Professional Development

9 - Credits: Proof of participation
Physicians thus need proof or documentation that they are participating in continuing education, and CME credits, usually awarded or issued to a doctor by means of a certificate upon completing an activity, is the currency assigned to hours of CME. However, these credits cannot be obtained just anywhere. In the U.S., for example, most credits are American Medical Association Physician's Recognition Award --or AMA PRA-- credit, and only events planned accordingly by organizations accredited by the Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME) can be designated for AMA PRA credit. AMA PRA credit is widely recognized and the PRA is one of the more accepted and widely used means of reporting CME participation. Outside of the U.S., national or other authorities have their own credit and reporting systems.In most systems, one hour of participation is equivalent to one credit; hence, a three-hour course would be designated for three credits. However, although an activity may be designated for a specific number of credits, a physician must only claim those credits he/she actually spent in the activity.