Degree of Fellow

The Degree of Fellow recognizes AAFP members who have distinguished themselves among their colleagues, as well as in their communities, by their service to family medicine, by their advancement of health care to the American people, and by their professional development through medical education and research. Fellows of the AAFP are recognized as champions of family medicine. They are the physicians who make family medicine the premier specialty in service to their community and profession. From a personal perspective, being a Fellow signifies not only 'tenure' but one's additional work in your community, within organized medicine, within teaching, and a greater commitment to continuing professional development and/or research.

Application Requirements

Any Active, Life or Inactive member, with dues and re-elections in good standing, may, upon application to the American Academy of Family Physicians, be elected to receive the Degree of Fellow upon fulfilling the following requirements:

  1. Member must have held Active membership for six years, or held a combination of Resident and Active membership for a total of six years.
  2. Accrue a grand total of 100 points as defined by this application. Cite experiences and activities in the following areas: Life-Long Learning, Practice Quality and Improvement, Volunteer Teaching, Public Service, Publishing and Research, and Service to the Specialty.
  3. Submit a one-time fee of $195. (Note: Credit card will be charged at the time the application is submitted. If the application is rejected, a full refund will be issued.)

Apply for the Degree of Fellow

You are eligible for this honor if you are an Active, Life, or Inactive member of the AAFP and have been an active AAFP member for at least six years or have held a combination of Resident and Active membership for at least six years.

Apply for the Degree of Fellow

Please note the Commission on Membership and Member Services reviews the application every three years. The application was reviewed in 2013 and will be up for review in 2016. Changes were made to benefit the Degree of Fellow Program and eligible members by applying AAFP resources within the application, and incorporating the various professional backgrounds of our diverse members. The printed version of the application includes these changes.

Start an online Application

Download the Degree of Fellow Application(17 page PDF)

Apply by Mail Instructions

Please send your completed application and Fellowship fee to or mail to:

American Academy of Family Physicians
Attention: Heather Ynda
11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway
Leawood, KS 66211-2672.

Degree Certificate

Members elected to Fellow status are granted the privilege of using the initials “FAAFP” after their name and are honored during a special Convocation Ceremony at the Family Medicine Experience (FMX) annual meeting. Some chapters also present the degree during their annual meeting. Please contact your chapter for details.

You may request, in writing, an exception from the Academy. Provided that your situation meets one of the requirements below, you will receive the certificate in absentia. 

  • Those who are personally suffering or whose family members are suffering from a serious and continuing illness or those with a physical disability.
  • Those physicians whose absence would present a hardship to their patients.
  • Those physicians who are residing outside of the United States or its territories.
  • Those physicians who are celebrating a religious holiday on the convocation date.

Failure to attend a ceremony without obtaining an absentia status will in no way alter your Fellowship status. If you receive absentia status your certificate will be mailed to you 6 to 8 weeks after the convocation ceremony.

A press release for your hometown newspaper is available at the convention.