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Since 1966, following a pilot study five years earlier, the American Medical Association has provided a program of accreditation for institutions and organizations involved in continuing medical education activities. The AMA Council on Medical Education, with its Advisory Committee on Continuing Medical Education, has sought to develop this service as a full-scale venture to provide guidelines for institutions and organizations that desire to provide physician self-renewal of higher quality and greater relevance. The accreditation program has been voluntary and initially was offered to any institution or organization interested in being surveyed on the basis of established guidelines developed by the Council. In 1970, the guidelines were developed further to be the Essentials of Approved Programs in Continuing Medical Education. Those who plan and implement programs of continuing medical education, as well as those who conduct surveys of such programs for accreditation, have found the Essentials useful and practical.
Howard RW. Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education. JAMA. 1972;221(7):708-709. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200200054015