FAQ for MD License Renewal in PA

What are the requirements for MD license renewal in PA?

The State Board of Medicine regulations state that to renew a license, a physician will need:

100 total credit hours of CME in the two-year license cycle
A minimum of 20 of the total credit hours in AMA PRA Category 1 credit
12 credit hours in the areas of patient safety or risk management Additional Info
2 continuing education credits from a Department of Human Services (DHS) approved course on the topic of mandated child abuse recognition and reporting
2 hours of continuing education in pain management, identification of addiction, or the practices of prescribing of opioids

Please Note: the two (2) hours continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting and the two (2) hours of continuing education in pain management, the identification of addiction or in the practice of prescribing or dispensing of opioids cannot be counted toward the 12 credit hours of continuing medical education to be completed in the area of patient safety and risk management.

Does UPMC provide opportunities to earn Category 1 credit online?

Yes, the UPMC CCEHS certifies hundreds of online modules. Please visit the following sites designed to meet your learning needs:

  • UPMC Physician Resources (Over 150 online courses)

http://upmcphysicianresources.com

Experts from UPMC and our partners present on the latest clinical advances, bench-to-bedside research, and best practices in care delivery. The modules are approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit and numerous modules are designated for ABIM MOC Part 2 credit.

  • University of Pittsburgh ISER Online Learning Courses

https://cme.hs.pitt.edu

Accredited modules for physicians and other healthcare professionals including University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine Grand Rounds and numerous modules designated for ABIM MOC Part 2 credit.

  • UPMC Center for Continuing Education Learning Portal

https://cce.upmc.com

Accredited modules for physicians and other healthcare professionals including physicians, nurses and pharmacists.

  • Wolff Learning Academy at UPMC

https://www.wolfflearningacademy.com/

The Wolff Learning Academy, part of the Wolff Center at UPMC, is designed to meet the quality and safety educational needs of healthcare professionals, including executives, physicians, directors/managers, and clinical staff by providing education, tools, and resources based on reliability and improvement science to improve healthcare outcomes.

What is the difference between Category 1 and Category 2?

Category 1 activities are those that have been approved by an accredited provider. 

Category 2 credit hours consist of self-directed learning or courses that have not been through a formal approval process. The following are some common examples of Category 2 activities:

•       participation in educational activities that have not been designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

•       teaching physicians, residents, medical students or other health professionals

•       unstructured online searching and learning

•       reading authoritative medical literature

•       consultation with peers and medical experts

•       small group discussions

•       self-assessment activities

•       medical writing

•       preceptorship participation

•       research

•       peer review and quality assurance participation

How do I prove Category 2 credits if I am audited?

The regulations state that Category 2 credit hours must be documented in the form of a physician log or diary including:

•          activity title

•          subject or content area

•          date(s) of participation (i.e., month/day/year)

•          number of credits claimed

A Category 2 Continuing Medical Education Reporting Form can be found at www.dos.pa.gov/med .   

Patient Safety/Risk Management

Are patient safety an/or risk management credits designated on my UPMC CME credit transcript?

Patient safety and/or risk management credits are self claimed. There is not a requirement for CME providers to designate patient safety and/or risk management credit. Until 2020, the UPMC CCEHS credit transcript system provided this designation. However, the designation couldnot be transferred to our new credit transcript system. For this reason, physicians will need to self claim these credits for the current relicensing period (thru December 31, 2020), . Beginning in 2021, a new feature will be implemented to provide the designation. 

How do I know if a CME activity satisfies the requirement for patient safety or risk management?

The following list of topics that will satisfy the patient safety/risk management requirement:

Improving medical records and record keeping
Reducing medical errors
Professional conduct and ethics
Improving communication among physicians and with other health care personnel
Communication between physicians and patients
Preventive medicine education
Health care quality improvement
If CME activity falls within these topics, you can count it toward the patient safety/risk management requirement. The course does not have to state, and very likely may not, that it is a patient safety or risk management course.

Does UPMC provide any online opportunities for meeting the the patient safety/risk management requirement?

Yes, the UPMC CCEHS certifies hundreds of online modules to help meet the patient safety/risk management requirement. 

  • University of Pittsburgh ISER Online Learning Courses

https://cme.hs.pitt.edu

Provides a folder specifically dedicated to patient safety/risk management content. Accredited modules for physicians and other healthcare professionals including University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine Grand Rounds and numerous modules designated for ABIM MOC Part 2 credit.

  • Other options:

http://upmcphysicianresources.com

https://cce.upmc.com

https://www.wolfflearningacademy.com/

Do the patient safety or risk management credit hours need to be in Category 1?

According to the regulations, the patient safety or risk management credit hours can be in either Category 1 or Category 2. 

If I have 12 Category 1 credit hours in patient safety or risk management topics, may I count these for both the Category 1 requirement and the patient safety/risk management requirement?

Yes, if any of the patient-safety credit hours that a physician has earned are Category 1 credit hours, they can be counted toward both the Category 1 requirement and the patient safety/risk management requirement.

Pain Management Continuing Education Requirement

Can the credits I earn to satisfy the pain management, identification of addiction, or the practices of prescribing of opioids requirement count towards the 100 credit hour requirement?

Yes, these count as part of the 100-hours required for continuing education, not in addition to the 100-hour requirement.

Do the pain management, identification of addiction, or the practices of prescribing of opioids credit hours need to be in Category 1?

The State Board of Medicine will accept opioids continuing education courses in either Category 1 or Category 2. Get additional details on this requirement— Click here for additional information..

I am a prescriber who does not have a DEA registration number. Do I need to satisfy the requirement for pain management, identification of addiction, or the practices of prescribing of opioids?

Click here for additional information..

Child Abuse

Click here for the PA State Requirements for Child Abuse Continuing Education

Must I complete the child abuse recognition and reporting continuing education every time I renew my license? 

Yes. As a condition of renewal, you must complete 2 hours of Department of State/Board approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting within the required renewal period (24 month period).

Can I complete child abuse recognition and reporting training online?

Click here for a complete listing of approved providers. Unless a course is listed as approved by one or both of these agencies, the course will not be considered acceptable to meet the requirements for initial licensure or renewal.

Popular online options:

Note, the UPMC Center for Continuing Education does not provide CME credit for any of the online modules. Therefore, we do not have access to any of your completion records.

How do I determine if a child abuse recognition and reporting course has been approved?

Click here for a complete listing of approved providers. Unless a course is listed as approved by one or both of these agencies, the course will not be considered acceptable to meet the requirements for initial licensure or renewal.Popular online options:

Note, the UPMC Center for Continuing Education does not provide CME credit for any of the online modules. Therefore, we do not have access to any of your completion records.

www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu

Who is responsible for submitting my completion results?

Completion results must be submitted electronically from the provider of the education. If you have questions regarding the submission of the continuing education, please contact the approved provider directly before contacting the Board.