The information below provides physicians with licensing requirements, guidelines, and interpretations addressing continuing medical education in Illinois. Contact IDFPR for more information.Contact IDFPR
The information below provides physicians with licensing requirements, guidelines, and interpretations addressing continuing medical education in Illinois.
State of Illinois Continuing Medical Education Requirements for Physician License Renewal Documentation
Physicians should maintain records of their continuing medical education (CME) activities, but are not required to submit documentation to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation with their renewal applications. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation may conduct an audit and randomly select physicians to forward evidence of CME credits.
Therefore, it is important to:
- Keep adequate records of all CME credits earned within the renewal cycle
- Maintain a list of Category 1 (formal) CME programs and include the name of the sponsor of the activity, title, date(s) of attendance, and number of credit hours earned
- Make sure you have certificates verifying credits earned
- Record all Category 2 (informal) CME activities
- Be sure to list the approximate number of hours spent on each type of CME activity
- Maintain CME records for at least 1 full license cycle (3 years) after the cycle in which credits were earned
CME Reporting Cycle
To renew a medical license, physicians must attest to compliance with state CME requirements. Licensees are required by law to renew their licenses every 3 years. The next renewal deadline is July 31, 2023 (deadline extended through August 31, 2023). The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation automatically will forward a notice regarding renewal to each physician prior to the license expiration. The Department will conduct random audits of physicians for compliance with the CME requirements. The CME Requirements should be from August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2023.
For the July 31, 2023, renewal, a licensee will be required to complete 150 hours of continuing medical education (CME). A renewal applicant shall not be required to comply with the CME requirements for the first renewal of an Illinois license.
Credits shall be earned as follows:
- A minimum of 40% (60 hours) of the required CME hours shall be obtained in formal CME programs. (The entire 150-hour requirement may be completed in Category 1).
- A maximum of 60% (90 hours) of the required CME hours may be obtained in informal CME programs or activities.
Specific CME Coursework Requirements
In Illinois, physicians can choose the CME activities they complete in order to meet the training needs of their specialty. In addition to elective courses, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) does require education to be completed on specific topics for all licensed professionals and physicians. Below are the mandatory CME topics for Illinois physicians:
Controlled substance license holders must complete 3 CME hours on safe opioid prescribing practices offered or accredited by a professional association, state government agency, or federal agency. CME taken by physicians as a requirement for licensure in another state, or for purposes of board certification application or renewal, count towards this new requirement.
Sexual Harassment Prevention
Every licensed professional in Illinois (required to complete continuing education), including physicians, is required to complete 1 hour of continuing education specific sexual harassment prevention.
Every licensed healthcare professional has direct patient interaction with adults age 26 and above must take one hour of training on the diagnosis, treatment, and care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Every licensed healthcare professional is required to take one hour of training on recognizing implicit bias in health care.
Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse
Physicians who treat children must complete this training requirement once every six years.
All of the special requirements noted above count toward the 150 hours required for renewal. You can view all of the courses provided by ISMS that meet Illinois’ state-mandated education requirements here.
Waiver of CME Requirements
In the event that a physician is unable to complete the CME requirements by date of the license renewal, a CME Waiver Request Form must be completed and submitted prior to the renewal date. Contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for specific details and the CME Waiver Request Form.
Contact IDFPR for more information.
Category 1 Determination
CME activities are designated as Category 1 by an accredited providers and joint providers. Category 1 activities can take the form of:
- use of audio-visual or computer-based materials.
Only an institution or organization accredited for continuing medical education can designate a CME activity as earning Category 1 credit. The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) is responsible for CME accreditation of medical schools, state medical societies, and other institutions and organizations which provide CME activities for a national or regional audience. State medical societies accredit institutions and organizations that provide CME activities primarily for physicians within the state or bordering states. CME credit and accreditation information must be prominently printed on all promotional literature.
Category 2 Determination
These are educationally beneficial activities in which a physician may participate. Physicians self-designated Category 2 credits.
For more information, please contact:
Illinois State Medical Society
Department of Education and Licensure
20 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 700
Chicago, IL 60602
312-782-1654 ext. 4746
800-782-4767 ext. 4746
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
320 West Washington, 3rd Floor
Springfield, IL 62786
Medical licensure requirements in Illinois are developed by the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDFPR). To view the full list of medical licensure requirements as determined by the state agency, please visit the IDFPR website.
If you have specific questions about your medical license requirements, please contact IDFPR directly at 1-800-560-6420.