The Best Place for Free Physician Assistant CME

Completing the 100 required continuing medical education (CME) hours every two years to maintain your physician assistant license can seem like a daunting task. It helps to know some of the best places for free physician assistant CME.

This is especially true if your employer doesn’t provide a stipend. Even if you have an allowance, airfare, hotels and conference fees can run in the thousands of dollars. If you do attend a large conference, you may still only earn a fraction of the CME required.

There are many resources available that offer free continuing medical education, most of them approved for Category 1 CME Credit ™ , which NCCPA recognizes for PAs. With most of these programs listed you can search by specialties, clinical topics, or even profession such as programs specific to PAs.

Depending on your preference, you can choose between print, audio or even video mediums on most of these sites. Whatever your preference is, doing a few free continuing education hours a month will help keep you on track. No one wants to be scrambling in December when their NCCPA license renewal is due.

These free CME sources can supplement your hours or be your sole source of continuing medical education if that’s what you’re looking for. Most require nothing more than registering with their site.


Doximity provides more than free CME. You get a custom news feed of articles personalized for you. You can search for articles that match your interest. They have free medical education hours accredited for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. While the resources are free, registration is required.


Medscape has accredited courses covering over 1000 clinical topics. You can read unlimited articles, expert perspectives, FDA announcements, conference news and practice guidelines across over 30 specialties. All activities are certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ which is recognized by the NCCPA.


ReachMD also provides free online CME. If your preference a variety of mediums such as audio and video, they are a great resource. Their content is not only web-based and mobile app friendly, but they also stream 24/7 on ReachMD, iHeartRadio, and iTunes digital platforms. Content is Category 1 CME.

Up To Date

The first time I heard Up To Date tracks your usage, which you can then apply as CME time I died a little inside. I spent hours on Up To Date in my first few years of practice! This is a fantastic resource if your organization provides you a subscription to Up To Date. Subscribers with an individual or EMR/system subscription can earn CME each time a clinical question is researched. UpToDate tracks the search activity and the time spent reading the topics. You can select AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or log hours reading for Category 2. is another online database of courses offering accredited hours at no cost. There is no news feed but their website is simple and easy to navigate. You can search by specialties, clinical topics, professions, credit type, and different media formats.

If you aren’t already receiving The Clinical Advisor, a free clinical publication for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, you should sign up! Free CME is offered monthly and available on Dozens of other courses are available to search by specialty or topic. They also create Small Bites, where you can earn CME through short 15-30 minute courses.

Pri-med host multiple live conferences around the country for extremely affordable rates as far as conferences go (around $50/day for 1-3 day conferences). They also have many free CME courses on their website. Their database is simple and easy to search.

Grand Rounds

It’s likely your local hospital offers grand rounds regularly. These typically provide AMA Category 1 Credit ™ . This is also a chance to interact with your colleagues. Many hosts now allow you to call in and attend virtually for the same credit.

State Medical Associations

There’s a good chance your state medical association offers free CME. They especially do this when new laws are enacted or education for licensure is required. For example in my state, practitioners are now required to do 2 continuing education hours on opioid prescribing and abuse, so a free webinar is available. I frequently see free CME as well on infectious disease topics when there are new outbreaks.

CME doesn’t have to break the bank. You can spend a fortune going to conferences. If it’s on your employer’s dollar, great. But if you work part-time, or your organization doesn’t cover the cost of continuing education, try one of these resources. Don’t forget to log your CME on NCCPAs site as you go so that it’s nice and organized for you when it’s time to submit.

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