On June 6, the Medical Board of California (MBC) sent an email to all licensed physicians and surgeons regarding required CME for pain management and the treatment of terminally ill patients that caused confusion. While all physicians and surgeons continue to be required to take a 12-hour CME course on pain management and the treatment of terminally ill patients, only those licensed ON or AFTER January 1, 2019 will need to ensure that course includes content on the risks of addiction associated with the use of Schedule II drugs. An alternative to a 12-hour course is completion of one-time 12-hour course on the treatment and management of opioid-dependent patients, including eight hours of training in buprenorphine treatment or other similar medicinal treatment for opioid use disorders to take the place of the existing CME pain management requirement.
Physicians must complete this requirement within four years of initial licensure. (Pathologists and radiologists are exempt.)