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Credit Where Credit’s Due: Human Subjects Training for Physicians

NIH supports critical research that advances human health, while protecting the rights and welfare of the research participants who are integral to research success. NIH’s human subjects protection policies ensure the conduct of quality research and provide the proper stewardship of NIH funding. Some of you may have taken human subjects training offered at your home institution, but did you know NIH offers free online training as well? Since 2008, NIH’s Office of Extramural Research has offered the Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP) course to all researchers seeking information on the ethical conduct of human subjects research. Each year over 200,000 individuals complete this training, which is offered in both English and Spanish, and the course is just one way grantees can meet NIH’s human subjects education requirement.

Now we have even more good news for physicians interested in this training! Beginning March 3 2014, physicians who successfully complete the course will be able to earn up to 3 American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award (AMA PRA) Category 1 Credits continuing medical education (CME) credits.

The CME credit option is offered through a partnership with University Health Services-Professional Education Programs (UHS-PEP) of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System. This school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), certifying that the NIH PHRP course meets the ACCME standards for effective learning experiences that meet physicians’ learning needs. While the course remains free to all, CME-eligible individuals who want to earn these credits must follow the link to VCU’s registration system after completing the training and pay a $25 fee for CME credit recording. Physicians who have completed the PHRP training prior to March 3, and want to earn CME credits, need to log into the course, choose “Renew my certificate”, and successfully retake the course to be eligible to earn CME credit.

I am very excited about this new partnership and better serving those taking the PHRP course. I hope that enabling physician learners to earn CME credit will expand the number of individuals taking this course and continue to keep sharp focus on the protection of one of our most valuable resources, our research participants.

4 thoughts on “Credit Where Credit’s Due: Human Subjects Training for Physicians

  1. Is there a chance you could also offer credit to other professional care givers such as Nurses? We have a large number of Nurse researchers at my University and at many of the top Nursing Schools across the nation.

    • Thanks for your comment. We agree that other clinical researchers, including nurses, would benefit from this training. After ensuring that the new CME system is functioning well, the Office of Extramural Research will explore options for offering continuing education credit to other health professionals for this course. In the meantime, nurses who are currently conducting clinical research may want consider taking the free PHRP course on a non-credit basis to get additional training on human subjects protections.

    • We agree that this training is beneficial to a wide range of health professionals and researchers. After ensuring that the new CME system is functioning well, the Office of Extramural Research will explore options for offering continuing education credit to other health professionals for this course. We also encourage you to contact your professional accreditation society to determine if the American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award (AMA PRA) Category 1 Credits™ CME credits offered now are accepted for continuing education credit in your particular discipline.

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