How to Use Your CME Money

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Continuing Medical Education (CME) is an integral part of a doctor’s professional journey, ensuring they stay updated with the latest advancements in medicine. Many healthcare organizations provide doctors with a CME stipend to support their ongoing education. We take a look at some ways to complete your 2023 CME requirements while maximizing the value of your stipend. 

According to the 2023 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives by AMN Healthcare/Merritt Hawkins, the average CME allowance offered to physicians in 2022-2023 was $3,840 and $2,299 for NPs and PAs. What can you do to make the most out of your CME money to earn your credits? 

What is a CME Stipend? 

Before diving into CME activities, familiarize yourself with the details of your stipend and your state’s specific CME requirements. Know the amount allocated, any restrictions on its use, and the timeframe within which it must be spent. Coverage will vary based on your employer, and it’s important to understand what you are allowed to use the stipend on in advance. This understanding will help you plan your CME activities effectively. 

In most cases, CME money will not roll over to the next year. For this reason, it is essential that you use your stipend before it expires at the end of the calendar year. 

What is the Best CME Activity? 

CME opportunities come in various formats, including conferences, workshops, online courses, and self-directed learning. Explore diverse formats to find what suits your learning style and schedule. Here’s a look at some of these formats: 

Online CME Activities 

The easiest way to earn CME quickly is through online CME activities. Physicians can complete their CME requirements from the comfort of their own home, leaving them able to enjoy their free time without stressing over hitting a deadline. Online CME also lets you set your own schedule, so you can earn credits at a pace that works for you. 

The BoardVitals CME activity allows you to earn up to 100 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM and MOC points depending on the specialty. It’s easy: simply review and answer board-style questions online on your phone or tablet. BoardVitals CME is available in nearly 30 specialties, and offers you a fast, convenient, and interactive way to earn CME credits. 

CME Conference Getaways 

Traveling to a beautiful location and pampering yourself at a resort, or taking a cruise all while earning CME credits can be a fun experience. CME conferences can be a fun option for those looking for something extra for their continuing education. Beware of hidden fees with these getaways. Look into your employer’s policy pertaining to the stipend, because they may not cover travel fees and might bite into your allotted vacation hours. 

Journal Reviews 

Many medical journals offer CME credits for reading and reviewing articles. Subscribe to relevant journals in your specialty and take advantage of CME opportunities that involve staying abreast of the latest research and developments. 

The Importance of Documenting Your CME Activities 

Once you choose the type of CME activity you would like to participate in to earn credits, keep thorough records, including certificates of completion and other relevant documentation. This documentation will be essential for reporting your credits to medical boards or certifying bodies. 

There are many options available for you to get the most out of your CME money. Be sure to weigh out the pros and cons, evaluate the quality of the CME content, and make sure to read the fine print regarding your company’s policy for using your CME stipend.

Already used up your CME money and have credits left to earn? Check out these free CME courses that will help you meet your CME requirements.

Tags: cme

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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