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Physician's Recognition Award and Credit System

The American Medical Association Physician's Recognition Award (PRA)and the related credit system recognize physicians who demonstrate their commitment to staying current with advances in medicine by participating in certified continuing medical education (CME) activities.

Established in 1968, the AMA PRA today stands as the most widely accepted award for recognizing physician CME achievement.

AMA PRA credit is recognized by many state licensing boards, medical specialty boards, hospital credentialing bodies and other entities. The AMA Physician's Recognition Award or or AMA-approved application is currently accepted in many states as documentation for purposes of licensure reregistration. Table 21: State Medical/Osteopathic Board Regulations on Continuing Medical Education for Licensure Reregistration outlines which boards require CME for license reregistration, number and types of credit required, as well as mandated content.

When selecting CME activities, physicians should be certain that the activity is certified for for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ by an acredited CME continuing medical education provider. The AMA credit designation statement is required to be on promotional and activity materials for any activity that is certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Physicians may also be eligible to claim AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for non-certified designated educational activities. Information about both categories of credit can be found in the document The Physician's Recognition Award and credit system: 2010 Revisions.

The AMA's Council on Medical Education has approved revisions to the AMA PRA credit system that will become effective July 1, 2011. All ACCME and state medical society accredited CME providers that certify activities for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ will need to implement these changes by that date.

In brief, these modifications include:

  • Enduring materials - must include an assessment of the learner’s performance; credit may only be awarded to participants that meet a minimum performance level (pg. 5)
  • Journal-based CME activities - must include an assessment of the learner’s performance; credit may only be awarded to participants that meet a minimum performance level (pg. 5)
  • Manuscript review activities – credit may only be awarded to physicians that submit review deemed to be acceptable by the editor (pg. 6)
  • Performance Improvement CME (PI CME) – a physician must begin a PI CME activity with Stage A (pg. 6)
  • AMA Credit Designation Statement – has been modified to indicate the learning format for the activity (pg. 7)

More information about these modifications and the other requirements for AMA PRA credit may be found in the AMA PRA credit system informational booklet.

AMA Division of Continuing Physician Professional Development (CPPD) staff is available to help accredited CME providers understand and apply these changes when certifying activities for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Please email cme@ama-assn.org if you have any questions.