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Clinical Education
Information about Continuing Medical Education (CME)

Unlike the Academy's other CME resources pages, this page is not a 'how to'. This page is not about the the components of a CME activity, but about CME itself.

Below are links to information about the history and effectiveness of CME, links to governing regulations, guidelines, and white papers on ethics.

As an introduction, watch Dr. Murray Kopelow, CEO of the ACCME, give an overview of the ACCME criteria and intention behind the various guidelines.

Regulations and Guidelines

The regulations and guidelines found below are documents governing the process, content, and delivery of CME activities.

Medical meetings, guideline cheat-sheet

  • A quick reference detailing which organization has rules governing a specific aspect of planning.

The ACCME's Essential Elements, 2006 Criteria, and the Standards for Commercial Support (SCS) 

  • This document by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) is the chief governing document on how accredited providers (such as the Academy) must operate a CME program.

The AMA PRA 2010 Revision

  • The American Medical Association (AMA)'s 2010 revision of the Physician's Recognition Award (PRA) and credit system. The AMA own the credit system (the AMA PRA) of which the ACCME are tasked with enforcement. Both the AMA's and ACCME's guidelines determine if, and how, an activity can be accredited.

Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals (AKA: the PhRMA Code)

  • This voluntary guideline issued by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) details the industry's ethical guidelines for relationships with healthcare professionals.

AdvaMed Code of Ethics: On Interaction with Health Care Professionals

  • This code of ethics, developed by The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), seeks to facilitate interactions between Companies and individuals or entities involved in the provision of health care services.

CMSS Code for Interactions with Companies

  • This voluntary "code of conduct", drafted by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS)'s Task force on Professionalism and Conflicts of Interest ("Task Force"), seeks to guide Societies in the development of policies and procedures to safeguard independent decision making from commercial influence. The Academy was one of the initial signors of the CMSS Code for Interactions with Companies.

NAMEC's Code of Conduct for Commercially Supported CME

  • This document, produced by the National Association of Medical Education Companies (NAMEC) is perhaps the clearest document detailing the various regulations and guideliens from each of the CME-influencing agencies. The "Code of Conduct" is a valuable resource for any CME professional.

The AMA's Council for Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) report 1-A-11

  • This report, approved by the AMA's House of Delegates (HOD) on 6/21/11 has yet to be incorporated into the AMA PRA. However, it is the latest potential change in the CME landscape and something to be aware of.

CME/Joint Sponsorship Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Questions asked of, and answered by, the Academy's CME department.
The history and effectiveness of Continuing Medical Education

'The Flexner Report': Medical Education in the United States and Canada, Abraham Flexner, 1910.

  • This 337 page report was published by the Carnegie Foundation, and drafted for the AMA Council on Medical Education. "To a remarkable extent, the following present-day aspects of the medical profession in North America are consequences of the Flexner Report."
Evidence Report: Effectiveness of Continuing Medical Education.
  • Prepared for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), January 2007
The creation of the 2006 ACCME criteria