CPE Capstone

Top physician leaders find the Certified Physician Executive (CPE) certification to be the key to open doors in today’s competitive health care leadership field.

Since certification began in 1997, more than 200 physicians annually have joined the elite group of health care leaders who have become Certified Physician Executives (CPEs). Top physician leaders who seek Certified Physician Executive (CPE) board certification use it to their advantage in today’s competitive health care leadership field.

The Capstone is the final required step in the CPE Certification program that will allow you to earn your CPE designation. This part of the program is completed at one of our four live institutes, so travel is required. This 3½-day program is designed to provide you with additional education based on the CPE competencies, while completing exercises in cohort group sessions to allow you to practice and hone your skills in preparation for your CPE Leadership Summary Presentation.

Certification Presentations before Assessment Panel: The final step in the program is a verbal video-recorded presentation to a panel of health care leaders. The CPE Leadership Summary allows you to briefly and succinctly communicate how you have demonstrated your leadership as a physician leader and will be completed on the final half day. The presentation will cover your leadership philosophy, competencies, accomplishments and your ability to meet current and future challenges in health care.

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Applications are only accepted through the associated application form. You’ll need to have ready electronic versions of your diplomas, transcripts, resume/CV and other documentation. (see application section below)


After successful completion of the Capstone program you will be awarded 32 AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits™ accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing education for physicians.


Application fee of $150.00 will be due after submission but before your application is submitted to the Credentials Committee for review.

Capstone tuition is $3,500 after approval from the Credentials Committee and is due 60 days prior to the event (associated date will be provided). Registration and invoice creation for the desired Capstone will be completed by AAPL and communicated to you accordingly.

Please note:

  • Capstone sessions do fill up quickly so we encourage you to apply at least 120 days ahead of the event date.
  • Once approved you will be advised of the Capstone tuition payment deadline. Failure to pay by the designated date will result in deferral until a later session.
  • If the Credentials Committee does not approve your application you will be contacted by AAPL and provided instructions for further steps regarding your application.


Leadership Experience

Leadership in the context of the CPE program is defined as an individual who in some capacity is responsible for the establishment, articulation and execution of the team and/or organizational vision. This includes coordinating and balancing the various interest of all team members and stakeholders. Essential to physician executive leadership roles are the abilities to actively lead and participate in strategy, finance, staffing, recruitment, hiring, firing, etc. To be able to participate in the CPE program and to be recognized as a certified physician executive, the participant must have this experience and attest to the four points of criteria; Talent management, Data management, Fiscal responsibilities and Organizational impact. Additional details under the Application section.

CPE Candidates must have one of the following:

  • Completion the CPE Curriculum through American Association for Physician Leadership® (Curriculum). Tested courses from other institutions will be considered for equivalency.
  • Graduate management degree (MBA, MMM, MHA, MPH, MS-HQSM, MS in management, etc.)

Professional Status

Medical Training

Candidates must be one of the following:

  • Graduate of a United States or Canadian medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
  • Graduate of an osteopathic school of medicine accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
  • Certified by the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).


Candidates must have a current license to practice medicine in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the Virgin Islands. Candidates from other countries must be licensed in the country in which they reside and practice.

Clinical Practice Experience

Candidates are required to have three years’ experience in clinical practice beyond residency and fellowship training.

A resume or CV is required.

Board Certification

Candidates must be (or have been) board certified in a clinical specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties or the American Osteopathic Association. Must have been in good standing if board certification was not renewed.



Your interest in becoming a Certified Physician Executive (CPE) is greatly appreciated.

You will need to be prepared to upload the following documentation during the application process:

  • A copy of your medical school diploma or ECFMG standard certificate
  • A resume or CV confirming three years of clinical practice experience
  • A copy of board certification in a specialty recognized by ABMS or AOA
  • A copy of your current license renewal
  • A copy of graduate degree transcript (for physicians applying with qualifying master's degree only)
  • A letter of recommendation from your immediate supervisor affirming management experience is required. In the absence of a supervisor, another significant health care leader within your organization is acceptable.
    OR a letter from the CEO of another significant health care organization is acceptable as well.

In Part 2 of the application, you'll be asked to provide information and elaborate separately on the five items below:

  • Talent management such as; performance evaluations, determining salaries, hiring and firing of immediate staff, direct oversight over other physicians
  • Data management (what data do you gather and how do you use it)
  • Fiscal responsibilities (managing your budget)
  • Organizational impact (project implementation, managing up the chain, deal with stakeholders, etc.).
  • Future aspirations within physician leadership and how that plus obtaining the CPE designation will help propel you in the future.

When completing Part 2 of the application, please keep in mind the following:

  • The CCMM is looking for experiences that document your leadership responsibilities. For example: making physician hiring decisions, rather than simply interviewing prospective physicians, or chairing a committee, rather than simply serving on a committee
  • Please provide detailed information regarding the four areas of leadership/ managerial experience as noted above
  • Be sure to mention your role and dates when you had oversight in that specific area
  • In the case you cannot attest to oversight in any specific area, please explain why or elaborate as much as possible

Please note you may want to review the application and draft your responses prior to beginning.

(At any time during this process, you can save your application and resume later).

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Upcoming Capstone dates

Winter 2019

  • Feb. 21st - 24th (SOLD OUT - Waiting List only)
  • Tampa, FL

Spring 2019

  • May 16th - 19th
  • Tampa, FL

Summer 2019

  • July 18th - 21st
  • Tampa, FL

Fall 2019

  • Nov. 7th - 10th
  • Tampa, FL

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