AMA PRA Credit System

Unconventional ways to earn CME


You may have earned continuing medical education (CME) credit without realizing it. Learn about different ways you can earn CME with direct credit activities. 

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Certain learning activities, while not necessarily overseen by an accredited continuing medical education (CME) provider, still are recognized as valuable learning experiences by the AMA Council on Medical Education.

The AMA, as the owner of the AMA PRA credit system, will directly award AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for six activities when all required documentation is submitted (processing fee applies). These are called direct credit activities and include:

  • Publishing articles. If you have published a peer-reviewed article as the first listed author in a MEDLINE-indexed journal, you can earn 10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per article.
  • Poster presentations. If you are the first author on a poster presentation that is included in the published abstracts for a conference certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, you can earn 5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per poster.
  • Medically-related advanced degree. If you obtain a medically-related advanced degree, at the master or doctoral level, such as a master’s in public health, you can earn 25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.
  • American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member-board certification or ABMS Maintenance of Certification (MOC). You can earn 60 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ for certification or MOC completed on or after September 1, 2010 (25 credits if prior to that date).
  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited education. You can earn 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per year of an ACGME-accredited residency or fellowship.
  • Teaching at a live activity. Faculty may claim two AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ for each hour they present an original presentation at a live activity certified for such credit, if this credit was not claimed by the physician through the accredited CME provider of the activity.

With the exception of “teaching at a live activity,” CME providers accredited by either the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education or a state medical society may not award credit for these activities.

Learn more about direct credit activities on the direct credit Web page, and read about how to decipher CME requirements at AMA Wire®.