By Ram Srinivasan, MD PhD I’m all about simplicity, so when the ABR asked me to write a post about CME for the upcoming MOC attestation deadline, I wanted to make this dead simple. I’ve reduced your CME requirements for the ABR to three steps. Check that you’ve done a total of 75 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM over the past three years. The correct way to count this is to add all Category 1 CME that you completed between March 1 of the current year and January 1 of three years ago. For example, between January 1, 2016, and March 1, 2019. As an aside. What is AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM? It’s a designation that guarantees some minimum educational standards, defined by the American Medical Association. Activities that offer this credit undergo a review overseen by the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), which is separate from the AMA. Record 25 Self-assessment CME (SA-CME) credits over the past three years. Self-assessment credits are sometimes called self-assessment modules (SAMs) or self-assessment CME (SA-CME). In order to count your activity toward SA-CME, it needs to satisfy two criteria: The course should be AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM, and it should have a self-assessment component. As an aside. It turns out that multiple choice is not the only type of self assessment! Any enduring Category 1 CME activity that involves a reflective process on your learning qualifies for SA-CME. The term “enduring” refers to a print or web-based activity that does not have a specific time or location designated for participation. This really opens the possibilities for satisfying SA-CME. Keep CME certificates on hand in case you’re audited. You won’t submit your actual CME certificates to the ABR unless you’re audited. Since the ABR just requires an attestation that you finished your credits, auditing is a way to perform random checks to ensure everyone is meeting this requirement. If you’re audited, you’ll be asked to provide certificates proving that you finished your CME and SA-CME requirement. If you fail your audit, your MOC status will be downgraded to “not meeting” requirements. Being a radiologist is stressful enough; you certainly don’t need the annoyance of an audit on top of that. Fortunately, being ready for a CME audit isn’t rocket science. Just keep your certificates in one cloud-hosted folder. Once a certificate is more than six years old, it’s OK to discard it. This keeps you covered for audits from the ABR, ACR/FDA, and state medical boards. As an aside. If you’re just trying to keep your certificates together and are not worried about earning credits or generating audit reports, create a folder in Google Drive or Dropbox since both give gigabytes for free. Put your certificates there so you have them if you’re audited. If you already earn your CME and SAM/SA-CME credits with Orbit Radiology, your tracking happens automatically in the background, while you’re surfing the web on shift. Kind of like TurboTax for your CME, Orbit also generates a neat ABR-compliant audit report with one click. Orbit’s ease of use for radiologists isn’t a coincidence – my team is obsessed with efficiency, and the hundreds of radiologists using Orbit wouldn’t have it any other way. CME Gateway is a free way to track your credits but isn’t mobile-friendly and doesn’t award CME. Its main advantage is that it synchs credits with several traditional radiology conferences, so look there if you can’t find your conference certificates. Bottom line Life is short. Figure out a system to streamline your annual CME requirements so you can enjoy time outside the reading room, too. Ram Srinivasan, MD PhD is an engineer and board-certified neuroradiologist in Palo Alto, California, with a passion for simplifying lives through education and technology. He’s also course director at Core Physics Review, which teaches clinically relevant radiology physics to more than 300 residents from more than 30 residency programs. Most recently, Ram launched Orbit Radiology to help combat burnout by streamlining the process of satisfying annual CME requirements. Email Ram at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Medium or @neurotechmd on Twitter.
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