Certified Medical Director (CMD)

Understanding the California Requirement (AB 749) and the Process to Become, Maintain, or Reinstate the Certified Medical Director (CMD) Credential

California AB 749

California Assembly Bill AB 749 requires nursing home medical directors in California to be certified by the American Board of Post-Acute and Long Term Care Medicine (ABPLM). This bill would prohibit a skilled nursing facility from contracting with a person as a medical director if the person is not, or will not be within 5 years of the date of initial hire as the facility’s medical director, certified by the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, or an equivalent organization as determined by the department, as a Certified Medical Director. Under the bill, a medical director already employed in a skilled nursing facility as of January 1, 2022, would have until January 1, 2027, to become a Certified Medical Director.  (Full text.)


How CALTCM can help you become a Certified Medical Director and meet recertification requirements:

Join the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine (CALTCM) to stay up to date, fulfill CME credits for step-2, and step-3 CMD educational requirements, within California by attending CALTCM’s Annual Meeting, Leadership in Management in Geriatrics (LMG), and other educational courses. (The required course for step-1 eligibility is offered by AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (The Society).)

Looking for the "Fast Track"? Click here for: Journey to Becoming a CMD in California


Certified Medical Director (CMD) Application Process


From ABPLM: The process to become a CMD is an education and experience model. There is no test for certification.  Candidates for certification must meet eligibility under three steps, each of which includes education and experience qualification requirements.  Candidates must meet all eligibility requirements under each of those options in both areas of experience in practice, and in education to become certified. Eligibility is documented on an application that can be downloaded by clicking the links above.

Step one is general eligibility, step two is clinical eligibility, and step three is management eligibility.  Steps two and three require a candidate to choose the options that are based on whether he/she/they have ABMS/AOA board certifications and any certificates of added qualification; and whether he/she has completed a geriatric fellowship in the past five years. 

Under step one, general eligibility, the body of knowledge required for certification is found in the “Core Curriculum on Medical Direction in Long-Term Care” (the Core).  The Core is divided into two parts, each of which is required.  The first part of the Core is available online, and the second part of the Core takes place at a live meeting over a three-day weekend either in person or virtually online.  Information on upcoming offerings of and registration for the Core can be found on the PALTC website at:  https://apex.paltc.org/page/core-curriculum-on-medical-direction.

Under step two, clinical eligibility, candidates will document clinical education and experience requirements. 

Under step three, management eligibility, candidates will document management education and experience requirements. 

While candidates must meet the clinical experience and medical director experience for CMD certification, CMD applications may be submitted for consideration of a letter of education eligibility even before the years of medical director experience are completed.  The one-time application review fee will be held with a pending application for up to 5-years.  Application deadlines are April 1, and October 1 of each year. Candidates who meet education eligibility will be awarded the education eligibility letter which will be valid for up to five years as the candidate works to complete employment eligibility requirements. 

While not required, membership in AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine provides a discount on the education required in step one and on the application review fee.  Click here to learn more about AMDA membership.

If you need additional CME credits to meet step-2 or step-3 education requirements, check with CALTCM or AMDA. You can find out more about the AMDA CME on their website athttps://apex.paltc.org.  

For questions about CMD certification, please contact the ABPLM Director at [email protected]g or 410-992-3117.


Core Curriculum on Medical Direction in PALTC Registration

The Core Curriculum on Medical Direction in PALTC is the course required of all applicants for initial CMD certification. AMDA, the Society for PALTC conducts this course. Click here to learn more about the required course and to register.


CMD Verification

Verification of a physician's CMD status may be checked online by clicking here. For written verification contact the ABPLM at [email protected].