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American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)


AAPA leads the physician associate profession and empowers members to advance their careers and improve patient health.

They work to transform health through patient-centered, team-based medical practice.

2318 Mill Road, Suite 1300
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
(703) 836-2272

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Organizational membership

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) represents a profession of more than 81,000 certified physician assistants (PAs) across all medical and surgical specialties. As of January 2012, the membership of AAPA totaled more than 43,000 worldwide. Of these, more than 31,426 are Fellow members (graduate PAs) and approximately 10,435 are student members. The Academy has a federated structure of 57 chartered chapters representing PAs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the federal services. Distinct but affiliated organizations include the PA Foundation, the PA History Society, and the Student Academy of the AAPA. There are also 23 PA specialty organizations and 12 caucuses and special interest groups.


The Academy sponsors numerous activities for PAs, including many Continuing Medical Education programs. The Academy engages in research on the PA profession and health workforce issues in general. The Academy develops policy for the PA profession; advocates on behalf of PAs to Congress; responds to local, state, and national health issues; assists state organizations on legislative and regulatory issues; offers employment assistance services; and sponsors leadership development opportunities. AAPA works jointly with many physician organizations on issues of mutual interest.


The national annual conference, IMPACT, is typically held around Memorial Day weekend. Future IMPACT meeting sites are Boston (2014) and San Francisco (2015). Approximately 6,000 to 8,000 PAs attend each year. Each chapter holds its own meetings. Other meetings include an advocacy and constituent organization meeting in February and a strategic planning meeting in October.


PA Professional: Monthly news magazine. Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA): Monthly, peer-reviewed, clinical journal. Publications on regulatory, legislative, and reimbursement issues, as well as statistics, are available.


Marie-Michèle Léger, MPH, PA-C
Director, Clinical Education
Phone: 571-319-4376

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Last updated: January 30, 2023