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Teaching Medical Students and Residents

AMA announces new type of live activity eligible to be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit


In March, 2013 the AMA Council on Medical Education approved faculty credit for teaching medical students and residents as a type of live activity that can be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

As with any activity certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, it must meet all the AMA core requirements, which can be found on page 4 of the AMA PRA booklet.

This webpage is intended to outline the requirements that are specific to this type of live activity. If you have further questions after reading the information, you are encouraged to contact cme@ama-assn.org.

History and Background

The learning associated with preparing for and teaching medical students and residents has long been recognized as an appropriate learning activity for which AMA PRA Category 2 Credit™ may be claimed. In contrast, the learning associated with preparing and teaching at a live certified CME activity has long been recognized as an activity that may be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. This was by design, since AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ is designated by accredited CME providers while AMA PRA Category 2 Credit™ is self-claimed by physicians. Both credit categories are endorsed by the AMA as legitimate and important components of a physician’s professional development.

The clinical and part-time faculty members of new and existing medical schools, branch campuses, and expanding community-based teaching sites provide a significant contribution to the clinical education of students and residents/fellows by teaching, supervising, assessing, and monitoring the progress of undergraduate medical students and residents/fellows. And as noted above, the AMA Council on Medical Education had already recognized the learning on the part of the faculty involved in these types of activities by including them in the list of examples of AMA PRA Category 2 Credit™ activities.

In 2010, colleagues from the Association of American Medical Colleges approached the AMA about the possibility of structuring an activity in which teaching medical students and residents could be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. A proposal for this was submitted to the AMA Council on Medical Education in 2011.

In conversations between AAMC and the AMA, and after consultation with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, a pilot project was designed, presented to and approved by the Council on Medical Education of the AMA. Since these activities were already acknowledged as AMA PRA Category 2 Credit™ by the Council, the purpose of the AAMC-led pilot study, in collaboration with the AMA, was to describe and document the formal learning activity that occurs as a result of interacting with, teaching of, and assessing the competence of medical students and residents. For the pilot phase, April-November 2012, the Council approved the awarding of up to 10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ for such learning activities for each faculty member that participated in the pilot. We want to recognize the work of the steering committee and particularly the leadership of Dave Davis, MD, Barbara Barnes, MD and Carol Goddard.

The Council reviewed the data generated by the pilot, and at its March, 2013 meeting approved faculty credit for teaching medical students and residents as a type of live activity that may be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ if it meets the established requirements listed below.

AMA format specific requirements for faculty credit for teaching medical students and residents

Accredited CME providers may award AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ to physician faculty to recognize the learning associated with the preparation for and teaching of medical students and residents/fellows in LCME/ACGME accredited facilities/programs.

To be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, this live activity, teaching medical students and residents, must:

  • Be certified by an institution that, in addition to being an accredited CME provider (or working in joint sponsorship with an accredited CME provider), is accredited by the LCME (to certify teaching medical students), the ACGME (to certify teaching residents/fellows) or both.
  • Provide clear instructions to the physicians that define the educational process of the activity (documentation, timelines, etc.)

Designating and awarding credit for participation in the live activity teaching medical students and residents:

  • Physician faculty may be awarded credit based on a 2-to-1 ratio to teaching time. For example, faculty may be awarded 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ for one hour spent teaching or 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ for 45 minutes spent teaching. Credits should be rounded to the nearest one-quarter credit.
  • AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ should only be awarded for teaching that is verified by the UME and/or GME office. (Faculty may not receive credit more than once for the same time period, even if the audience involves residents and students from more than one program, being verified by two or more different LCME/ACGME programs.) Examples of a mechanism to accomplish this include, but are not limited to, a list of faculty approved for credit from the UME and/or GME office, or a co-signature by a UME/GME authority on credit documentation/claim forms provided by physician participants.
  • In addition to the institution being ACGME accredited, the residency/fellowship program itself must also be ACGME accredited in order for faculty to be awarded AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for teaching residents/fellows in that program.
  • Physicians may claim credit for a variety of interactions. Types of teaching activities include, but are not limited to, formal presentations to medical students, residents; development of cases, clinical problems; supervising clinical or simulated activities; instruction on clinical or other skills; assessing learner performance (clinical or simulation settings); mentoring QI or PI projects; and mentoring of scholarly activities.

As with any activity certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, this type of live activity must also meet all of the AMA core requirements (in addition to the format specific requirements listed above).

Credit Designation Statement for faculty credit for teaching medical students and residents

Due to the nature of faculty credit for teaching medical students and residents/fellows, the standard credit designation statement needed adjustment as the number of credits will not be known in advance. The following credit designation statement should be used in its place for this type of activity only:

The [name of accredited CME provider] designates this live activity for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per 1 hour of interaction with medical students and/or residents/fellows. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

FAQ: Certifying teaching medical students/residents as a live "AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™" activity

We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding AMA requirements for this new type of live activity.

You are also encouraged to contact Mary Kelly at (312) 464-4668 with any questions you may have about AMA requirements.

Links to information on other websites that you may find useful