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Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision


November 1999
Special Edition

Continuing Medical Education

Like many other states, Oklahoma now requires that medical doctors must certify that they have completed a certain number of continuing medical education hours before their license will be renewed by the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision.

The continuation of medical education after the completion of a formal training period has been an integral part of the practice of medicine since the time of Hippocrates. One of the primary reasons for the founding of the AMA in 1847 was to improve and continue education for its medical doctor members.

World War II brought about a tremendous surge of developments in biomedical science and medical technology. These advances are continuing at an ever-increasing pace even today. In the `40s and `50s the AMA's Council on Medical Education became concerned about assisting practicing physicians in keeping up with the constant changes in medicine.

In the 1960's, the AMA began to accredit course sponsors to improve the quality of the few continuing education courses being offered and to encourage the creation of new courses. At the same time the AMA established the Physician's Recognition Award (AMA PRA) to encourage practicing physicians to participate in quality continuing medical education (CME).

Today, nationwide, there are over 2500 organizations designated by the AMA's Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and the state medical societies to offer CME programs with category 1 credit as defined by the AMA PRA. Category 1 has become the benchmark for quality in formally organized education programs; almost all agencies nationwide that requires CME participation specify AMA PRA category 1 credit.

"The continuation of medical education after the completion of a formal training period has been an integral part of the practice of medicine since the time of Hippocrates."

How to be CME Compliant

"Y2K & CME" are two big events that are fast approaching. Both may impact a physician's practice. The first may stop your computer from working if it's not compliant. Make sure the second doesn't stop you from working if you're not compliant


In 1997, the Oklahoma Legislature amended the medical licensure law to require the completion and reporting of CME before a license could be reissued. The actual rules for the CME were left up to the Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision to establish by regulation. July 1, 2000 the requirement will start. The following is a list of some details that may help you to be CME Compliant.


In 2000, if your active medical license renewal date is prior to July 1st then you will not be asked about the CME requirement until your renewal date in 2001. In other words, you have another year before you will have to answer the CME question. The 150 hours of CME are always for the proceeding three (3) years from the renewal date. In this case, 1998,1999, & 2000 up to your renewal date in 2001.

In 2000, if your active medical license renewal date is July 1st or after, then you will have to answer the question on the renewal form, "Have you met the CME requirement of 150 hours in the previous *three year period?"


You will not have to send or attach your CME documentation, records, certificates, etc. at the time of your licensure renewal. When your license number is audited, you will be required to show proof of your CME documentation.


While you do not have to send in CME documentation with your renewal application, the Board will conduct random audits on a number of licensees. If your license number is selected for an audit of CME compliance, you will receive a letter from the Board asking you to submit supporting documentation for your CME. If you have the AMA Physician Recognition Award (PRA) or its specialty organization equivalent, verification of that will suffice. Specialty board recertification can be utilized to meet the CME requirement one time as long as it was achieved during the three-year reporting period. Otherwise, the 60 hours of category 1 have to be supported by a certificate of completion and the 90 hours of category 2 can be documented by a chronological log of CME activities, ie. journal articles read, consultations with medical peers, use of electronic data bases in patient care, medical writing, non category 1 seminars & lectures, etc. (see page 4 of the AMA-PRA information booklet)


A physician that intentionally misrepresents compliance with the CME requirement, and subsequently is found through audit to be non-compliant, may be cited for filing a fraudulent application and unprofessional conduct. If found guilty, the physician could be disciplined by the Board which would be reportable to the National Practitioner Data Bank.

(*1997, 1998 & 1999 up through your renewal date in 2000)


Some approved CME providers (for a complete list contact the OSMA):

Baptist Medical Center - OKC

Deaconess Hospital - OKC

Duncan Regional Hospital - Duncan

Hillcrest Medical Center - Tulsa

Institute for Mental Health - OKC

Jane Phillips Medical Center - Bartlesville

Stillwater Medical Center - Stillwater

Valley View Hospital - Ada

For information on upcoming courses:

The O.U. Health Sciences Center
Office of Continuing Medical Education
405/271-2350 or 888-682-6348

Oklahoma State Medical Association
Barbara Matthews or Michele Smith
405-843-9571 or 800-522-9452

Tulsa County Medical Society
Tanya Luce
918-743-6184 or 800-757-2919

For information on the American Medical Association's Physician Recognition Award:

American Medical Association
Department of Membership
515 North State Street
Chicago IL 60610
800-262-3211 or
fax 800-262-3221

For information on Oklahoma's CME requirement:

Board of Medical Licensure & Supervision
P.O. Box 18256
Oklahoma City OK 73154

The Medical Board Members' View

CME is readily available to physicians today through multiple resources. The CME law is a valid and reasonable effort to keep medically informed.

Intentional disregard and non-compliance will be considered a serious violation of unprofessional conduct regulations.

So who is exempt from the CME Law?

Physicians in full time residency and fellowship training. (1 year of training = 50 hours of category 1 CME)

Who is not exempt?

Anyone with an active Oklahoma medical license including:

  • Military physicians
  • Federal service physicians
  • Indian Health Service physicians
  • Medical School faculty (teaching hours=category 2 hours)
  • Retired physicians maintaining an active license
  • Physicians practicing out of state
  • Physicians with an Oklahoma Special License (non-training)
  • Research physicians
  • Managed care medical directors
  • Administrative medicine physicians

The Board has proposed some positive modifications to the original CME rule. [Current rule reprinted below.] Proposed changes would include provisions for newly licensed physicians and physicians whose licenses have been reinstated to begin reporting three years from the date of licensure/reinstatement. Additional proposed language would allow proof of initial board certification to count as evidence of meeting the CME requirement for the reporting period in which it was achieved.
Note: Once you answer your first renewal question on CME, you will not be asked again for another three year cycle. Example: if you renew in September 2000 and you respond to the CME question for 1997, 1998, 1999 and up to September 1st of 2000, you will not be asked about CME for renewal until September 2003. Notice that the first reporting cycle allows for more time than an exact three years to give you the benefit of making sure you have the 150 hours.

Title 435. State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision

Chapter 10. Physicians and Surgeons

Subchapter 15. Continuing Medical Education

435:10-15-1. Continuing medical education

a) Requirements.

(1) Effective July 1, 2000, each applicant for licensure, re-registration of licensure or reinstatement of licensure shall certify that he/she has completed the requisite hours of continuing medical education (C.M.E.).

(2) Requisite hours of C.M.E. shall be one hundred fifty (150) hours within the preceding three (3) years of which sixty (60) hours will be Category I as defined by the American Medical Association/Oklahoma State Medical Association/American Academy of Family Physicians or other certifying organization recognized by the Board.

(b) Exceptions/verification.

(1) Exceptions from the requirement shall be:

(A) Medical Doctors in residency and fellowship programs.

(B) Medical Doctors in a Physician Emeritus status.

(C) Holders of current American Medical Association Physician Recognition Award (A.M.A.P.R.A.) or its specialty equivalent or recertification by specialty group whose program for the certification has been found by the Board to be equivalent to the Physician Recognition Award.

(2) The Board staff will, each year, randomly select applications for verification that all C.M.E. requirements have been met. Physicians choosing to use programs other than the A.M.A.P.R.A. must submit additional documentation on request as evidence that the compliance with C.M.E. requirements have been met in the specified time period.

(c) Compliance.

(1) Failure to maintain such records rebuts the presumption that C.M.E. requirements have been completed.

(2) Misrepresenting compliance with C.M.E. requirements constitutes a fraudulent application.

[Source: Added at 14 Ok Reg 1413, eff. 5-12-97]