“Election to Alpha Omega Alpha is an honor signifying a lasting commitment to professionalism, leadership, scholarship, research, and community service. A lifelong honor, membership in the society confer recognition for a physician’s dedication to the profession and art of healing.”
Medical schools may elect up to 20% of a graduating class to Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Individual schools determine the process to identify the graduating students best representing overall excellence (scholastic achievement, professionalism, and leadership promise are highlighted in the AOA constitution). Individual medical schools also determine the eligibility process and at UF the process was developed by a student task force of AOA and non-AOA members.
At the end of Phase 2, students in the top quartile of the class will be eligible for AOA. Additionally, students in the second quartile of the class will be eligible if they are meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Top 20% based on peer evaluations that are completed by the class in the middle of Phase 2,
- CLG leader recommendation (up to 2 recommendations per leader),
- Top 20% CSE 3C performance as determined by the Office of Program Evaluation and Student Assessment.
Potentially eligible students are reviewed by the Dean of Student Affairs and/or Dean of Medical Education to insure there are no professionalism concerns as this would disqualify a student from consideration.
The Alpha Omega Alpha constitution prohibits self-nomination. For UF students, this means any request to CLG leaders to nominate you is not allowed and may result in your being excluded from eligibility.
Eligible students are notified and invited to submit information in the following areas:
- Service to the school, local community, and/or broader organizations,
- Leadership roles- local, regional, and/or national,
- Scholarship– research presentations and/or publications,
- Other evidence of excellence (e.g. program development, awards),
Information provided by eligible students is summarized for each student on a slide and particularly noteworthy achievements are highlighted. Examples of highlighted activities include national leadership roles, local leadership with major time commitment, significant service, major awards (e.g. Gold Humanism, NIH T35 grant), invitation to serve on important school committees (e.g. Academic Status Committee), peer-review publications, and national presentations.
The AOA Selection Committee was formed in 2012 and any AOA faculty or resident member can volunteer to serve on the committee. At the election meeting eligible students are presented de-identified in tiers based on the depth and breadth of accomplishments they provided to the committee. The top tier of applicants typically submit numerous accomplishments in at least 3 of the major categories and within each category at least one is noteworthy enough to be highlighted. Discussion of applicants is limited solely to clarifying the nature of the accomplishments. Though applicants’ names are removed from all presented materials, the nature of some accomplishments makes it impossible to completely de-identify some applicants. Committee members are not permitted to speak up on behalf of individual students as this would give students who know or have worked with committee members an unfair advantage. Members are also asked to disclose any potential conflicts related to eligible students. Members are selected based on a vote of the AOA members in attendance at the selection committee meeting.
*Class ranking is determined as soon as the final grades have been submitted (typically 5 weeks after the final clerkship). Students who are off-cycle and only missing one clerkship grade, will be considered for eligibility but students missing more than one clerkship grade at the time of the class ranking, will not be eligible.