How to Get the Most Out of Your CME Money

cme money

Were you provided with a CME allowance and have yet to use it? There are countless ways to complete your Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements while maximizing the value of your stipend.

According to Merritt Hawkins’ 2022 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives, the average CME allowance offered to physicians in 2021-2022 was $3,691 and $2,537 for NPs and PAs. What can you do to make the most out of your CME money to earn your credits?

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.

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 and easy way to earn CME credits.

beach setting for cme conference

CME Conference Getaways

Perhaps you prefer to use your CME money for a vacation getaway. Traveling to a beautiful location and pampering yourself at a resort, or take a cruise all while earning CME credits sounds delightful. 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.

Continuing Education Company offers live CME conferences at resorts and spas in popular vacation destinations such as Hawaii or Florida. Their conferences are typically priced between $655 – $750 for physicians and $610-685 for other clinicians, which includes “access to the conference, a printed syllabus, a continental breakfast and mid-morning coffee break and your certificate.” Travel costs are not included in this offer and may require upfront out-of-pocket costs depending on your stipend’s stipulations. For options like this, advanced planning is also required to make sure you aren’t taking away from your day-to-day tasks to earn these credits.

American Seminar Institute provides a flexible, on-demand way to earn CME credits anytime, and anywhere in the world. They will ship you their course materials to wherever you are vacationing on the dates you provide. Their pricing is typically between $445 – $540, for just course materials. This option is flexible, but travel and accommodation costs are not included.

Live CME Courses

Live CME courses are often held in major cities and can be attended to earn CME credits.

Electronic Devices

Not interested in a getaway, but still want to capitalize on your CME stipend? Some providers offer a complimentary electronic device such as an iPad or MacBook with the purchase of their CME activity.


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.

Deciding Which CME Course is Right for You? Use the CME activity finder tool below to find the online course that best fits your needs and will help you meet your CME requirements

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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 boardvitals.com.

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