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1. The CME Program Guide indicates that watching a CME video counts in Section 3 (Other Activities-Unaccredited), but I heard that this had recently been changed. Is that true?

At the CME Advisory Committee meeting on September 14, 2005, it was decided to amend the present CME Program Guide as follows:

    GAHS will allow the viewing of a taped, accredited CME event to now be counted in Section 1 (Accredited Group Learning Activities), provided it is viewed in a moderated group setting. The moderator is responsible for the following:

    * previewing the program.

    * verbally defining the learning objectives of the program for the attendees.

    * preparing appropriate questions for discussion.

    * conducting a formal Question and Answer period following the viewing.

    * ensuring that a written evaluation is completed by the participants.

    * reviewing the evaluations to assist in quality improvement and planning future CME activities.

    * tracking attendance of participants.

    If the viewing takes place in a group setting without a moderator, or if the tape (or DVD) of an accredited event is viewed individually, it will remain in Section 3 (Other Activities - Unaccredited).

2. I have spent many months preparing for my Arab Board exams this year, which I have successfully passed. This did not allow me much time to attend formal CME sessions. Will GAHS give me credit for the time I have spent studying?

At the CME Advisory Committee meeting on June 13, 2005, it was decided to amend the present Program Guide as follows:

º GAHS will allow participants who have successfully passed recognized examinations to be exempt from meeting the minimum requirement of 50 CME hours in the calendar year in which the examination is written.

For example, if the exam is written in November 2005 and favourable results are received in February 2006, the physician would be exempt from the minimum CME requirement of 50 hours for the calendar year 2005.

The examinations which are recognized for exemption from the minimum requirement include Membership Exams (e.g. MRCP, MRCGP), Fellowship Exams (e.g. FRCP, FRCS) and Arab Boards. If you wrote and successfully passed an exam in 2005 in one of these categories, you have been "pre-approved" to be exempt from the minimum guidelines for 2005.

If you are seeking exemption from the minimum CME requirements for an exam not list above, application for exemption must be approved in advance of sitting the exam to determine GAHS recognition. Exemption requests indicating all details may be sent to

3.I spent most of this year preparing for the Medical Council of Canada Evaluation Exam (MCCEE), which hampered my ability to attend CME sessions. Am I given credit for the time I spent studying for this exam?

It was the CME Advisory Committee's decision that this exam did NOT qualify to exempt physicians from their minimum CME requirements for the year in which it is written. The same reply relates to the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE).

4. I am busy with extra shifts and find it difficult to attend lectures. Is there anything new to assist me?

The CME Advisory Committee has agreed to the following revision to its guidelines regarding completion of accredited online CME:

Medscape ( is an accredited CME provider in accordance with the standards established by the Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME). If a physician successfully completes an online Medscape activity, a Letter of Completion which indicates the maximum number of CME hours allowed for this activity will be accessible online to the participant. Each physician is allowed to claim only those credit hours for time actually spent doing the Medscape activity. This amount may not exceed that allowed in the Letter of Completion.

The number of hours indicated in the Letter of Completion will be accepted by GAHS and may be counted in Section 2 (Accredited Self Assessment and Professional Development Activities) of the CME Program Guide. Letters of Completion must be printed and filed in the physician's CME portfolio, to substantiate his claim of completion.

Other online activities such as literature and information searches (MEDLINE®), remain in Section 3 (Other Activities - Unaccredited) of the CME Program Guide. A maximum of 25 hours may be claimed in this section.

In addition, we encourage you to organize CME within your own facility. It does not have to be on a grand scale involving international speakers. You may wish to organize weekly or monthly meetings (to discuss interesting or challenging cases), or journal clubs (to discuss new research or approaches to patient care) within your own department. To seek accreditation for your program, please follow the Accreditation Application process via the "Accreditation" link.

5. Is the time spent preparing a lecture considered accredited time?

The presenter may certainly claim time spent in preparation, but there are not a "set" number of acceptable hours. For example, if you spend 4 hours researching and preparing a topic, then you may claim the time under Section 2 (page 5 - Accredited Self Assessment and Professional Development) in your CME Program Guide. This is found in the lower left corner under "educational development". The only proviso is that it must be new learning for you, and that the number of hours claimed must be reasonable (i.e. relative to the length and complexity of the lecture).

The number of hours claimed may be 2, or it may be 7, depending on how long it actually takes you. It is advisable that you record the resources you used in your research, to substantiate your CME log.

Also, the time you spend formally lecturing may be claimed under the same section - "teaching". Additionally, an agenda or announcement listing you as the speaker for a particular meeting, or thank you certificate etc. should be added to your CME portfolio.

Let's say the event is accredited, consists of 2 one-hour lectures and you are responsible for one of the lectures. Perhaps you spent 4 hours in preparation, so you may claim 5 hours (4 for prep. and 1 for teaching) in Section 2 of the Guide. If you remain for your colleague's one hour lecture, then it may be counted in Section 1 (Accredited Group Activities). When you note this in your personal CME log sheet, you would record it exactly as it was:

  • Preparation Time - 4 hours - Section 2

  • Teaching Time - 1 hour - Section 2

  • Participation - 1 hour - Section 1

This is all accredited time. Of course, you would also note the unique identification (ID) number related to this event, sources used in your preparation, event date etc.

6. If I successfully complete online CME, does it count for accredited time?

Please see the response to question #3.

7. I joined GAHS on June 5, 2005. Do I still have to complete 50 hours of CME even though I have not been an employee for the full year?

As per the original decree issued in July 2004, physicians and dentists who have been employed by GAHS for 12 months or more are required to complete a minimum of 50 CME hours per calendar year. Of these hours, no less than 25 can be accredited and no more than 25 can be unaccredited.

At the CME Advisory Committee meeting on September 14, 2005, it was decided to amend the present CME Program Guide as follows:

    * Physicians and dentists who have been employed by GAHS for less than 6 months (i.e. start date after June 30, 2005) do not have to meet any minimum CME requirements in 2005.

    * Physicians and dentists who have been employed by GAHS for more than 6 months but less than 12 months (i.e. start date between February 1 and June 30, 2005), must complete 25 hours of CME by December 31, 2005. Of these hours, no less than 12 can be accredited and no more than 13 can be unaccredited.

8. What is the best way to stay current regarding any amendments made to CME requirements?

Important information is conveyed to GAHS-employed physicians and dentists in a number of ways. You may check the website, which highlights new announcements on their homepage under the heading "Latest News". Additionally, the homepage window "Others" links you to announcements.

There are CME Committee Representatives for each facility, whose responsibility it is to encourage CME and to convey new information. CME questions may also be sent to the following email address:

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