License Requirements

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. Contact IDFPR for more information.

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 30, 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.

CME Requirements

For the July 30, 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 mostly can choose their educational plan for CME requirements to meet the specific training needs of their special. However, CME courses in certain topics is required to renew a medical license. Below are the mandatory CME topics.

As part of their CME requirement, controlled substance license holders must also 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.

Recognizing Dementia
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.

Implicit Bias
Every licensed healthcare professional is required to take one hour of training on recognizing implicit bias in health care. All of the special requirements noted above count toward the 150 hours required for renewal.

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.

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:

  • lectures;
  • seminars,
  • webinars
  • 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


IDFPR Resources

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, or you can fill out an online contact form on their website.

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