"Be worthy to serve the suffering."

-William W. Root, MD - Founder, 1902


Alpha Omega Alpha, founded in 1902, is the national medical honor society. Its mission is:

Alpha Omega Alpha — dedicated to the belief that in the profession of medicine we will improve care for all by:

  • recognizing high educational achievement;
  • honoring gifted teaching;
  • encouraging the development of leaders in academia and the community;
  • supporting the ideals of humanism; and
  • promoting service to others.

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 confers recognition for a physician’s dedication to the profession and art of healing.

More than 4,000 students, residents/fellows, faculty, and alumni are elected each year. Since its founding in 1902, nearly 200,000 members have been elected to the society.

Alpha Omega Alpha supports 13 fellowships, grants, programs, and awards for medical students and physicians at its 132 Chapters, and publishes a quarterly peer-reviewed, medical humanities journal The Pharos which contains articles on nontechnical medical subjects, including history, ethics, national issues, personal essays, and poetry.

Diversity Statement

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AΩA) is committed to improving diversity based on evidence that inclusion of talented individuals from different backgrounds benefits patient care, population health, education, and scientific discovery.

AΩA will continue to work to overcome bias – implicit/unconscious bias – as well as discrimination at all levels throughout the organization.

AΩA values a diverse, fair, and equitable work and learning environment for all. It supports the medical profession in its work to achieve a welcoming, diverse, inclusive environment in teaching, learning, caring for patients, and collaboration.

AΩA advocates for diversity in all of its forms – identity, cultural, geographic, experiential, race, ethnicity, gender, age, economic and social status, physical abilities, aptitude, and religious beliefs, political beliefs, and other ideologies.

AΩA is committed to working with its members, Chapters, medical schools, residency programs, and health organizations to improve diversity within the organization and throughout the medical profession.

No candidate shall be denied election because of age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy status, gender, identity or expression, sexual orientation, language, physical or mental disability, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, veteran status, socioeconomic status, religious or political beliefs, or any other characteristic protected by the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action laws of a state, province, territory, or nation.

This statement applies to membership in the society, as well as all programs, awards, personnel, and all other AΩA functions.

AΩA supports and promotes diversity among its Officers and Board and in its programs and awards including: race, ethnicity, gender, geography, academia, community, organizations, institutions, specialties and professional activities.

The primary criteria for Board positions and programs and awards will be merit and achievement(s).

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society: A Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Service in the Profession of Medicine

AΩA has a strong and long-standing tradition of electing for membership excellent doctors – those who exhibit the highest levels of character, trust, trustworthiness, leadership, professionalism, scholarship, and community service. AΩA members unconditionally represent our motto of “Being Worthy To Serve The Suffering.”

Recently, AΩA was invited to write an article for Academic Medicine on its efforts to ensure that it is an accepting, inclusive, diverse and equitable organization. Attached is a link to an article written by Executive Director Richard L. Byyny, MD, FACP, and members of the AΩA Board of Directors, AΩA Chapter Councilors, and AΩA staff.

We hope that the article provides readers with an awareness of the efforts of AΩA, its Chapters, Councilors, and members to ensure that the organization is accepting of all regardless of race, creed, color, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation/identification.

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