Promoting Innovation in Continuing Medical Education: ACCME and AMA Leaders Define their Vision in JAMA Viewpoint

Dr. McMahon, ACCME, and Dr. Skochelak, AMA Describe Collaborative Strategy to Drive Evolution in CME
Chicago, IL
January 24, 2018

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the American Medical Association (AMA) are pleased to announce the publication of “Evolution of Continuing Medical Education: Promoting Innovation Through Regulatory Alignment,” in JAMA.

In the Viewpoint, Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME; and Susan E. Skochelak, MD, Group Vice President of Medical Education, AMA, describe how their organizations recently collaborated to create a unified set of requirements for accredited CME activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. The goal of the collaboration is to reduce and simplify rules, and eliminate barriers that could constrain innovation in education, while preserving the AMA and ACCME’s shared principles of education excellence and independence.

The collaborative construct is designed to create a system that delivers effective and efficient lifelong learning for clinicians that augments their ability to deliver optimal care. “Today’s learners increasingly and appropriately expect their education to be professionally delivered, tailored to their needs and their practice environment, and support process and quality improvement… From bedside learning to learning from teachers, physicians should be able to integrate their daily activities into a CME portfolio,” McMahon and Skochelak write.

The AMA and ACCME’s alignment helps to ensure that the education community has the permission it needs to deliver on those changing expectations. With the AMA/ACCME alignment, educators now have the freedom to customize the best approach for their learners using a variety of models and can more readily apply innovative education strategies.

By working together to adopt new approaches, regulators can enable health system leaders, educators, and learners to meet the diverse and changing needs of the healthcare environment. In conclusion, Dr. McMahon and Dr. Skochelak state, “With a new vision of the role of regulators, credit and accreditation systems can collaboratively create frameworks that inspire and nurture the community of educators, empowering them to achieve their full potential and deliver education that makes a difference for physicians and patients. In providing this permission, encouragement, and support, the hope is that everyone—clinicians, patients, communities, and health systems—will benefit.”


AMA Media Inquiries

Kelly Jakubek

ACCME Media Inquiries

Tamar Hosansky

Megan Peters Jovic



About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the premier national organization providing timely, essential resources to empower physicians, residents and medical students to succeed at every phase of their medical lives. Physicians have entrusted the AMA to advance the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health on behalf of patients for more than 170 years. For more information, visit

About the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago, responsible for accrediting institutions that offer continuing medical education (CME) and for recognizing state medical societies as accreditors of local CME programs. The ACCME sets standards for CME that reflect the values of the educator community and aim to accelerate learning, inspire change, and champion improvement in healthcare. These standards ensure that accredited CME is designed to be relevant to clinicians’ needs, evidence-based, evaluated for its effectiveness, and independent of commercial influence. Through participation in accredited CME, clinicians and teams drive improvement in their practice and optimize the care, health, and wellness of their patients. For more information, visit You can also follow the ACCME on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.