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Medical Ethics Requirement

Effective January 2015

All Diplomates with certifications expiring in 2012, or later, must complete 7.5 Category 1 CME Credits in an AAPS-approved Medical Ethics course, or combination of courses, as part of their recertification requirements. CME hours earned may be applied to the CME requirements for recertification and if completing the AAPS course offered annually each June, the credits may also be applied to the requirement of at least 16 hours of AAPS-sponsored CME that Diplomates with certificates expiring in 2016 or later must meet.

For more information regarding the current course schedule, see “AAPS Medical Ethics Course”.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Medical Ethics Requirement

Q. When was this requirement added?

A: The AAPS Board of Directors (BOD) voted in 2005 to require all recertifying Diplomates to complete a Medical Ethics course every eight years, starting with certificates expiring in 2012. The course was first offered in 2005, and held annually since, during the AAPS Annual Scientific Meeting. Recently, the BOD approved a modification allowing recertifying Diplomates to fulfill the requirement with courses other than the AAPS course.

Q. Will any extension or waiver be granted for those with certificates due to expire, or have already expired, who complete all requirements except the Medical Ethics course(s)?

A: No – Diplomates whose certificates expire will be considered not certified as of January 1st of the year following their expiration. They will remain eligible for recertification for four years after their certificate expiration date, but must complete the approved Medical Ethics course(s) before they will be allowed to register for the written recertification examination.

Q. My recertification application is complete except for completing Medical Ethics. Should I wait to submit my application until this requirement is met?

A: No – if taking the AAPS course or a course that takes place after the application deadline but before the next examination administration, the applicable Board of Certification can review your application for recertification as long as all required information is complete. The Board has the option to approve the application contingent upon completion of the Medical Ethics course prior to the examination registration deadline. Please submit proof of registration for the course along with your application.

Q. Is there any option for taking the AAPS Medical Ethics course online or through DVDs?

A: Yes – The AAPS Board of Directors recently approved modifications to the ethics requirement that will allow Diplomates to take online or DVD versions of a Medical Ethics course, or combination of courses. Diplomates are still required to complete 7.5 Category 1 CME credits, and the course(s) must either contain the term “Medical Ethics” in the title, or be clearly identifiable by either the syllabus or course outline as an ethics course designed for physicians.  The same course cannot be taken multiple times to meet the 7.5 credit requirement.