3 Career Benefits of Participating in Professional Awards Programs

Apply Now for AAPA Awards!

By Jennifer Anne Hohman

Have you ever considered participating in healthcare-related awards competitions? Doing so offers three very real professional benefits to applicants whether or not you win.


AAPA sponsors annual awards designed to celebrate excellence and service by PAs. These awards fall into two categories: Individual Excellence Awards and the Eugene A. Stead Award of Achievement.

PAs can apply for the Individual Excellence Awards, which include the AAPA/PAEA Preceptor of the Year Award, Military Service PA of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year Award, and the Publishing Award. PAs must be nominated for the Eugene A. Stead Award of Achievement, the highest honor. Learn more about the professional benefits, and consider applying today! 

Polish Your Professional Materials

In the AAPA awards application process, a current CV is required. What a great opportunity to dust yours off and look at it from a constructively critical point of view, asking: where have I truly shined and made a difference, and does my professional document accurately reflect these professional peak experiences? The application process offers a new and galvanizing perspective from which to examine and edit one’s CV and make it is as up-to-date, eloquent, and expressive of your unique contributions to healthcare as possible. This will have salutary career effects regardless of competition outcomes.

The application process will also spur beneficial career and self-reflection as you articulate the instances of exemplary service that merit recognition. For PAs who don’t naturally excel at self-promotion, it is a great confidence-building exercise. This will have spillover career benefits for both written professional materials as well as interviews. So, all shy, dedicated, and talented PAs should reconsider your reluctance and give applying a shot! 

Connect with Exemplary Peers and Your Champions

The application process involves requesting letters of recommendation from clinical partners and peers, and the process of reaching out to them for support is a positive act of self-affirmation. It also engenders trust and positive communication with respected colleagues as you request their reflections on your service, leadership qualities, teamwork, and activities that have had a positive impact on the image of the PA profession. The entire awards process affirms PA professional excellence and core PA profession values of service, teamwork, and excellence. Even if you don’t win, participation will reenergize your commitment to the profession as you learn about the work of other exemplary and inspiring PAs. 

Add Depth and Polish to Your Professional Profile

If you’ve been recognized for excellence at any stage of your PA education or practice, be sure to add this information to your CV. Provide specific information including dates and context, such as information about the awarding institution and how and why you were honored. Specify the scope of the award (national, regional) and the accomplishment it represents: what was required to receive this award and were you the sole winner?

You can also update your LinkedIn page with information in the Honors and Awards section. Consider, too, how your professional network might be enhanced through awards as contacts, references, sources of LinkedIn endorsements, and testimonials.

Apply for an AAPA award today!

Jennifer Anne Hohman is founder of PA Career Coach. Contact her at [email protected].

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