Journal-based CME: Medicine's Valuing of "Normal" Cognitive Ability
The article that is the subject for this learning activity asserts that, as a group, physicians consider “normal” cognitive ability essential for life satisfaction—the so-called good life. The authors argue that this physician bias compromises the care physicians provide for those whose cognitive ability is below the medical measurements for “normal.” Finally, the authors recommend strategies for redressing the ethical problem of compromised care for those with limited cognitive ability. Should you have technical questions, please contact the AMA Unified Service Center at 800-621-8335. Should you have questions regarding the content, please contact Shaun Rouser at
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Journal-based CME: Medicine's Valuing of "Normal" Cognitive Ability  
Release Date: August 1, 2015
Expiration Date: August 1, 2019  

Please click here to access the course materials


Upon completion of this educational activity, the physician will be able to:

  1. Explain a new or unfamiliar viewpoint on a topic of ethical or professional conduct.
  2. Evaluate the usefulness of this information for his or her practice, teaching, or conduct.
  3. Decide whether to apply the new information to his or her practice, teaching, or conduct.

Target Audience
This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of AMA Journal of Ethics readers who are practicing and research physicians and physician educators.

Statement of Need
In its 15 years of publication the AMA Journal of Ethics (formerly Virtual Mentor) has published numerous articles that have established physicians’ lack knowledge or skill in the following areas:
ability to communicate diagnoses and prognoses to patients clearly and compassionately; working relationships with non-physician members of the health care team; disparities in care for members of minority groups that are not attributable to clinical factors; setting palliative care goals and having end-of-life treatment discussions; proper treatment of medical students and residents by senior physicians; the need for patient consent to specific interventions and how much information must patients have to give consent; managing relations with pharmaceutical companies; how to respond to performance incentives and patient requests for medically non-indicated treatment, and professional conduct in the world of social media and physician "report cards."

Many of these topics have been identified by state licensing boards as required for license renewal. Examples of knowledge areas required for license renewal include medical ethics, professionalism, palliative care, end-of-life care, patient safety, prevention of medical errors, prevention of domestic violence, pain management, culturally sensitive care, and infection control.

Statement of Competency
This activity is designed to address the following ABMS/ACGME competencies: interpersonal and communication skills and professionalism. 

Accreditation Statement
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation Statement
The American Medical Association designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Claiming Your CME Credit 
In order to claim AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, 1) view the module content in its entirety, 2) successfully complete the quiz answering 5 out of 6 questions correctly and 3) complete the evaluation.    

Planning Committee
Edward H. Livingston, MD, deputy editor for clinical review and education, JAMA
Audiey C. Kao, MD, PhD, vice president, ethics, editor in chief, AMA Journal of Ethics
Faith L. Lagay, PhD, managing editor, AMA Journal of Ethics
Hannah L. Kushnick, MA, assistant editor, AMA Journal of Ethics

Disclosure Statement
The content of this activity does not relate to any product of a commercial interest as defined by the ACCME; therefore, neither the planners nor the faculty have relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

Hardware/software Requirements
Adobe Flash 9.0.115 or above
Audio speakers or headphones
Screen resolution of 800X600 or higher
MS Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, etc. 
Adobe Reader 5.0 or higher

Should you have questions regarding the content of the activity, please contact Shaun Rouser at 

Should you have technical questions, please contact the AMA Unified Service Center at 1-800-621-8335.

Type:  Journal-based CME
Activity Price
99 Registered Users
1 Credits> AMA> AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

0 Credits> AMA> Certificate of Participation for Non-Physicians