Physicians must be able to investigate and evaluate their patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and improve their patient care practices.  CME programs address these issues if the topics relate to:

  • analyzing practice experience and performing practice-based improvement activities using a systematic methodology
  • locating, appraising, and assimilating evidence from scientific studies related to their patients’ health problems
  • obtaining and using information about their own population of patients and the larger population from which their patients are drawn
  • applying knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical studies and other information on diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness
  • using information technology to manage information, access on-line medical information; and support their own education
  • facilitating the learning of students and other health care professionals                                                   


Physicians must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health. CME programs address these issues if they address topics related to:

  • The ability to communicate effectively and demonstrate caring and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families;
  • gathering essential and accurate information about their patients
  • making informed decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient information and preferences, up-to-date scientific evidence, and clinical judgment
  • developing and carrying out patient management plans
  • counseling and educating patients and their families
  • using information technology to support patient care decisions and patient education
  • performing competently all medical and invasive procedures considered essential for the area of practice
  • providing health care services aimed at preventing health problems or maintaining health
  • working with health care professionals, including those from other disciplines, to provide patient-focused care


Physicians must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value. CME programs address these issues if the topics relate to:

  • understanding how their patient care and other professional practices affect other health care professionals, the health care organization, and the larger society and how these elements of the system affect their own practice
  • knowing how types of medical practice and delivery systems differ from one another, including methods of controlling health care costs and allocating resources
  • practicing cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise quality of care
  • advocating for quality patient care and assisting patients in dealing with system complexities
  • knowing how to partner with health care managers and health care providers to assess, coordinate, and improve health care and knowing how these activities can affect system performance


Physicians must demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate (e.g. epidemiological and social-behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care. CME programs address these issues if the topics relate to:

  • demonstration of an investigatory and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations
  • knowledge and application of the basic and clinically supportive sciences which are appropriate to their discipline


Physicians must be able to demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their patients families, and professional associates. CME programs address these issues if the topics relate to

  • creating and sustaining a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients
  • using effective listening skills and eliciting and providing information using effective nonverbal, explanatory, questioning, and writing skills
  • working effectively with others as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group  


Physicians must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population. CME programs address these issues if the topics relate to

  • demonstrating respect, compassion, and integrity; responsiveness to the needs of patients and society that supersedes self-interest; accountability to patients, society, and the profession; and a commitment to excellence and on-going professional development
  • demonstrating a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, and business practices
  • demonstrating sensitivity and responsiveness to patients’ culture, age, gender, and disabilities