American Association for Physician Leadership


Opening doors in today’s competitive healthcare leadership field.

Since 1997, the Certified Physician Executive (CPE) credential has helped over 4,000 physicians achieve excellence in leadership with the education, expertise, and demonstrated skills to effectively lead healthcare organizations.

Adding CPE to your résumé indicates that you’ve reached the pinnacle of leadership

The CPE designation tells a compelling story of your business acumen to colleagues, current and future employers, recruiters and others. It endorses your ability to lead large groups, manage budgets, address HR challenges, and apply strategic business insights.

The CPE curriculum provides you with the knowledge, skills and core competencies in key areas to transition into a wide array of leadership roles.

We all have letters after our names — MD, MMM, MBA, others. CPE might seem like another set of letters, but I learned how to identify my leadership strengths, and [the exercises] stick with me today.

Barbara Loeb, MD, MBA, CPE, FACP, FACPE
CMO, Chicago Health System, Illinois
The CPE Journey

Learn at your own pace

The CPE program is built to provide a well-rounded set of knowledge, skills and core competencies. However, while rigorous, it accommodates learners of all styles and speeds by allowing you to complete on your own timeline. Here’s a quick overview:

Awarded by the Certifying Commission in Medical Management

The CPE demonstrates your commitment to quality, communication and excellence in healthcare. You will feel the personal satisfaction of achieving an exclusive pinnacle of professional distinction while signaling a benchmark for employers seeking the most accomplished and influential physician leaders.

Complete the CPE Streamline Curriculum

You’ll complete core and elective portions of the CPE curriculum where we’ve identified courses focused on management education. These courses are a combination of Self-Study, Online Facilitated, and Live in-person at AAPL institutes, to provide a balanced system of educational formats as befits each course’s content.
CPE Capstone

The culmination of your dedication and pursuit of leadership excellence

The Capstone is the final required step in the CPE Certification program and is completed at one of our live or virtual sessions offered four times a year. It is designed to provide you with additional CPE competencies education, while completing exercises in group sessions to allow you to hone your skills in preparation for your CPE Leadership Summary Presentation.

Upcoming CPE Capstone Dates

September 19 - 22, 2024
Live Online
Pre-work: August 16, 2024
November 7 - 10, 2024
Live Online
Pre-work: October 4, 2024
February 6 - 9, 2025
Live Online
Pre-work: December 20, 2024
April 24 - 27, 2025
Boston, MA
Pre-work: March 14, 2025
September 18 - 21, 2025
Live Online
Pre-work: August 8, 2025
November 6 - 9, 2025
Live Online
Pre-work: September 26, 2025

CPE Checklist


To be eligible for the CPE Capstone, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a licensed M.D. or D.O.

  • Been an active AAPL member for at least one year.

  • Have at least two cumulative years of healthcare leadership experience and significant managerial oversight as described in the Capstone leadership criteria. Candidates must attest to significant lessons learned, physician leadership position(s) and dates/time spent in each role(s).

  • Be (or have been) board certified in a clinical specialty recognized by the ABMS or AOA, or an equivalent recognized board certification commission in the country in which they reside and are licensed to practice.

  • Three years’ experience in clinical practice beyond residency and fellowship training.

  • Complete the Certified Physician Executive curriculum OR have a qualifying graduate management degree program. ( MBA, MMM, MHA, MPH, MS-HQSM, MS in management, etc.) and have completed two of the following five core courses:
    • Fundamentals of Physician Leadership – Negotiation
    • Practical Principles of Change Management
    • Resolving Conflict
    • Managing Physician Performance
    • Transforming Healthcare through Quality Improvement

  • Once you meet all eligibility requirements, you apply online for the CPE Capstone. The Capstone is a 3 ½ day certifying program and is the final step in achieving the CPE credential. We offer the Capstone four times per year.

Have additional CPE questions?

Schedule a session with one of our advisors

Let us guide you through your leadership journey. Click on the calendar to book a brief online or phone conversation with one of our educational advisors. Together, you’ll create an individualized learning path that fits your schedule and goals.
If you prefer to talk directly to someone please call:

For over 45 years.

The American Association for Physician Leadership has helped physicians develop their leadership skills through education, career development, thought leadership and community building.

The American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) changed its name from the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) in 2014. We may have changed our name, but we are the same organization that has been serving physician leaders since 1975.


Mail Processing Address
PO Box 96503 I BMB 97493
Washington, DC 20090-6503

Payment Remittance Address
PO Box 745725
Atlanta, GA 30374-5725
(800) 562-8088
(813) 287-8993 Fax



AAPL providers leadership development programs designed to retain valuable team members and improve patient outcomes.

American Association for Physician Leadership®

formerly known as the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE)