been approved for Category 1 credit and name the institution or organization that is awarding the credit. If you have participated in Category 1 activities, the provider should provide you with a certificate of completion.

 *Acceptable certificates/documentation must include:

                Name of the licensee

                Name of the course

                Date of the course

                Number of credit hours earned

                Provider of the course

                Category type

 Category 2 credit hours is self designated and claimed by individual physicians for participation in education activities not designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit that:

                comply with the AMA definition of CME; and

                a physician finds to be a worthwhile learning experience related to his/her practice.

 Examples of learning activities that meet the requirements for AMA PRA Category 2 Credit include but are not limited to:

                participation in educational activities that have not been designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

                teaching physicians, residents, medical students or other health professionals

                unstructured online searching and learning

                reading authoritative medical literature

                consultation with peers and medical experts

                small group discussions

                self assessment activities

                medical writing

                preceptorship participation


Category 2 Credit Documentation must include:

                activity title

                subject or content area

                date(s) of participation (i.e., Month/day/year)

                number of credits claimed

 A Category 2 Continuing Medical Education Reporting Form can be found on our web site at

 Calculation of Category 2 Physicians should claim credit based on their participation time with sixty minutes of participation equal to one (1) AMA PRA Category 2 credit. Credit is claimed in 15 minute or 0.25 credit increments; physicians must round to the nearest quarter hour.

Approved activities in the area of patient safety and risk management may include the following topics:

                Improving medical records and record keeping

                Reducing medical errors

                Professional conduct and ethics

                Improving communications

                Preventative medicine

                Healthcare quality improvements

 The following exemptions of the continuing medical education requirement may apply for certain physicians:

  • A physician applying for licensure in this Commonwealth for the first time shall be exempt from the  continuing medical education requirement for the biennial renewal period in which initial licensure is   acquired.
  • A physician holding a temporary training license within the renewal cycle shall be exempt from the  continuing medical education requirement.
  • A licensee who holds an active/retired license, who provides care only to immediate family members, shall be exempt for the continuing medical education requirement
  • A physician who is on inactive status shall be exempt from the continuing medical education requirement.
  • A physician who is seeking to reinstate an inactive or lapsed license shall show proof of compliance with the continuing education requirement for the preceding renewal period.

 Waiver of the CME requirements may be permitted as follows:

  • The board may grant a hardship waiver of all or a part of the continuing medical education  requirement in cases of serious illness, military service or other good cause provided that the public’s safety and welfare will not be jeopardized by the granting of the waiver
  • A request for waiver must be made in writing, with appropriate documentation, and include a description of circumstances sufficient to show why compliance is impossible. All waiver requests  must be presented to the Board for review/approval prior to the renewal of the license.
  • Waiver requests will be evaluated by the board on a case-by-case basis. The Board will send written notification of its approval or denial of a waiver request.

 The waiver request is considered untimely if it is made after the license period during which the CME was to have been completed.

 Additional information about continuing education and a copy of the State Board’s law and regulations, can be found on our website at







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