Continuing Medical Education(CME) Definitions of
AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and Category 2 Credit

(excerpted from the American Medical Association - Physician's Recognition Award)

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™

Live or attendance-based activities:
CME activities which physicians must attend in order to receive credit may range from national conferences to local workshops, seminars, grand rounds, or departmental scientific meetings. Regardless of venue or format, compliance with AMA PRA rules is expected.

Enduring Materials:
Enduring materials are printed, recorded, audio, video, and electronic activities that may be used over time at various locations, and that in themselves constitute a planned CME activity. To be designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, enduring materials must:
Comply with all standards for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ activities
Provide clear instructions to the learner, including a determination of how long most physicians will take to complete the activity (the credits US licensed physicians can claim for the activity, also reflected in the designation statement)
Provide access, where appropriate, to bibliographic sources that allow for further study, and that reinforce and clarify specific program topics
Provide for some type of learner interaction, such as a patient-management situation or a series of thematically relevant questions. This can be done by testing the physician's recall of program content, and/or ability to apply new concepts in response to simulated problems
Verify physician participation. Providers typically accomplish this through the examination or activity evaluation. Whatever mechanism a provider chooses must include a place for physicians to record the actual time spent on the activity, up to the maximum for which it is designated
As with live activities, providers may award credit to US licensed physicians who submit materials that verify their participation in the activity. Providers may issue credit certificates that recognize the extent to which US physicians claim they participated in an activity
If examinations are used, then providers should score these confidentially and return them to the physician along with his or her credit certificate
If a group of physicians chooses to use AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ enduring materials, then a facilitator needs to be assigned in order to lead discussion.

Journal-based CME:
Accredited providers who also publish peer-reviewed, professional journals may designate
journal activities for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. To do so, providers must ensure that:
Their activity meets the criteria for formal (live) CME activities; i.e., clearly identifies learning objectives and target audience, offers physician-oriented content in both depth and scope, verifies physician participation, and assesses compliance with its stated objectives. The latter can be accomplished through an evaluation or examination that US physicians return to the provider for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
Their material (article content) is published in a peer-reviewed journal. By design, and as part of the needs assessment, the topics selected for journal-based CME should fit logically within the community of professional interests represented by the journal's physician readership
They develop an overall educational plan that defines both the topics and educational objectives their appropriately designated journal activities will address over a specific time
period. The plan will also identify how, at the end of this period, the provider will evaluate the
program's success in meeting these objectives.

New procedures:
Through new procedures and skills courses, providers train physicians on
topics that allow them to request new or expanded clinical privileges. For these activities, a provider must assess whether a physician has acquired the knowledge and skills to carry out the new procedure. The AMA has established a system of four levels so that providers and participants can clearly identify the depth and complexity of the course. After completing a new procedure educational activity, physicians can present their credit certificate to the appropriate credentialing authority as documentation of his or her education and training.
The four levels are:
1. Verification of attendance: The physician attended and completed the course
2. Verification of satisfactory completion of course objectives: The physician satisfied all specified learning objectives
3. Verification of proctor readiness: "Proctor ready," which subsumes levels 1 and 2, asserts the physician can successfully perform the procedure under proctor supervision. A physician proctor can competently oversee another physician performing a given procedure
4. Verification of physician competence to perform the procedure: Competence asserts the physician can successfully perform the procedure without further supervision.

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ activities providers do not designate:
US licensed physicians may also earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for certain specific activities that providers cannot so designate. To obtain credit for these activities, physicians must apply to the AMA Physician's Recognition Award department on line or by mailing a downloadable .pdf document to the AMA. These activities include:

Articles physicians publish, as first or second lead author, in journals indexed by the Index Medicus

Teaching at a live activity approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
1. Faculty may be awarded two (2) AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ for each hour they present at a live activity designated for such credit.
2. Faculty may not claim simultaneous credit as physician learners for sessions at which they present; however, they may claim participant credit for other sessions they attend as learners at a designated live activity.
3. Credit may only be claimed once for repeated presentations.

Preparing a poster presentation, which is also included in the published abstracts, for a live activity approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member board certification and recertification;

Medically related advanced degrees, such as a masters in public health, and

Participation in an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited residency or fellowship program.

In addition, US licensed physicians can earn credit for attending international conferences approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, or by undertaking an independent learning program which has been approved well in advance by the AMA. Additional details can be found in the AMA PRA information booklet for physicians.

AMA PRA Category 2 Credit
Physicians may claim Category 2 credit toward the PRA for such physician directed learning activities as: the teaching of residents, medical students, or other health professionals; online study; reading authoritative medical literature; or attending live activities not designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. In each case, the physician individually determines the educational value of those AMA PRA category 2 activities he or she participates in. Accredited providers do not designate activities for AMA PRA category 2 credit. Physicians should claim credit for appropriate AMA PRA category 2 activities on the PRA application form.

(as was appended to the biannual Application for Reappointment to the Medical Staff of New York-Presbyterian Hospital [NYPH] - Cornell form in 2007)

AMA PRA information booklet for physicians

archived AMA PRA information booklet for physicians
in case above link is broken (if file/directory was renamed)

AMA PRA Frequently Asked Questions for Physicians

archived AMA PRA FAQ for physicians
in case above link is broken (if file/directory was renamed)

AMA PRA Frequently Asked Questions for CME providers

archived AMA PRA FAQ for CME providers
in case above link is broken (if file/directory was renamed)

last updated on Tuesday, January 23, 2007