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Academy Leadership Program

The Academy Leadership Program was established by your Board of Governors in 2012 to identify a select number of diverse, emerging member leaders and help prepare them to lead the Academy and the specialty through the coming changes in the health care environment. The Board committed significant financial resources and coordinated necessary infrastructure—a Selection Committee and an Oversight Committee—within the existing infrastructure to ensure support for and integration of the Leadership Program. In January 2013, the call for applications was launched, announcing:

“No leadership experience is required, but the program requires applicants who demonstrate interest, energy, and commitment. In return, the selected individuals will experience unprecedented access and
exposure to the Academy Board of Governors and Academy initiatives. Because of the access and training afforded by this program, only a limited number of members will be selected to participate

Selected individuals will be taken through a 2-year curriculum that introduces them to association leadership, strategic planning, media skills, Academy governance, products, and services, and volunteer leadership. The program expects a steady stream of commitment, communication, and accountability from participants without being overwhelming.” 

The response to the call for emerging leaders has been overwhelming—more than 80 applications to fill 10 slots every 2 years!

Our call for applications is currently closed, but browse this page to learn more about the program and our participants.

Program Candidates

Learn more about each class:

Criteria for Participation

  • The program is best suited for early-career physiatrists who have completed residency and fellowship training, and have been in practice for 3–10 years.
  • Participants must be a member of AAPM&R.
  • No previous leadership or Academy volunteer experience is required, but the program requires that applicants demonstrate interest, energy, and commitment to become a volunteer leader.
  • The program expects a steady stream of demonstrated commitment, communication, and accountability from participants.

Program Goals

  • Identify and train future leaders.
  • Immerse participants in the culture of volunteerism at the Academy.
  • Connect participants with strong Academy leaders in mission-critical roles.

Browse the brochure for complete details.


 Leadership Program Cover Page

Program Benefits Upon Completion

Participants will receive:

  • Certificate of completion
  • Recognition in member communications
  • Appointment to Academy volunteer position​

Here’s what some of our current fellows have to say about the program:

“This is truly an opportunity of a lifetime to help define the future of PM&R with the leaders of our field. As a young physiatrist, you get to make personal connections with our Academy's leaders and make decisions that will impact the future of our specialty.” – Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, MD


“There will be very few opportunities in a member's professional career where they will have the opportunity to sit with a current board member and openly discuss issues relevant to the field and strategize on how to improve on those issues. It's a fantastic opportunity.” – Jeffrey Radecki, MD


“This program has helped me understand how the Academy organizes short- and long-term planning, and put in perspective how the Academy prioritizes its need to fulfill its mission.” – Alexios Carayannopoulos, DO


“This has been a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the careful thought processes and collaboration necessary to define new opportunities and goals for the Academy as its leads the specialty in the evolving health care environment. It is a very inspiring experience to see group of people come together that are so passionate about the specialty and the Academy.” – Corinne Layne-Stuart, DO