Requirements Specific to Geriatrics and Pain Management

AB 487: Pain Management and the Appropriate Care and Treatment of the Terminally Ill

AB 487, signed into law on October 4, 2001, requires most California-licensed physicians to take, as a one-time requirement, 12 units of continuing medical education (CME) on "pain management" and "the appropriate care and treatment of the terminally ill." The bill, which has become Business and Professions Code section 2190.5, exempts pathologists and radiologists.

The Medical Board will accept courses or programs that address one or both topics. The courses or programs must qualify for Category 1 credit and be presented by an organization accredited to provide CME by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the American Medical Association (AMA), the California Medical Association (CMA), or the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). In addition to accrediting CME providers, AMA, CMA, and AAFP may also present CME programs which will be accepted.

The 12 units may be divided in any way that is relevant to the physician's specialty and practice setting. Acceptable courses may address either topic individually or both topics together. For example, one physician might take three hours of "pain management education" and nine hours of "the appropriate care and treatment of the terminally ill;" a second physician might opt to take six hours of "pain management" and six hours of "the appropriate care and treatment of the terminally ill;" a third physician might opt to take one 12-hour course that includes both topics. The Medical Board will accept any combination of the two topics totaling 12 hours.

Physicians with an active license before January 1, 2002, will have until December 31, 2006, to obtain the 12 hours.

Physicians licensed on or after January 1, 2002, must complete the mandated hours by their second license renewal date or within four years whichever comes first.

The 12 required hours shall count toward the 25 hours of approved continuing education each physician is required to complete during each calendar year.

To access information on some of the courses currently available click below on Currently Available Pain Management Courses. Please be aware that due to the demand and limited enrollment, courses fill quickly. You may wish to contact the sponsors directly for additional information.

AB 1820: Geriatric Medicine

The passage of AB 1820 (California Business and Professions Code section 2190.3) establishes the Geriatric Medical Training Act of 2000, which places certain requirements on physicians and the Medical Board of California. This bill requires sufficient course work and training in the field of geriatrics for medical students and physicians to ensure that every general internist and family physician has the requisite knowledge and skills to competently treat California's older population by the year 2010.

General internists and family physicians who have a patient population of which over 25 percent of the patients are at least 65 years of age, are required to complete at least 20 percent of their mandatory CME in the field of geriatric medicine.

All other physicians are encouraged to take a course in geriatric medicine, including geriatric pharmacology, as part of their mandatory CME.