Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society

Alpha Omega Alpha is the only national honor medical society in the world. Its mission is to recognize and perpetuate excellence in the medical profession. As stated in the society's 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 fulfill this role, Alpha Omega Alpha elects outstanding medical students to its ranks. Individual members must have excelled academically and shown promise of becoming leaders in the profession. According to the AOA Constitution: "Those candidates whose scholastic qualifications place them in the upper twenty-five percent of their class shall be considered as eligible for nomination for election. From that number, one-sixth of the total number of the class expected to graduate may be nominated for membership." Further the AOA Constitution stipulates that, "scholastic achievement should be the primary but not sole basis for nomination of a student. Leadership capabilities, ethical standards, fairness in dealing with colleagues, demonstrated professionalism, potential for achievement in medicine, and a record of service to the school and community at large shall be criteria in addition to the academic record." By adherence to these criteria it has happened that one or more of the highest ranked students by grade point average have not been elected to the society.

AOA Chapter at Michigan

The AOA Constitution states that individual chapters should establish procedures to apply the national criteria for election of new members. At the University of Michigan, based on a class size of 170, we are permitted to consider up to 43 students and can elect 30 students per class. Since the institution of Pass/Fail grading of the pre-clinical years, the distinction between "junior" and "senior" AOA has been eliminated. Election by faculty committee is based largely on M3 grades (appropriately weighted by clerkship length), with a small percentage coming from USMLE Step 1 scores. M4 grades and USMLE Step 2 scores are not included when determining membership. Furthermore, since student membership is composed entirely of M4s, those taking time off following their third year of medical school will be considered for the next year's AOA class. All students honored with membership will be informed in the late summer of their M4 year, prior to submission of residency program applications.  This year marks the 108th anniversary of AOA at Michigan.

Each year, students of AOA organize various activities that take place throughout the remainder of the academic year. Some events planned for this year include:

Nomination of select faculty for membership

Nomination of faculty from the community to receive the Volunteer Faculty Award
Banquet for official recognition of new members

2017-2018 Student Officers

  • President: Katherine He 
  • Vice President: Kathryn De La Rosa  

We would like to thank the following faculty members for their ongoing
support of our AOA chapter activities:

  • Faculty Councilor Sanjay Saint, M.D., M.P.H.
  • Faculty Advisor: Valerie Castle, M.D. (through 2018)
  • Faculty Advisor: Helen Kang Morgan, M.D. (through 2018)
  • Faculty Advisor: Rajesh S. Mangrulkar, M.D. (through 2016)
  • Faculty Advisor: James Stanley, M.D. (through 2017)

Further information about Alpha Omega Alpha can be found a www.alphaomegaalpha.org