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ASPS Continuing Medical Education Requirements

Requirements Overview

All ASPS Active Members and Candidates for Membership must earn 150 credits of Continuing Medical Education (CME) during a consecutive three-year period. Of these 150 credits no fewer than 60 must be AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, of which 50 of the 150 credits necessary must be earned in plastic surgery activities. Also, 20 of the 150 credits must be earned in patient safety related topics and may be either AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ or AMA PRA Category 2 Credits™.

Patient Safety CME - ASPS educational materials indicate programs that incorporate Patient Safety CME and the number of applicable credits. A broad view of topics applicable as Patient Safety CME are:

  • Prophylaxis measures such as ACLS or complication management
  • Quality assurance activities such as TOPS (maximum 5 hours toward patient safety during the three year CME cycle)
  • All courses related to: Risk Management, Appropriate Patient Selection, Physical Plant Safety and Anesthesia Care
  • Device training (maximum 5 hours toward patient safety during the three year CME cycle)
  • Research on a patient safety topic (maximum 5 hours toward patient safety during the three year CME cycle)
  • Accreditation organizations workshops (maximum 5 hours toward patient safety during the three year CME cycle)

For a complete listing of ASPS educational programs, view the upcoming ASPS meetings & educational offerings.

Of the 20 required credits for patient safety CME, ASPS recommends that 8 be AMA PRA Category 2 Credits™ and the remaining 12 be AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

Submitted credits that have been designated for patient safety and risk management may be subject to review.

Definition of Continuing Medical Education (CME)

A broad definition of CME is that all continuing education activities which assist physicians in carrying out their professional responsibilities more effectively and efficiently are CME.

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™: No Credit Limit (minimum 60 credits)

In order to meet the criteria for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, a continuing medical education activity must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be sponsored by an Accredited Provider
    This organization must be accredited for CME by one of the state medical associations or by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).
  2. Be designated as Category 1 education by that organization
    Organizations sponsoring CME activities are responsible for informing participants whether a program has been designated Category 1 and, if so, how many credits can be earned for completing the activity.
  3. Residency – Participation in an ACGME-accredited program
    50 Category 1 credits may be claimed for each full year of AMA or Liaison Committee on Graduate Medical Education approved internship, residency or fellowship training taken during the three-year period.
  4. Direct Credit
    Please note that AMA PRA Category I Credit™ for certain activities may ONLY be awarded directly by the AMA, such as:
    • Teaching in Live CME Activities
    • Poster Presentation
    • Published Articles
    • Medically Related Advanced Degree
    • ABMS/ABPS Certification, Recertification and Maintenance of Certification

Physicians must claim credit for each activity completed. After doing so, the credits will then be added to a physician's individual file if ASPS is the accredited provider awarding credit.

For tracking purposes, other credits may be self-reported by the physician learners unless special reporting arrangements have been made with other organizations (ASAPS, Baker Gordon, etc.).

Category 2: All Other Categories of CME - 90 Credit Limit

Category 2 is defined as all educational activities not designated category 1 that meet the AMA definition of CME, and the physician finds to be a worthwhile learning experience related to his/her practice. Category 2 activities are based on an hour-for-hour on self directed activities. Below is a list of possible Category 2 activities. For detailed explanations, please visit the AMA website.

  • CME lectures, workshops and seminars not designated Category 1
  • Teaching health professionals
  • Consultation with peers and medical experts
  • Developing and reviewing quality assessment data
  • Use of electronic databases in patient care
  • Use of enduring materials
  • Small group discussions
  • Self assessment activities
  • Journal club activities not designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • Medical writings
  • Teleconferences
  • Preceptorship


Members failing to meet the requirement of attaining 150 credits of CME in a three-year cycle shall be placed on probation. If, at the end of the one-year probationary period, the CME credit requirements have still not been met, the physician's membership will be suspended. Continued failure to comply will result in the member being dropped from membership.


If you need a copy of your current report or have any questions about CME requirements, please e-mail or call the ASPS Member Services Center at 1-800-766-4955.