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Certificate in Physician Leadership Program

Program Description

This is an 18-month-long certification program offered jointly by the American College of Physicians and the American Association for Physician Leadership. It includes a combination of formal training through 43.5 hours of webinar or live coursework, group discussions, and a capstone project that will demonstrate successful mastery of leadership concepts in either hospital medicine or general internal medicine. Participants complete the program as part of a cohort, with either a July 1 or January 1 start date.

Upon completion of all program requirements, including a capstone presentation, participants will be awarded a either a Certificate in Physician Leadership for Hospital Medicine or a Certificate in Physician Leadership for General Internal Medicine.

Enrollment Information

Applications are now being accepted on a rolling basis until December 1, 2018 for the January 2019 cohorts of both program tracks.

Apply Online  Download Application

For questions or more information, please contact us


The program is divided into a three-tier structure, with each tier having a minimum credit amount required for completion. 

Tier 1: Core Courses - 17.5 credits

Participants are required to complete each of the following courses:

  1. Physician in Management: Communication - 3.5 credits
  2. Physician in Management: Leadership - 7 credits
  3. Physician in Management: Quality - 7 credits

For each core course, there will be a required one-week online group discussion relating the coursework to specific issues in either hospital medicine or general internal medicine. The discussion, which will take place during a scheduled week in a designated online group, will be led by an experienced physician leader.

Tier 2: Elective Courses - 26 credits required

Participants may select among the following courses to complete the elective requirements:

  1. Ethical Challenges - 5 credits
  2. Managing Physician Performance - 24 credits
  3. Physician in Management: Negotiation - 7 credits
  4. Strategic Planning - 2 credits
  5. Strategic Thinking - 2 credits
  6. Techniques of Financial Decision-Making - 24 credits
  7. Three Faces of Quality - 24 credits

The leadership pre-course at ACP's annual Internal Medicine Meeting may be used to meet 14 credits for the elective requirement. In addition, live courses are available at AAPL's four yearly institutes.

Tier 3: Capstone Project

The capstone is a 12-month project that will demonstrate and apply leadership principles in one of the three core areas of the program — communication, leadership, or quality — as it relates to hospital medicine or general internal medicine.

Each participant will select an advisor who will review the capstone project proposal and provide relevant input throughout the duration of the project. Each capstone project proposal is reviewed and approved by a designated ACP Leadership Academy reviewer. Once the capstone project is complete, it will be reviewed and evaluated by the Capstone Review Board — a select group of experts who will assess the overall quality of the project on the following criteria:

  • Project Definition and Scope
  • Originality
  • Methodology
  • Impact
  • Outcomes
  • Technical Quality of Written Work
  • Quality of Final Webinar Presentation

One project per category within each program cohort will be selected for presentation at ACP's annual Internal Medicine meeting or at one of AAPL's four yearly institutes.

More Details

Active participants may keep track of their progression through the program using their personal Progress Dashboard (Only works for active participants.) All course information will be verified.

Suggested Timeline

Participants will be grouped into a cohort with either a July or January start date. The following is a sample timeline for successful completion of the program within 18 months.

Month 1: Program Start, Core Course #1 - Communication 
Month 2: Core Course #1 Online Discussion
Month 3: Core Course #2 - Leadership
Month 4: Core Course #2 Online Discussion
Month 5: Core Course #3 - Quality
Month 6: Core Course #3 Online Discussion
Month 7: Core Courses Complete, Select Capstone Project Advisor, Submit Capstone Fee
Month 8: Submit Capstone Proposal
Month 9-16: Complete Elective Courses, Work on Capstone Project
Month 17: Submit Capstone Project to Capstone Review Board
Month 18: Capstone Presentation, Certificate Awarded

Note: A one-time, six-month extension may be granted to complete the elective and capstone requirements.

Tuition and Fees

The following tuition and fees are associated with the program, which is only available to ACP members.

Activity Tuition & Fees
Registration $50
Communication Core Course $160
Leadership Core Course $320
Quality Core Course $320
Electives $1,325 (Approximately. Varies based on course selection.)
Capstone Project $500
Total Program Cost $2,675