Continuing Medical Education Pilot Program

Details on a new initiative


Q: What is the CME Pilot Program?

A: This new Continuing Medical Education, “CME,” (and Continuing Professional Development) Program will enable physicians to target their learning experiences to the patients that they care for.



Q: Why is the Board undertaking this Pilot Program?

A: The Board intends this program to improve and enrich a physician’s educational experiences. The new program will expand a physician’s knowledge and, by doing so, will enhance patient safety.


Q: When does the CME Pilot Program begin?

A: It begins on January 1, 2018, applying to licensees that renew on or after January 1, 2018.


Q: Who will this program affect?

A: The Pilot Program applies to all active licensees who have a CME requirement. It does not apply to inactive licensees. It does not apply to limited licensees.

Starting January 1, 2018, whenever a licensee’s next license renewal is due, the new Pilot Program CME requirements will be in effect.

Full licensees serving active military duty in a uniformed service or the National Guard during a national emergency or crisis may be eligible for an exemption from the CME requirement.


Q: What Learning Formats can Physicians use?

A: A physician may use traditional lecture formats, including Grand Rounds.

Physicians may also use quality assurance, self-audits or practice audits, HEDIS® reports, meeting MACRA measures and point of care learning.


Q: How is Point of Care Learning defined?

A: Point of care learning means research and reference sources used immediately at the point of care with a patient. Physicians may claim 1 credit for each hour of reading a journal or a point of care resource accessed in the process of delivering patient care or updating clinical knowledge. These POC learning credits may be either Category 1 or 2 credits.


Q: For purposes of this Pilot Program, does a physician need to keep track of the category of CME credits?

A: No.

The American Medical Association uses the classifications of “Category 1” or “Category 2.” For Pilot Program purposes, CME’s may be in either Category 1 or 2, and the physician does not need to log the Category. 


Q: May a physician take the same CME course in different renewal cycles?

A: Yes, if the physician is retaking the course in order to master the material or if the material has been updated.


Q: Is it possible to obtain a Waiver of the CME requirement?

A: Yes, a physician can obtain a CME Waiver in cases of prolonged illness or where there is an inaccessibility or unavailability of CME activities.

The CME Waiver form is online.


Q: Should a physician still keep documentation of the CME credits earned?

A: Yes. You should maintain a log of the course name, time spent and the date the CME was completed.

Additionally, you must maintain your records for at least one full license renewal cycle after the cycle in which the credits were earned. The CME requirement is a condition of licensure, and a licensee must state under oath that he or she has obtained the requisite number of credits.


Q: How does a course or activity qualify for Risk Management credit?

A: To qualify for Risk Management credit, the course or activity must have as its primary subject matter the question of whether systemic changes could improve patient care.

The CME course or activity may be either Category 1 or 2. (Previously, there had to be at least 4 credits from Category 1.)


Q: How Does the Pilot Program work?

A: The following chart lists the current Board requirements that are due on a biennial basis and the new requirements that will be due under the CME Pilot Program.

Please note, if a licensee has already satisfied a one-time-only requirement prior to Jan. 1, 2018, there is no need to retake the requirement.

Previous Biennial Requirement
  • 100 CME Credits, 40% in Category 1

Jan. 1, 2018 Requirement

  • 50 CME Credits, either Category 1 or 2
Specialized Credits Included in the 100
  • 2 Credits in End of Life Care* issues
  • 3 Credits in Opioid Education and Pain Management, if the physician prescribes controlled substances
  • 10 Credits in Risk Mgmt, 4 in Cat. 1
  • 3 Credits in Electronic Health Records*
  • 2 Hours Studying 243 CMR 1.00-3.00
Specialized Credits Included in the 50
  • 2 Credits in End of Life Care* issues
  • 3 Credits in Opioid Education and Pain Management, if the physician prescribes controlled substances
  • 10 Credits in Risk Mgmt, Cat. 1 or 2
  • 3 Credits in Electronic Health Records*
  • 2 Credits Per Chapter for Reading the Board’s Regs, 243 CMR 1.00-3.00

Educational Requirements that are Separate From the CME Requirements applicable to both:

  • Child Abuse and Neglect Training*
  • Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Training*


*this is a one-time-only requirement

Additional Resources for