The idea of a formal association of physician pilots was first discussed and steps taken to organize such a group, during the 1954 Philadelphia Jaycee Transcontinental Air Race. The doctors originally involved in the feasibility of an association were Herman A. Heise, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; S.D.Sullenberger, Dandridge, Tennessee; and H. D. Vickers, of Little Falls, New York.
On June 5, 1955, during the American Medical Association's yearly convention, the first regular business meeting of the association was held. Dr. H. D. Vickers was elected the group's first President. The association was incorporated under the laws of New York State as a not-for-profit scientific and educational society in October, 1955. At the end of its first year the association had 795 members.
Today the association's membership is comprised of physician pilots across the United States, as well as a number of other countries.