AAPA Distinguished Fellows

Some PAs can’t help but stand out in their professional lives, whether through innovation in medical practice, serving their communities, or taking on leadership roles for their specialty and profession. In their diversity, they exemplify what it means to be role models, showing that what PAs can achieve is endless. As elite members of AAPA, Distinguished Fellows are the strong foundation that makes the successful future of the PA profession possible.


Eligibility Requirements

    1. AAPA Membership Criteria
      • Current fellow or sustaining member of AAPA in good standing.
      • For fellow members, 9 years of membership (fellow or sustaining) in the span of the 12 years prior to application.
      • For sustaining members, 15 years of membership (fellow or sustaining) in the span of 20 years prior to application.
    2. Graduation Criteria
      • For fellow members, graduated from PA program 12 or more years ago.
      • For sustaining members, graduated from PA program 20 or more years ago.
    3. Dedication to the Profession

    Distinguished Fellows must demonstrate outstanding dedication to the profession in at least 3 of the following areas:

      • Distinction in medical practice, education, research, or healthcare management
      • Leadership in medicine and healthcare
      • Professional involvement
      • Commitment to lifelong learning
      • Community service



A certificate suitable for framing and display and an attractive lapel pin


Use of the designation “DF” or the professional designation, Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of PAs, after your name (e.g., DFAAPA), as long as your AAPA membership is active


Name and credentials featured on AAPA website


Acknowledgement at AAPA Conference and a personal invite to the Distinguished Fellow Reception at AAPA Conference in the spring

How To Apply

  1. Application

    To apply, complete the online application by logging in with your AAPA username and password.

    You must provide documentation for at least three (3) items in your application (i.e., certificates, articles published, letters, awards) as proof of your achievements.

    *Please note that we have recently updated our online application system. If you started an application using the old system, you have until January 31, 2021 to complete the form. Please email [email protected] if you need assistance. New applications must be submitted using the new system.

  2. Administrative Fee

    Your application is not complete until you have submitted a $65 one-time, non-refundable application fee to AAPA. This payment is required when you submit your application.

  3. AAPA Review

    AAPA staff will review your application and may contact you if we have any questions.

  4. Distinguished Fellow Interview

    Following AAPA’s review of your application, if accepted, you will be matched with an existing Distinguished Fellow for a brief introductory interview.

    Due to scheduling of the interview, the full application process may take up to two months from receipt of both the application and payment. We appreciate your patience as we consider your application for this distinction.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to email program staff at [email protected].

Resources for Distinguished Fellows

Employer Letter

Request that AAPA notify your employer about your new distinction by filling out this brief form.

Press Release

Download our press release template to spread the news of your recognition further. Add your information where noted and submit the release to your local civic organizations, newspapers, and hospital or employer newsletters.