• Learn about the ASPS CME Cycle and Patient Safety credits.

    PSEN offers this short overview outlining the membership requirements that ASPS maintains regarding CME and Patient Safety credit.
    1. Requirements Overview
    2. Definition of CME
    3. Patient Safety

    All ASPS Active Members and Candidates for Membership must earn 150 credits of Continuing Medical Education (CME) during a consecutive three-year period. Of these 150 credits no fewer than 60 must be AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, of which 50 of the 150 credits must be earned in plastic surgery activities. Also, 20 of the 150 credits must be earned in patient safety related topics and may be in either Category 1 or Category 2.


    Definition of Continuing Medical Education (CME)

    The AMA uses the following definition of continuing medical education (CME):

    CME consists of educational activities which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public or the profession. The content of CME is the body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine and the provision of health care to the public.

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    AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ - minimum 60 credits

    There are three ways for physicians to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit:

    1. By participating in activities sponsored by accredited providers. Providers must be accredited by the ACCME or by state medical societies.  When a physician participates in an activity accredited by ASPS, including jointly-sponsored meetings, ASPS will automatically upload credit for that activity to the physician’s ASPS CME report after receiving the completed paperwork from the physician or the joint sponsor.
    2. By participating in activities for which credit is awarded directly by the AMA. These include:
      • Preparing and delivering an original presentation at a live activity that has been certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.
      • Publishing, as the lead author, a peer-reviewed article in a journal included in the MEDLINE bibliographic database.
      • Preparing a poster presentation, as the lead author, for an activity certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.
      • Obtaining a medically related advanced degree.
      • Successfully completing an ABMS board certification or MOC process.
      • Successfully participating in an ACGME accredited residency or fellowship program.
    3. By participating in activities accredited by the European Union of Medical Specialists or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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    Category 2: All Other Categories of CME - 90 Credit Limit

    Category 2 includes all educational activities not designated Category 1 that meet the definition of CME, and the physician finds to be a worthwhile learning experience related to his/her practice. Category 2 activities are self-directed activities. Examples of learning activities that might meet the requirements of AMA PRA Category 2 Credit include, but are not limited to:

    1. Participation in educational activities that have not been certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.
    2. Teaching physicians, residents, medical students or other health professionals.
    3. Unstructured online searching and learning.
    4. Reading authoritative medical literature.
    5. Consultation with peers and medical experts.
    6. Small group discussions.
    7. Self assessment activities.
    8. Medical writing.
    9. Preceptorship participation.
    10. Research.
    11. Peer review and quality assurance participation.

    Physicians should self claim credit for appropriate AMA PRA Category 2 Credit  activites and should document activity title or description, subject, date(s) of participation and number of credits claimed.

    CME Reporting

    Claiming Credit: How to Report Credit
    Credits are calculated on an hourly basis, in 15-minute increments. Physicians can claim one credit for each hour they spend on educational activities. For example, if a physician attends a lecture relevant to his/her practice from which he/she learns new techniques and the lecture is 1 hour, 45 minutes long, the physician can claim  up to 1.75 credits for attending the entire lecture. If the physician chooses to leave before the lecture is finished and only stays for the first 75 minutes of the same lecture, he/she should claim 1.25 credits. Physicians should round to the nearest 15 minutes (or .25 credits)

    Members failing to meet the requirement of attaining 150 credits of CME in a three-year cycle shall be placed on probation. If, at the end of the one-year probationary period, the CME credit requirements have still not been met, the physician’s membership will be suspended. Continued failure to comply will result in the member being dropped from membership.

    If you need additional reporting forms, a copy of your current report or have any questions about CME requirements, please e-mail memserv@plasticsurgery.org or call the ASPS Member Services Center at 1-800-766-4955.

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    Patient Safety Credits

    The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) requires that 20 (either Category 1 or 2) of the required 150 CME hours be earned in a consecutive three-year period must be related to patient safety. The ASPS identifies Patient Safety credits using an orange triangle. Of the 20 required credits for patient safety CME, ASPS recommends that 8 be Category 2 and the remaining 12 be Category 1 (The requirement of at least 60 Category 1 hours, of which 50 hours must be earned in plastic surgery activities, has not changed). Submitted credits that have been designated for patient safety and risk management may be subject to review.

    Patient Safety CME are:

    • Prophylaxis measures such as ACLS or complication management
    • Quality assurance activities such as TOPS (maximum 5 hours toward patient safety during the three year CME cycle)
    • All courses related to: Risk Management, Appropriate Patient Selection, Physical Plant Safety and Anesthesia Care
    • Device training (maximum 5 hours toward patient safety during the three year CME cycle)
    • Research on a patient safety topic (maximum 5 hours toward patient safety during the three year CME cycle)
    • Accreditation organizations workshops (maximum 5 hours toward patient safety during the three year CME cycle)

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