• title-about_aapa
  • Founded in 1968, the American Academy of Physician Assistants is the national professional society for physician assistants. It represents a profession of more than 86,500 certified PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and within the uniformed services.

     About AAPA Image 

    AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve. AAPA works to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence and recognition of physician assistants. It also works to enhance their ability to improve the quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of patient-centered healthcare. 

    Download AAPA's Strategic Plan PDF [.pdf]

    AAPA's Vision, Mission, Values and Strategic Commitments to the PA Profession
    Our Vision for the Profession 

    • PAs transforming health through patient-centered, team-based care.

    The Mission of Our Academy 

    • AAPA leads the profession and empowers our members to advance their careers and enhance patient health.

    AAPA's Values  

    • Leadership and Service: We inspire a shared vision to guide the profession and equip physician assistants to compassionately serve patients and their communities.
    • Unity and Teamwork: We harness the strength of our constituent and partner organizations to speak with one voice for the profession and build partnerships to transform care.  
    • Accountability and Transparency: We deliver results, take ownership for our actions and operate in an environment of openness and trust.
    • Excellence and Equity: We commit to the highest standards and seek to eliminate disparities and barriers to quality healthcare.

    AAPA's Strategic Commitments to the PA Profession in Partnership with our Constituent Organizations 

    • Drive Excellence in PA Practice 
      • Promote, foster and enable excellence in PA practice through integrated professional development and coordinated advocacy
    • Optimize PA Utilization 
      • Identify, measure and promote models that increase the profession's impact on health and enhance PA satisfaction
    • Grow the PA Profession 

    Elevate PA roles, recognition and respect and support increasing the number and diversity of PAs                                                          



    Founded in 1968, AAPA works to increase the professional and personal growth of the more than 86,500 PAs in practice today through a range of information, advocacy and related services.


    Physician assistants who are graduates of PA educational programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant or one of its predecessor agencies are eligible for fellow membership member in AAPA. Other membership categories include:

    • PA students
    • Physicians
    • PAs who are no longer practicing but wish to support the profession
    • Related health professionals and service providers


    Volunteer leaders (elected and appointed) and paid staff members serve the profession from the national office headquarters located in Alexandria, Virginia.

    Policy Manual

     AAPA's Policy Manual includes bylaws, policies and position papers that guide AAPA's actions and programs.

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