Alpha Omega Alpha is the national medical honor society. Founded in 1902 at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago, today there are 131 chapters and more than 160,000 members have been elected to AOA. Originally modeled after Phi Beta Kappa, the original mission was “to encourage high ideals of thought and action in schools of medicine and to promote that which is the highest in professional practice."
The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Delta California chapter of AOA was founded in 1956, the 72nd Chapter in the country. Senior medical students are eligible for election based on academic excellence. Those eligible are elected after evaluation of their CVs for participation in extracurricular activities, research endeavors, and commitment to their community. A select number of students are elected to AOA as junior students at the completion of the third year to serve as Co-Presidents during the senior year.
The AOA Medical Student Induction Ceremony.
Alpha Omega Alpha — dedicated to the belief that in the profession of medicine we will improve care for all by:
Membership is determined by election to AOA. Qualities that are highly regarded are academic excellence, leadership, and service to the medical school and patients.
The top 25% of students in the graduating class are eligible for election to AOA. Students in the top quartile are invited to submit their CV for consideration. In total, up to one-sixth (17%) of the graduating class will be elected to AOA, either as a Junior or Senior medical student. Students who take a leave of absence or obtain another degree (PhD, Masters) during medical school are eligible for election during the academic year in which they will graduate.
Students will be notified of their eligibility to apply to AOA in late April (for Junior AOA) or mid-August (for Senior AOA). Junior AOA students will be notified of their selection in late May. Senior AOA students will be notified of their selection in mid-September, in time for ERAS submissions. In order to include your election to AOA on your CV and ERAS application, you must register with the National Organization and pay your dues to the National Organization.
Eligible students (the top quartile of the class) must submit their CV for consideration by the published deadline (typically around mid-August). Blinded CVs are graded by a third party (not the Co-Presidents) using a scoring rubric on the basis of depth of commitment to activities in four categories: research, community service, leadership, and teaching. We value depth of commitment to activities throughout the course of medical school. Final election criteria may incorporate clinical GPA, CV score, Step 1 score, and commitment to humanism and professionalism.
In order to be considered for election to AOA, a student must be in the top 25% of the class. The election criteria for senior AOA are outlined above. At the end of the third year, in April, when all students have seven clerkship grades submitted, those students with the highest clinical grades are elected to AOA as juniors, to serve as Co-Presidents in the following academic year. Up to 50% of the AOA class may be elected in the Junior year (the AOA class is comprised of up to 17% of the total graduating class).
As co-presidents, the Junior AOA students are responsible for coordinating the Senior AOA election in time for ERAS submissions, planning AOA Grand Rounds (combined Medicine/Surgery Grand Rounds held during Match Week), and the AOA Banquet (an election ceremony held during Graduation Week).
Neither grading scheme will give you an advantage for election to AOA. The top 25% of the class, regardless of grading scheme, is invited to submit their CV for consideration.
Receiving a physicianship at any time during medical school may exclude a student from consideration for election to AOA. A failure does not automatically exclude a student from consideration. Concerns regarding a student’s professionalism may disqualify them from election.
Once the entire AOA class is elected, Roberta Rey submits the list (both Junior and Senior AOA) to the National Organization. The National Organization will email all students directly with instructions on how to complete your registration and pay your dues. At this time, there are no dues paid directly to the DGSOM Delta California Chapter.
Councilor:Jessica Beth O’Connell, MD JOConnell@mednet.ucla.edu
Administrator:Roberta A. Rey, PhD RRey@mednet.ucla.edu
Advisors: Jonathan R. Hiatt, MD Alan G. Robinson, MD