You’ve Got This: Become a Distinguished Fellow

Be Recognized for Your Contributions

December 13, 2019

By Kate Maloney

You’ve got lots of letters after your name. You’ve received honors at work, and you’ve delivered CME presentations. You volunteer your time on your workplace’s committees and in your community. You’re well on your way to being recognized as one of AAPA’s Distinguished Fellows. Have some questions about the program and the process? Don’t worry – we’re here to set you up for success!

What is a Distinguished Fellow?
A Distinguished Fellow must be an AAPA fellow member or retired fellow in good standing, meet graduation criteria, and show dedication to their profession. To attain the Distinguished Fellow designation, you must demonstrate outstanding dedication in at least three of the following areas:

  • distinction in medical practice, education, research, or healthcare management;
    • e.g. awards received or articles published
  • leadership in medicine and healthcare;
    • e.g. involvement in committees or workgroups
  • professional involvement;
    • e.g. leadership role in constituent organizations
  • commitment to lifelong learning; and
    • e.g. earning and maintaining certificates
  • community service
    • e.g. participating in public health activities

Benefits of becoming a Distinguished Fellow
There are only 1,027 Distinguished Fellows as of August 2019. Besides the satisfaction of being officially recognized as one of an elite group of PAs, Distinguished Fellows will receive a certificate and pin, and recognition on the AAPA website. Additionally, at each of AAPA Conferences, you’ll receive a personal invite to the Distinguished Fellow reception in the spring. The Distinguished Fellow reception is a chance to network with other exceptional PAs. Finally, you’ll be able to use the designation after your name – either “DFAAPA” or “Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of PAs” – as long as your AAPA membership is active.

[Join us in Nashville, Tennessee for AAPA 2020.]

Confirm you meet the membership requirement
If you aren’t sure exactly how long you’ve been a member of AAPA, send an email to [email protected] and we can check your membership eligibility requirements.

Screenshot of the Distinguished Fellow applicationDon’t feel like you need to finish in one sitting
Don’t be overwhelmed by the length of the application. The application is comprehensive, but you can complete it in sections, as you have time. There’s no rush – you can save your in-progress application and pick back up when you have time. While it’s lengthy, the application is also straightforward.

You don’t need documentation for every item
We get a lot of questions about the documentation requirements, but you only need to provide documentation for three items you put in your application. While we ask for documentation after each section, that does not mean you must provide it for each item.

[Apply today for the Distinguished Fellow program]

We walk you through it
Read through the application before you begin. We want PAs who apply to be Distinguished Fellows to be successful, so we’ve provided a lot of detail in the application. Your questions may already be answered. If you’re wondering what activities would count towards “leadership in medicine and healthcare,” the application asks for specific examples. If something doesn’t fit into the first five sections of the application, we have provided a sixth “Other” section, where you are free to include any additional information. Take advantage of it if you have items you’d like to include that don’t fit anywhere else. Additionally, our team is here to help if you have any questions. Send an email to [email protected] and we’ll get back to you.

Start your application today
Being a Distinguished Fellow is an honor and demonstrates to your peers that you are a PA who goes above and beyond. Get started on your application today.

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