AAPA HOD Responds to Preceptor Shortage with Increased CME

Revised Policy Doubles Category 1 CME Preceptors May Earn

July 2, 2019

By Alexander Dornstauder

Following several rounds of testimony, AAPA’s House of Delegates (HOD) updated its policy on Category 1 CME for precepting, during AAPA 2019 in Denver. The HOD decided CME could be an effective tool for responding to the national preceptor shortage and voted to increase the CME incentive for those who further the profession as a preceptor.

Since 2013, individual preceptors have been eligible to earn a maximum of 10 AAPA category 1 CME credits during any single calendar year for precepting. Now that incentive is doubled, and preceptors may earn a maximum of 20 AAPA category 1 CME credits during any single calendar year. The HOD also adjusted the rate at which Category 1 CME credit may be earned for precepting. Preceptors may now earn a total of 2 AAPA Category 1 CME credits per week for each PA student they precept. A preceptor who earns the maximum AAPA category 1 CME credits available via precepting can now satisfy 80% of their Category 1 CME requirement. And with the ability to claim additional time precepting as Category 2 CME, 90% of the 2-year NCCPA certification maintenance requirement can be satisfied via precepting.

In 2011 the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) fielded a survey to more than 11,700 active PAs. Sixty-three percent believed that earning AAPA Category 1 CME would be the most important benefit of precepting. This finding prompted AAPA and PAEA to partner on development of policy and guidelines to enable PA programs to award AAPA Category 1 CME to preceptors. Prior to the change in 2013, clinical preceptors were only eligible to claim Category 2 CME for their efforts in clinical teaching. Since 2013, AAPA has accredited more than 150 of the 243 ARC-PA accredited programs to provide AAPA Category 1 CME credit to their preceptors. Following the HOD’s action to increase the amount of CME available to preceptors, that number is expected to increase as preceptors see more value in contributing their time. The policy change is intended to contribute to greater availability of clinical rotations for students, better opportunities for PA programs to recognize and reward their preceptors, and sustainable growth of the profession.

AAPA began to implement this important change to AAPA Category 1 CME credit for precepting immediately following the adoption of the HOD.  As of July 1, 2019, all PA programs accredited by AAPA to award AAPA Category 1 CME credit to preceptors may begin awarding CME credit in accordance with the updated policy. It is the responsibility of each individual program to recognize and award credit to their preceptors appropriately.

PA programs interested in AAPA accreditation can read more about the process and apply via the AAPA CME Accreditation webpage. Preceptors interested additional recognition for their clinical teaching efforts should contact their programs directly about their ability to earn AAPA Category 1 CME credit, and consider pursuing AAPA’s Clinical Preceptor Recognition Program.

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Alexander Dornstauder is manager, CME Accreditation, at AAPA. Contact him at [email protected].