How Can I Earn CME Credits?

how to earn cme credits

Completing your CME requirements does not have to be stressful or time consuming. No matter how many hours you are due to complete this year, there are a number of options to help you through the process without impacting your busy schedule. Here are some of the top ways to earn CME quickly, on your own schedule. 

Enduring Materials 

Enduring materials are non-live CME activity that endures or lasts over time. This includes print, audiovisual, and internet materials such as podcasts; CD-ROMs; DVDs; archived webinars; CME question banks; and other web-based activities.  These educational resources are available to you at your own pace and schedule. Activities that are delivered online are aptly called internet enduring materials.  

Live CME Conferences 

Events sponsored by an accredited CME provider include national, regional, or local conferences, workshops, seminars, journal clubs, simulation labs, and live webinars. These activities require your presence at a specified date, time, and location and should have a designation statement citing the number and types of CME credits available to claim. 

Live CME activities typically require physicians to arrange travel and lodging for the event(s). Many employers provide a CME budget or “stipend,” however this can quickly be exhausted after one event. You may also end up spending out of pocket to cover the additional expenses for lodging, transportation, and dining. Many physicians plan their family vacations around CME conference locations. While this is a good idea, in theory, keep in mind that your time may be limited due to your obligation to attend lectures and workshops. Try to plan accordingly.

Regularly Scheduled Series 

Courses with multiple sessions occurring on an ongoing basis are referred to as regularly scheduled series or RSS. Most accredited institutions will plan and present series such as grand rounds, tumor boards, and morbidity and mortality conferences to their professional staff. These series are usually more convenient as they are on-site and are a good opportunity to connect with colleagues at your organization all while earning CME.  

Test Item Writing 

Some physicians may be involved in writing test questions for national board examinations. These physicians may research, draft, and defend potential questions for examinations given by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME), member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), or for a national medical specialty society.  


Physicians can read a peer-reviewed article planned as a learning activity and certified for credit by an accredited CME provider before publication. This includes a critical review of an assigned journal manuscript or featuring an article within a peer-reviewed, professional journal.  These reviews must be an original contribution for publication in a medical journal indexed by MEDLINE.  

Internet Searching and Learning 

Point of care learning involves engaging in online learning on topics relevant to clinical practice. This method is truly a type of self-directed learning in which you document a clinical question, the sources consulted, and the application to your practice.   

Other Ways to Earn CME 

  • Participation in a committee where the subject is within the definition of CME. 
  • “Learning from Teaching” involves professional development associated with the preparation of education.  
  • Performance Improvement CME (PI CME) is the process by which individuals or physician groups assess their current practice, develop interventions to improve performance measures, apply the new measures over a useful interval, and then ultimately re-evaluate their performance. 
  • Specialty board certification, recertification, or full-time participation in a graduate training program may also be eligible for CME.  


BoardVitals provides a convenient way to complete your CME requirements quickly with self-assessment question banks that are updated with the latest medical information on the market. 

Want to learn more about how to earn CME and complete MOC requirements? Download our Free eBook, Navigating Continuing Medical Education: A Guide to CME/MOC Requirements. 

The writing staff at BoardVitals is passionate about medicine, healthcare, and education. We’ve trained over 1.5 million physicians and work with more than 300 top teaching institutions. Learn more about our board review and continuing education products at

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