Alpha Omega Alpha

The Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, commonly called Alpha Omega Alpha and abbreviated AΩA or AOA, is a national honor society for medical students, residents, scientists and physicians in the United States.


AOA was founded by in 1902 by William Webster Root and five other medical students at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, which later became the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. The impetus for its formation was the generally poor quality of American medical schools and students at the time; Root and his colleagues wished to promote excellence in these groups.

Root pitched his idea to nearby schools, and soon the University of Chicago and Northwestern University had set up chapters too. Ten years later, there were seventeen chapters. As more medical schools became interested, the national organization was able to become more selective in the standards a school had to meet to be eligible. Soon, it became a mark of prestige to have an AΩA chapter at one's school.


According to its constitution, "Alpha Omega Alpha is organized for educational purposes exclusively and not for profit, and its aims shall be the promotion of scholarship and research in medical schools, the encouragement of a high standard of character and conduct among medical students and graduates, and the recognition of high attainment in medical science, practice, and related fields." To this end, only the top medical students were elected, based on criteria such as grades, leadership, ethics, and so on. No more than one-sixth of a medical school's graduating class can be members of AΩA; most of these are elected as fourth-year students ("senior AΩA") although up to one-quarter of them may be elected as third-year students ("junior AΩA").

Membership importance

As the years have gone by, membership in AΩA has become highly sought after, especially for those applying to competitive residencies. In many schools, students are ranked based on grades and USMLE Step 1 scores and the top one-sixth are inducted into the society, although this is in conflict with the national guidelines.

The importance of AΩA membership to residency applications varies among specialties and programs. For highly competitive specialties, it can offer a significant advantage. In some of the most competitive fields, membership may be a "de facto" requirement in order to obtain a spot. A common view is suggested by Dr. Iserson: "Because it is found in most schools, AOA is the best-recognized medical school award. Students elected to the honorary are generally assured of serious consideration by residency programs. This means that many will get most of the interviews they desire. After that it will, of course, be up to them to do well in these interviews," (Iserson 205). Along with information such as name, telephone number, and e-mail address, membership in AΩA is one of the items on the first page of the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), the combined electronic application used by most residency programs in the United States.

Notable Members

* David H. Adams - internationally recognized as a leader in the field of heart valve surgery and mitral valve repair
* Dave Weldon - politician and physician
* James P. Bagian - [NASA astronaut and physician
* Jerry M. Linenger NASA astronaut and medical doctor
* Ben Carson - noted African American neurosurgeon and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
* David Satcher - 10th Assistant Secretary for Health from 1998 to 2001 and the 16th Surgeon General of the United States from 1998 to 2002
* Otis R. Bowen - Governor of Indiana from 1973 to 1981 and Secretary of Health and Human Services from 1985 to 1989
* Robert Provenzano - nephrologist
* Mary Ann McLaughlin - cardiologist
* Steven M. Greer - physician and ufologist
* Frank A. Chervenak
* William Bennett Bean - internist and medical historian
* Marshall M. Parks - known to many as "the father of pediatric ophthalmology".Joe Holley. [ "D.C. Physician Illuminated The Ailments of Young Eyes."] "Washington Post". Sunday, August 21, 2005; Page C11.]
* Rajeev Venkayya - Director for Global Health Delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
* Eric M. Genden - otolaryngologist with the distinction of being the first surgeon to perform a jaw transplant in New York State, [ [ Daily News - "Jaw-Droppin' Op a Success"] Retrieved April 30, 2008] and the first jaw transplant ever to combine donor jaw with bone marrow from the patient

imilar societies

"Psi Sigma Alpha is the National Honor Society of osteopathic medicine. The honor society recognizes the academic excellence of osteopathic students who are in the top 10%-15% of their class at the end of their second year of medical school." [ [] ]

"Sigma Sigma Phi, abbreviated "SSP", is the national Service fraternity of osteopathic medicine" [ [] ]


External links

* [ AΩA national website]

Further reading

* Iserson, Kenneth V. (2003). "Iserson's Getting Into a Residency" (6th ed). Tucson: Galen Press.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alpha Psi Omega — Alpha Psi Omega/Delta Psi Omega ΑΨΩ/ΔΨΩ Founded August 12, 1925 (1925 08 12) (86 years ago) Fairmont State University Type Honorary Emphasis …   Wikipedia

  • alpha — [ alfa ] n. m. • XIIe; mot gr. 1 ♦ Première lettre (α) de l alphabet grec. Alpha privatif, qui donne, dans les composés grecs, une valeur négative. ♢ Fig. (expr. de l Apocalypse, en parlant de Dieu) L alpha et l oméga : le commencement et la fin …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • oméga — [ ɔmega ] n. m. • XIIe; mot gr., littéralt « o grand » 1 ♦ Vingt quatrième et dernière lettre de l alphabet grec (Ω , ω), servant à noter le o long ouvert en grec ancien (⇒ omicron). 2 ♦ (1616) Fig. Dernier élément d une série …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Omega Delta Phi — ΩΔΦ Founded November 25, 1987 Texas Tech University …   Wikipedia

  • Omega Psi Phi — ΩΨΦ Founded November 17, 1911 (1911 11 17) …   Wikipedia

  • Alpha et Omega — Alpha et oméga  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Alpha et Oméga.  Blason de l évéché anglican de la Trinité(Caraïbes) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Omega Flight — Publication information Publisher Marvel Comics First appearance Jaxon s team Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #11 The Masters s team Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #110 The Initiative team Omega Flight …   Wikipedia

  • Alpha and Omega — • Includes Jewish and Christian meanings Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Alpha and Omega     Alpha and Omega     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Alpha and Omega (in Scripture) —     Alpha and Omega (in Scripture)     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Alpha and Omega (in Scripture)      Alpha and Omega are the first and the last letters, respectively, of the Greek alphabet. They have been employed from the fourth century as a… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Omega Delta Sigma — ΩΔΣ Founded 1999 University of Florida Type Leadership and Service Scope Veterans, Reservist, Supporters Motto Professional, Scholars, Warriors …   Wikipedia

  • Omega Phi Beta — ΩΦΒ Founded March 15, 1989 (March 15, 1989) University at Albany, State University of New York Motto ‘Sirviendo y Educando a Través de Nuestra Diversidad’ Colors B …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.