Membership Maintenance Requirements

Meeting Attendance

The ACOS meeting attendance policy requires active members to attend one of the following five eligible meetings at least once every three years:  Annual Clinical Assembly of Osteopathic Surgeons(ACA), General Surgery In-Depth Review, Urological Mid-Year Meeting, American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics Mid-Year Meeting or American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics Annual Meeting.

New Member Induction Ceremony

All newly elected members are required to be present at an annual meeting of the ACOS to participate in a membership induction ceremony at the ACOS Ceremonial Conclave within three years after election to membership.  If the new member fails to attend any of these three (3) annual meetings of the ACOS for induction, the membership will be dropped, but may be reinstated by the Membership Committee at the request of the former member (Bylaws, Article III, Section 2.7).  

Continuing Medical Education 

ACOS active members are required to satisfy the AOA CME requirements to remain eligible for ACOS membership, unless exempted. The objective of ACOS’ CME requirement is to encourage members to continue their study and instruction in surgical diagnosis and technique, and other arts and sciences that improve the practice of surgery. By adopting these CME requirements the profession improves surgical care and the health and well-being of the surgical patient.

This policy is carried out, in cooperation with the AOA, by means of the AOA’s computerized CME recordkeeping system that documents credits earned through participation in approved CME activities sponsored by recognized organizations, institutions, and agencies.

Evaluation Process

The Membership Committee uses the American Osteopathic Association Individual Activity Report to determine whether a member has or has not satisfied the AOA CME criteria. It is, therefore, imperative that each member’s CME activities be reported to the AOA Continuing Medical Education Department.

The AOA requires 120 CME credit hours for a three-year calendar period with a minimum of 30 hours in AOA Category 1-A. The remaining 90 hours of the CME requirement may be satisfied with either Category 1-A, 1-B, 2-A or 2-B credits. Your individual CME Activity Report outlines your total CME requirement and the amount of credits needed in Categories 1 and 2. Physicians who are board certified must earn a minimum of 50 credit hours (Category 1 or 2) in their primary specialty. Members who obtain 150 hours or more of AOA approved CME credit in a three-year CME cycle will be given a certificate of excellence in CME.

Summary of the AOA CME Requirements

American Osteopathic Association (AOA) membership and the fulfillment of the AOA continuing medical education requirements (CME) are necessary for the continuation of ACOS membership.

For complete details regarding the American Osteopathic Association CME requirements or questions regarding AOA CME activity categories (1-A, 1-B, 2-A, and 2-B), visit the AOA website at or contact the AOA Division of Continuing Medical Education at (800) 621-1773 ext. 8262.


ACOS members have the right to appeal any decision made by the ACOS Membership Committee regarding failure to fulfill the AOA CME requirements. All requests for appeal should be initiated promptly following notification of the committee’s review of your CME activities. Appeals are to be submitted in writing to the ACOS Executive Director.

Waivers and Exemptions


ACOS members exempted from the CME program requirements include: retired members who do not hold an active license to practice medicine; ACOS members outside the limits of the United States and Canada; student members; interns and residents; members participating in AOA recognized postgraduate programs; military members assigned positions other than in their specialty or who are involved in significant military operations; and disabled members. ACOS Life Members in active practice have a CME requirement.

Osteopathic Physicians in the Military Waiver

The AOA policy related to osteopathic physicians in the military is that five hours per year, or up to 15 hours of the 30-hour AOA Category 1A requirement per three-year cycle may be waived. This waiver is available only to those physicians on active duty who have accumulated a total of 120 hours of CME and who request said waiver from the Council on CME.

Extenuating Circumstances

If there are extenuating circumstances that have prevented your obtaining sufficient credit, such as serious illness, we urge you to report this to the AOA. You may qualify for a waiver or reduction in your required hours. Changes in your practice status since the beginning of the CME cycle may reduce your AOA CME requirement. For additional information on extenuating circumstances, please contact the AOA Director of CME at 1-800-621-1773, extension 8262.

The Council on CME will grant no waivers without due cause or inability to obtain hours unless policy advises otherwise.

More complete information on reduction or waivers of the CME requirements can be found on the AOA website at