SAFM Semester Programs NOW meet the accreditation requirements for Continuing Medical Education (CME)!
December 17, 2019 | No Comments | SAFM Team
The fields of medicine and science never stop the quest for understanding and new discovery—and neither should medical practitioners. As a requirement to retain their licensure, medical practitioners rely on accredited continuing medical education (CME) to give them the progressive knowledge and insight they need to optimize their patient care. We are delighted to announce that SAFM’s Semester programs (both Core 101 and Advanced 202) meet the rigorous standards to be accredited for continuing medical education credits**. We are grateful for this acknowledgement as a respected, rigorous, and comprehensive education program.
What You Should Know
The following details go into effect starting with the next AFMC Exam window we are holding in mid-February 2020. Students who complete either semester course (the Core 101 Semester or the Advanced 202 Semester) and also successfully pass the associated AFMC certification exam will then qualify to claim 50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Passing of the AFMC Level 1 Exam confirms completion of the Core 1 Semester and passing of the AFMC Level 2 Exam confirms completion of the Advanced 202 Semester.
AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ is the most commonly accepted form of CE required for licensure and license renewal, with varying requirements depending on the profession and jurisdiction. The vast majority of US state and territory medical boards (both allopathic and osteopathic) have mandatory continuing education and competence requirements for license renewal.
As joint providers, MedicusCME and SAFM will issue a credit certificate or certificate of participation at the completion of each activity (in this case determined by passing of AFMC Level 1 or Level 2 Exam) stating that 50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ are being awarded. The details of this process will be communicated to those that become eligible during the February 2020 Exam window (and those who participate in future windows).
The Particulars (FAQs)
- What exactly is a CME Provider?
- An organization accredited as a provider of continuing medical education. Accredited continuing medical education (CME) providers assume the responsibility and accountability for developing certified educational activities. ACCME-accredited providers represent a range of organizational types and offer CME primarily to national or international audiences of physicians and other licensed healthcare professionals.
- What are AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™?
- The type of CME credit that physicians earn by participating in certified activities sponsored by CME providers (accredited by either the ACCME or an ACCME-recognized State/Territory Medical Society) which are recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) as valid educational activities. Physicians and other licensed healthcare professionals use qualified credits to meet requirements for maintenance of licensure, maintenance of specialty board certification, credentialing, membership in professional societies, and other professional privileges. The detailed requirements for credit designation are determined by the organization responsible for the credit system.
- I am not a physician or medical practitioner; can I use these credits for CEU license requirements in my modality?
- Non-physician health professionals who complete a CME-designated activity such as ours are provided a Certificate of Participation which verifies that they participated in an ACCME-accredited activity with the stated number of CME credits. The non-physician participant can then take that certificate to their accrediting body to apply for determination of equivalency and CME fulfillment. We will be working diligently throughout 2020 to become directly recognized by accrediting bodies for other healthcare modalities as well, to make the process of fulfilling CE requirements as easy as possible for all of our students. The diverse, SAFM student body typically includes 14-17 different healthcare modalities.
- When exactly will I be receiving credits for completion of each semester program?
- Why are only 50 credits being awarded for each semester? Obviously I spend a lot more than 50 hours studying in a semester program.
- Of course you do! A fully-experienced SAFM semester is an intense education requiring hundreds of hours of study. Alas, specific accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) restrict submission of certain educational content or activities. The good news is that very few healthcare licenses require more than 50 hours/year of continuing education, so this CME award will be plenty. For licenses that require up to 100 hours over two or three years, completion of both semesters over a two-year period (the most common student choice of timing) may be submitted together at once.
- Can I receive CME credits for the individual Deep Dive Clinical Courses I have completed?
- At present, no; ONLY our two Semester Programs are eligible for CME credits at this time (as described above). We will be pursuing the additional CME qualification of our individual Deep Dive Clinical Courses in 2020.
- I am already an AFMC-certified student; can I receive retroactive CME credits at this point?
- It’s a bummer, but No. Unfortunately, educational activities (like our semester programs) must be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ before students begin participating in the activity (semester programs). Activities may not be retroactively certified for AMA PRA credit, so only students taking the Level 1 or Level 2 AFMC Exam starting in February 2020 are eligible to receive credits. However, we value highly you as an AFMC-certified student and celebrate your hard work and loyalty! In 2020, we will be working diligently to achieve CME qualification for our individual Deep Dive Clinical Courses and also our AFMC Re-Certification process. This would allow our students who are already AFMC-Certified an opportunity to earn CME units for their continued SAFM studies. Please stay tuned!
- I have already completed the Core 101 and/or Advanced 202 Semester. I’ve also already passed either/both the AFMC Level 1 or Level 2 Exam in the past. Does any of that count for CME credits?
- Unfortunately, no. We wish it did. We repeatedly asked this very question as we were getting accredited. Unfortunately, educational activities (like our semester programs) must be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ before students begin participating in the activity (semester programs). This is an overarching CME policy. Activities may not be retroactively certified for AMA PRA credit, so only students taking the AFMC Level 1 or Level 2 Exam starting in February 2020 are eligible to receive credits. In 2020, we will be working diligently to achieve CME qualification for our individual Deep Dive Clinical Courses and also our AFMC Re-Certification process. These developments would allow our students who have already passed one/both AFMC exams an opportunity to earn CME units for their continued SAFM studies. We are on it!
- What specific continuing education requirements can I satisfy with the 50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ being awarded for completion of each semester program here at SAFM?
- This actually depends on your license type and in what U.S. state you practice (practitioners working outside the U.S., please see the FAQ below). In order to maintain and renew an active medical license in the state in which they practice, physicians and other medical practitioners must meet the exact educational credits and number of CE hours required by that state. You should access or contact the accrediting body in your own state for your modality for confirmation of requirements. While SAFM cannot certify the accuracy of their information, you may also find helpful various online, general resources such as this one BoardVitals.com/blog/cme-requirements-by-state
- How are CME credits tracked and reported?
- At the completion and passing of each Exam (representing the completion of a Semester program), we will email detailed instructions to each qualifying student. We will then provide CME documentation to each student upon request. Because credits may be obtained from a variety of accredited CME providers, physicians and medical practitioners should maintain a record of their CME credits from all sources in order to report them appropriately.
- Can a medical practitioner that is not licensed in the U.S. (international) claim AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™?
- If you are a physician – Yes! AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ may be awarded to any physician (defined by the AMA as MDs, DOs, or international physicians with equivalent degrees from other countries). The requirements for awarding AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ to U.S. and non-U.S. licensed physicians are the same. Otherwise, it actually depends on your license type and in what country you practice. In order to maintain and renew an active medical license in the country in which they practice, medical practitioners must meet the exact educational credits and number of CE hours required by that country. You should access or contact the accrediting body in your own country for your modality for confirmation of requirements. The good news is that throughout the years, the ACCME has supported CME initiatives with government, health system, and CME representatives from a wide range of countries.
** Both activities (mentioned above) will now bear the following awards:ACCREDITATION STATEMENT:“This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of MedicusCME and the School of Applied Functional Medicine. MedicusCME is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.”
DESIGNATION STATEMENT:MedicusCME designates this Internet Enduring Activity for a maximum of 50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
** The School of Applied Functional Medicine™, is not responsible for any changes in licensure or continuing education requirements for any health care modality.
Are you still on the fence and wondering if our semester programs are right for you? Check out the video below to learn more about what makes us different here at The School of Applied Functional Medicine™ and see if it makes your heart sing?