Continuing medical education consists of educational activities, which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance, and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. The content of CME is that body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine, and the provision of health care to the public.
Not all continuing education activities in which physicians engage are considered CME. Physicians may participate in worthwhile continuing educational activities that are not related directly to their professional work, and these activities are not CME. Continuing education activities, which respond to a physician's non-professional educational need or interest, such as personal financial planning, or appreciation of literature or music, are not CME.