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Accreditation FAQs

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Q: What is the ACCME?
A: The UC San Diego School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to sponsor (designate credit) continuing medical education (CME) for physicians. UC San Diego CME is tasked with ensuring that all CME activities are in compliance with the ACCME Essential Areas, Elements, Criteria, Policies and Standards for Commercial Support (SCS) as well as other regulations and laws as they relate to the provision of CME.

Q: What kind of credit are you offering to physicians? 
A: We certify activities for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. The American Medical Association’s (AMA) Physician’s Recognition Program has been in effect for more than 40 years. AMA PRA credit is recognized and accepted by hospital credentialing bodies, state medical licensure boards and medical specialty certifying boards, as well as other organizations. Within the United States, the AMA only authorizes organizations that are accredited by the ACCME or by a state medical society recognized by the ACCME, referred to as “accredited CME pro­viders,” to designate and award AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ to physicians.

Q: What is the definition of CME?
A: The AMA and the Council on Medical Education have defined continuing medical education as follows: CME consists of educational activities which serve 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 content of CME is the body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine and the provision of health care to the public.

Q: What types of activities can be certified for credit?
A: Non-promotional learning activities certified for credit prior to the activity that are in alignment with the definition of CME as described above.

Note: accredited CME providers may certify nonclinical subjects (e.g. office management, patient-physician communications, faculty development) for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ as long as they are appropriate to a physician audience and benefit the profession, patient care or public health.

CME activities may describe or explain complementary and alter­native health care practices. As with any CME activity, these need to include discussion of the existing level of scientific evidence that supports such practices.

Q: What kinds of activities are ineligible for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™? 
A: Education that advocates specific alternative therapies or teaches how to perform associ­ated procedures, without scientific evidence or general acceptance among the profession that supports their efficacy and safety, cannot be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

CME credit may not be claimed for learning which is incidental to the regular professional activities or practice of a physician, such as learning that occurs from:

  • Clinical experience
  • Charity or mission work
  • Mentoring
  • Surveying
  • Serving on a committee, council, task force, board, house of delegates or other professional workgroup
  • Passing examinations that are not integrated with a certified activity

Q: Who can claim AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™?
A: Physicians eligible to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ are individuals who have completed an MD, DO or equivalent medical degree from another country, or who have obtained a Fifth Pathway certificate.