The American Medical Association (AMA) defines category II as all educational activities not designated category I that:
- comply with the AMA definition of CME
- comply with AMA ethical opinions on Gifts to Physicians from Industry and on Ethical Issues in CME
- provide a worthwhile learning experience related to a physician's practice
Physician-Designated Category II
Learning experiences that are not designated category I and are not included in the reading requirement can be claimed for category II hours, including:
- articles physicians publish in peer-reviewed journals
- poster presentations and teaching at conferences approved for category I credit
- specialty board certification and recertification
- medically related degrees
- participation in an ACGME-accredited program
- use of non-designated enduring materials
- consultation with peers and experts
- medical research and study online
In determining the number of category II hours to be reported, physicians can use patient charts and personal notations as helpful reminders. For instance, a physician could recall that in the course of a week, he/she has learned from six consultations with experts, averaging 10 minutes each, for a total of about one hour. Or a physician could estimate that in the course of a month, he/she has learned from four discussions with colleagues, averaging 15 minutes each, for a total of about one hour.
Learning required to teach physicians, residents, medical students, and other health professionals can also be claimed for category II hours.
Up to 10 hours may be claimed for publication of a medical or medically related article (or chapter in a book), or for learning that occurs in preparing an exhibit for an organized medical meeting. Small-group discussions on a selected journal article, which can bridge the gap between information and understanding and application to practice, may also be claimed as category II.
Another excellent source of category II education is a physician's systematic reflection on his/her patient care. This systematic reflection can be developed with a series of written questions that can serve as the basis for individual self-study activities. Such activities can be reported for up to 10 category II hours.
Documentation of category II education is not always possible, and is therefore not required. The physician's report of valuable learning from consultation, library use, and other category II activities is acceptable.
Claiming Category II
For more information on how to claim Category II Credit, contact your state medical board.
Contact your CME program or your state's medical association for further information.