AOA CME Guide for Osteopathic Physicians

CME Guide for Osteopathic Physicians (2010-2012)

All members of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), other than those exempted, are required to participate in the continuing medical education (CME) program and to meet specified CME credit hour requirements for the 2010-2012 CME cycle. 

The requirement for membership in the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) is 120 CME hours. Of this total, 30 CME credits must be obtained in Category 1-A, and the remaining 90 credit hours of the CME requirement may be satisfied with either Category 1-A, 1-B, 2-A, or 2-B credits. Physicians entering the program in mid cycle will have their credit requirements prorated. Your individual CME Activity Report outlines your total CME requirement and the amount of credits required in categories 1 and 2.

Members who obtain 150 credits or more of AOA approved applicable CME credit in a three-year CME cycle will be given a certificate of excellence in CME. These hours must be earned by December 31, but reported no later than May 31 of the current CME cycle.

In recognition that members of the AOA who hold specialty or subspecialty certificates in those specialties with less than 250 certificate holders may have difficulty accruing the necessary AOA 1-A credits required for membership, and to allow adequate time for the development of such programs, such members may apply ACCME or AAFP category 1 credits to their AOA 1-A credit requirement up to the maximum credits per cycle as per the following table:



2007-2009 20 Credits 10 Credits 30 Credits
2010-2012 15 Credits 15 Credits 30 Credits
2013-2015 10 Credits 20 Credits 30 Credits
2016 - onward 0 Credits 30 Credits 30 Credits

For eligibility in this program, contact your certifying board.

Note that this only applies to the AOA 30 Category 1-A membership requirement. For credits required for certification, see section IX of the CME Guide for Osteopathic Physicians - 2010-2012 (PDF).

The acceptance of ACCME, AAFP, or credits from any other certifying body by the CCME in order to fulfill AOA CME requirement does not convert said credits to AOA credits.

The AOA assigns CME credit to four categories: 1-A, 1-B, 2-A, and 2-B.

Category 1-A Credit

AOA Category 1-A credits will be granted to attendees for formal educational programs designed to enhance clinical competence and improve patient care. These programs must be sponsored by an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsor and are limited to:

  1. Formal Osteopathic CME
    Formal Osteopathic CME consists of formal face-to-face programs that meet the Category 1 quality guidelines and faculty requirements and are sponsored by AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsors.
  2. Osteopathic Medical Teaching
    Physicians who deliver formal osteopathic medical education in a didactic format are eligible to receive Category 1-A credit on an hour-for-hour basis. Methods of such education are limited to:
    1. Formal delivery of osteopathic medical education lectures in colleges of osteopathic medicine,
    2. Formal delivery of osteopathic medical education to students, interns, residents, and staff of AOA-approved healthcare facilities. Teaching credit must be submitted by the CME Department of an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME college of osteopathic medicine or Category 1 CME sponsoring hospital.
  3. Standardized Federal Aviation Courses
    The Federal Aviation Administration “Aviation Medicine” course and the United States Army “Flight Surgeon Primary Course" are eligible for Category 1-A credit.
  4. Federal Programs
    AOA Category 1-A credit will be awarded for formal CME programs to participants who are on active duty or employed by a uniformed service. Category 1-B will be awarded to all other federal CME activities.
  5. Grand Rounds
    Grand rounds will be considered for AOA Category 1-A credit when submitted as a series of at least three programs, as opposed to being submitted on a lecture-by-lecture basis. The Category 1 CME Sponsor must meet the Accreditation Requirement to award AOA Category 1-A credit.
  6. Faculty Development Programs
    Faculty development programs will be granted Category 1-A credit up to a maximum of 10 credits per CME cycle and Category 1-B credity for any excess credits if sponsored by an AOA-accredited Category 1 CME sponsor and meet the 1-A faculty/hours requirement.
  7. Judging Osteopathic Clinical Case Presentations and Research Poster Presentations
    Osteopathic physicians serving as formal judges for osteopathic clinical case presentations and research poster presentations at a formal CME function will be awarded AOA Category 1-A credits on an hour-for-hour basis up to a maximum of 10 credits per AOA 3-year CME cycle.


Category 1-B Credit

Category 1-B credit may be awarded for the following:

  1. Publications, Inspections, Examinations, and Committee Meetings
    Development and publication of scientific papers and electronically communicated osteopathic educational programs; serving as an osteopathic healthcare facility, college accreditation, internship, residency or OPTI survey or or consultant; conducting and developing certifying board examinations; participating on an osteopathic state licensing professional review board; and for healthcare committee and departmental meetings which review and evaluate patient care whether the committee work is in an osteopathic or allopathic institution.
  2. Osteopathic Preceptoring
    Osteopathic physicians serving as preceptors in any AOA approved osteopathic medical education program may be granted Category 1-B credit. A maximum of 60 hours of AOA Category 1-B for preceptoring may be applied to the 120-hour requirement.

    No credit is available for preceptoring physician assistants, nurse practitioners, or allopathic medical students.
  3. Certification Credit
    Fifteen hours of Category 1-B credit will be awarded to AOA members who pass an AOA recertification examination or obtain a certification of added qualifications.
  4. Activities in Non-AOA Accredited Institutions
    Category 1-B may be granted to osteopathic physicians who participate in non-AOA accredited institution/hospital activities such as: hospital staff activities, educational lectures, and lecturing when the institution/hospital is an AOA recognized associate institution/hospital that trains osteopathic students, interns and/or residents. Under this rule, a non-AOA accredited institution/hospital is defined as an institution/hospital that is directly associated with an OPTI for purposes of training osteopathic students, interns and/or residents. Accreditation of the hospital/institution by the Healthcare Facility Accreditation Program (HFAP) of the AOA is not required.
  5. Non-Osteopathic CME Programs
    The Council on Continuing Medical Education may recognize allopathic specialty or subspecialty programs for Category 1-B credit, when there is essentially no equivalent course content available within the osteopathic profession and that such recognition will apply to all physicians in that specialty or subspecialty. These courses must be provided by an ACCME accredited provider, be AAFP approved, or be provided by an internationally known sponsor acceptable to the CCME.

    To request consideration of a non-osteopathic course for Category 1-B credit, write to the Division of CME at AOA Headquarters in Chicago and provide a copy of the Non-Osteopathic Programs - Cat 1B form, along with the printed program (or syllabus) and documentation of attendance. 

    The AOA performs reviews of such courses as a member service. Non-members who request AOA Category 1-B credit for allopathic sponsored CME programs must submit an application fee of $25.00 and a $10.00 processing fee for each program submitted for review.
  6. Journal Reading
    Osteopathic physicians can earn two hours of AOA Category 1-B credit for reading JAOA-The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association and other osteopathic journals approved by the CCME and passing the respective CME quiz with a minimum grade of 70%.
  7. Test Construction Committee Work
    1. Formal
      1. Test construction committee work may be awarded Category 1-B credit when performed as part of a seminar, meeting of an AOA official certifying board, or an AOA practice affiliates postgraduate in-service examination committee, or at a meeting of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners with at least three attendees.
      2. Ten Category 1-B credits will be awarded for administering the oral and practical examinations.
    2. Informal
      1. One Category 1-B credit will be awarded for each test item written, with a maximum of 10 credits per cycle, when submitted to an AOA official certifying board and/or The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.
      2. Two Category 1-B credits will be awarded, with a maximum of 20 credits per cycle, for clinical cases developed and submitted to the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.

        Credits will not be awarded for meetings that are primarily administrative in nature.


    Category 2-A Credit

    Category 2-A includes formal educational programs that are ACCME-accredited, AAFP-approved, an internationally known sponsor acceptable to the CCME, or sponsored by AOA-accredited Category 1 CME Sponsors that do not meet the 1-A faculty/hours requirement for Category 1-A credit.

    Category 2-B Credit

    Category 2-B credit also shall be awarded for: the preparation and presentation of scientific exhibits at a county, regional, state, or national professional meeting (10 hours per scientific exhibit); home study; reading medical journals; viewing non-osteopathic medical video and audio tapes and cassettes; journal type CME on the Internet; faculty development; physician administrative training; quality assessment programs; observations at medical centers; courses in medical economics; CME programs on the Internet; risk management programs that are administrative in nature; programs dealing with experimental and investigative areas of medical practice, and ABMS recertification examination or a certificate of added certification (15 hours). Five credit hours may be granted for reading medical textbooks. A copy of the Home Study CME Certification Form can be found on DO-Online.

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