Continuing Medical Education requirements by State

August 17, 2020
Continuing Medical
Continuing medical education

Medical CME requirements vary by state

Continuing medical education requirements for maintaining your license vary by state. Medscape has compiled and keeps up-to-date a list of medical CME requirements by state at for physicians.

Surprisingly, a few states require no continuing medical education credits. These states (as of Dec. 2009) include Colorado, Indiana, Montana, New York, South Dakota, and Vermont. More typically states require 40-50 credits a year (sometimes grouped by 2 or 3 year periods), with a requirement that a certain fraction be Category 1 credits. Because requirements can change, confirm everything with your state board of medical licensing.

CME courses by medical specialty

  • Cardiology CME are typically high-level courses that deal with specific cardiac patient populations, new pharmaceutical indications, and interventional procedures. While internists and primary care physicians may find these courses of interest if they have a large patient population with cardiac issues, these courses are typically designed for cardiologists rather than PCPs.
  • Diagnostic radiology CME is now easily done primarily online given the high bandwidths available. However, interventional radiology still requires live courses when procedures are involved. Ultrasound CME, a subset of radiological courses, are usually presented separately.
  • Psychopharmacology now dominates the collections in psychiatry CME. To a large extent this reflects the trend in psychiatric practices away from psychotherapy to pharmacological maintenance, and the changing reimbursement schedules for therapy.
  • Initially built as a subset of anesthesiology continuing education, pain management CME courses now comprise a separate category. Some states even require pain management credits to maintain a medical license.
A recent survey by NetDoc reveals what types of continuing medical education courses physicians now use. While 15 years most continuing education courses were either in-hospital lectures or at CME conferences, including CME cruises, times have changed. Now, 82% of physicians get most or all of their credits through online CME courses, with only 11.7% get almost none (or none) of their credits online.
Upstate Medical University-Paul L. Grover, PhD
Upstate Medical University-Paul L. Grover, PhD
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