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Integrating an Effective CME Presence into the Academic Medical Center

Academic CME Survey

The 2014 update of the Continuing Education and Improvement Section of the Group on Educational Affairs (GEA) and the AAMC Medical Education Cluster.

Q&A Credits


Is there a maximum number of teaching credits that can be issued per faculty?

There is no limit to the amount of credits one can earn under the Learning from Teaching program. Each individual activity will determine the number of credits available to claim for that one activity. Faculty may not receive credit more than once for the same time period, even if the audience involves residents and students from more than one program and even if being verified by two or more different LCME/ACGME programs.

What are the credits ‘for’?

A key concept is that the CME credit being discussed is for learning that is then employed in the teaching setting. It is not credit for teaching. CME credit is not a reward or payment, but rather is a recognition/acknowledgement/metric intended to note that the physician has engaged in an educational activity which serves to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession.

The credit applies to learning associated with teaching, NOT to the teaching activity itself.

The phrase “preparation and teach­ing” means that the learning is taking place in the preparation stage for the purpose of teaching. Neither preparation nor teaching alone are sufficient in and of themselves for the purpose of claiming this CME credit. In this interpretation, the time spent with the student, utilizing what the faculty member learned, is the metric used for determining credit. If the physician does not prepare to teach, and therefore does not learn anything, spending time with students or residents by itself is not sufficient to receive credit. Thus, if there is no learning that can be identified in the preparation stage, there is no credit for spending time with students or residents. This is similar to the concept of CME credit for faculty at AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ activities that has been in place for CME providers since 2006.

Does this type of credit apply to learning clinical material as well as learning educational techniques, (i.e., not just learning about teaching itself)?

Clinical material and educational techniques are both included among the topics that a physician could study and learn about. For example, if the physician identifies a need—such as learning more about inflammatory bowel disease, or ethics, or the appropriate way to give feedback—in order to teach students, the physician's learning could be claimed for CME credit.

Can the awarding of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit be extended to any physicianwhether community-based or institution-based, full or part-time, voluntary, salaried, or unsalaried?

The Learning from Teaching project was intended originally to provide community-based physicians who volunteer to teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels. However, the AMA has not restricted this format to any subset of undergraduate or graduate clinical faculty, salaried or not salaried, community based or otherwise. Learning from Teaching is based on the premise that teachers at these levels acquire knowledge through their teaching activities which, those of us who teach know, involves preparation for and the conduct of the actual live teaching.

How is the credit calculated?

Physician faculty may be awarded credit based on a 2-to-1 ratio to teaching time, i.e., the time spent in discussing/teaching the student or trainee—not preparation time. This makes the metric consistent with the metric for faculty at an AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ activity. Obviously, if there was no time spent preparing by learning, then there is no credit. To put in another way, the credit is to recognize the learning that occurs as physicians prepare to teach but the credit is calculated based on the time spent using what they learned to teach.

For example, faculty may be awarded two AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ for one hour spent teaching or 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credist™ for 45 minutes spent teaching. Credits should be rounded to the nearest one-quarter credit.

Again, Faculty may not receive credit more than once for the same time period, even if the audience involves residents and students from more than one program and even if being verified by two or more different LCME/ACGME programs. Examples of a mechanism to accomplish this include, but are not limited to, a list of faculty approved for credit from the UME and/or GME office, or a co-signature by a UME/GME authority on credit documentation/claim forms provided by physician participants.

Will Learning from Teaching format be available for DO credits?

We suggest checking directly with the American Osteopathic Association External Link for confirmation, clarification, or corrections.