Board of Medicine Moves to Require CME Credits in Pain Management and End of Life Care

We learned today that the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine is notifying physicians by email that effective Feb. 1, it will require continuing medical education (CME) credits on two specific clinical topics as a condition of licensure and re-licensure: pain management and end of life care.

It will require three hours of CME credits in pain management for physicians who prescribe controlled substances (Schedules I through VI). These credits qualify as either category 1 or category 2 CME, and may be counted as risk management credits. This requirement was established by the Legislature by statute in 2010.

The MMS recommends two courses to fulfill this requirement:

The Board will also require physicians to take two credits in education about end-of-life care, also effective Feb. 1.  The credits qualify as either category 1 or category 2, and may be counted as risk management credits. This is a requirement imposed by the Board very recently, following the recommendations of an expert panel on end of life care that met in 2008.

The MMS online CME center offers three courses that would fulfill this requirement:

The state’s complete CME requirements for licensure and re-licensure are available on the MMS website.

  1. Frank Fortin says:

    You need to fulfill 3 hours of pain management CME AND 2 hours of end of life CME. The courses per se are not mandatory, but they do help fulfill the requirements. However, note that each course provides only one credit hour , so you will need to go elsewhere to fulfill your re-licensure requirement.

  2. Thomas Klepacki, D.O. says:

    There are 2 courses listed for “Pain Management” and 3 courses listed for “End of Life Care”. Do all 5 courses have to be completed or do we just choose one from each category ??

    Thank you !

  3. Richard D. Plotz says:

    I’m a pathologist and never see or treat patients directly. Since I don’t prescribe, I’m exempt from the pain management requirement. Do I still have to spend two hours on end of life care CME even though I have not provided any treatment to any patient at any stage of life in the last 35 years?

  4. Frank Fortin says:

    As with all CME courses that we sponsor or co-sponsor, our system automatically records when you successfully complete a course (e.g., pass an exam).

    When you’re logged into the website, you can see a list of all the credits you earned through us: Click “My Account” at the top of the home page, then click “My CME” in the left column. You must be logged in to see the “My Account” link. This screen does not automatically record CME credits you have earned elsewhere.

    Also, when you pass the exam for an online CME course, you get a certificate in your email which certifies the number of credits you have earned in that course.

  5. Marc Grella says:

    When completing the recommended opioid prescribing modules, is there a mechanism for MMS to be notified automatically of completion? If not, how does one inform MMS of the requirement being met?

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