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AAPC Fellow Application Process

Member Recognition Program

AAPC Fellows are the best in the business.

Fellows are highly experienced in their position within the business of healthcare. This status indicates your professional achievement and continuous adherence to the ethical and professional standards of AAPC. Fellowship is earned through hard work, written demonstration of your professional expertise, and regular commitment to dedicated leadership in the healthcare community.


  • Recognition by colleagues and employers as a member of a very select group
  • Use of the designation (ex: Mary Smith, CPC, AAPC Fellow)
  • Fellow status added to AAPC member card
  • Downloadable Fellow certificate
  • Public recognition in the Healthcare Business Monthly magazine

How To Apply

  • Certification
    Only AAPC certified members in good standing will be considered

    Any AAPC credential currently held meets this requirement, including apprentice certifications or those credentials that have been sunset. Although it would be rare for an apprentice to meet the healthcare experience requirements, it is possible.

  • Experience
    10 calendar years

    A minimum of 10 total years of healthcare work experience is required. Holding multiple healthcare positions simultaneously does not multiply the speed with which these years are accumulated. In other words, an individual working two healthcare jobs for one year would still only qualify as having one year of healthcare work experience.

  • Outline/Research Paper
    Demonstrating healthcare expertise

    In the initial application, individuals must submit an outline of a planned research paper for pre-approval. Applicants may choose any healthcare topic on which they feel they can write a professional research paper which will be useful to their peers and demonstrate their industry expertise. Research paper outlines should demonstrate that the paper itself will be more than just a fact-based essay; research papers propose new ideas and then offer supporting evidence. Research paper outline pre-approval includes the following fields:

    • Planned Title
    • Planned Thesis Statement
    • Planned Major Arguments/Statements
    • Support for Major Arguments/Statements

    We strongly recommend applicants review general outline guidelines through available online resources here or here.

    After application and outline approval, applicants will receive instructions on submitting the actual research paper. All research papers must meet the following criteria:

    • 2,500 word minimum
    • Written in a word processing program (e.g., Microsoft Word)
    • Citations must be credited correctly (any format, as long as consistency is maintained)

    Please review AAPC's research paper guidelines, sample research paper, and grading rubric for more information and to understand research paper expectations more completely. We also highly recommend reviewing these supplemental resources on research papers , referencing other material correctly, and using an appropriate point of view. Each research paper will be anonymously reviewed by at least three members of the Fellowship Committee. Applicants whose papers receive an average of 80% or higher will be accepted as Fellows.

  • Disclaimer and Agreement
    Terms to ensure understanding, ethical behavior, and leadership commitment

    In addition to generalized commitments, this final portion of the application includes:

    • Attestation that the research paper is original work and an agreement to let AAPC publish the research paper unless otherwise specified by the author
    • Understanding that continued AAPC membership and certification are requirements to maintain Fellowship
    • Pledging to be an involved and dedicated AAPC leader, regularly re-committing with membership renewal

    Examples of leadership demonstration could include:

    • Presenting at AAPC events
    • Writing thought leadership content for the AAPC website or monthly magazine
    • Engaging positively in AAPC social media
    • Advocating for industry improvement
    • Mentoring newer AAPC members
    • Volunteering for local chapters

    This is by no means a comprehensive list, nor must leadership activities be AAPC-specific. AAPC will occasionally follow-up with Fellows to find out what kinds of leadership activities they are performing.

Apply to the Fellowship Program

Members who meet the aforementioned criteria and are prepared to describe the outline of their research paper are invited to apply via the Apply Now button below.
Additional resources and details are also available via the Resources button below

Apply Now Resources

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