"Be worthy to serve the suffering."

-William W. Root, MD - Founder, 1902

How Members Are Chosen

All medical students on entry to medical school, residents, fellows, and all physicians throughout their career are eligible for AΩA.

AΩA is committed to national leadership in advancing diversity and inclusion in the profession of medicine. Chapters are provided the flexibility to value the diversity of qualities that contribute to high quality patient care, leadership, service, and scholarship. Chapters are expected to embrace and respect differences and foster creativity in how they celebrate students who contribute in these important ways. AΩA expects an unbiased, inclusive nomination and election process.

Membership in AΩA may be attained as a medical student, resident, fellow, faculty member, alumni, clinician, or distinguished leader in medicine. Each school may elect up to 20% of the graduating class of students, up to 25 residents/fellows, up to 10 faculty, and three to five alumni, who, based on merit, demonstrate the characteristics of excellent physicians in alignment with AΩA’s mission and values.  Physicians who are in a “Chief Resident” role may be considered eligible for nomination.  Chief Resident nominees must undergo the same Chapter selection process with consideration placed on proven leadership, professionalism, teaching, and clinical skills, and must meet the required AΩA criteria. The Chief Resident nominees will be in addition to the residents and/or fellows selected via the standard nomination process.

The characteristics of excellent physicianship will be identified by each school; examples include trustworthiness, character, caring, knowledge, scholarship, proficiency in the doctor-patient relationship, leadership, compassion, empathy, altruism, and servant leadership. Nominees must be in good academic standing and must not have any professionalism concerns.

Each school/Chapter may determine the best timing for their elections. Chapters may choose to nominate all or a portion of their quota of student members at any time during the final year prior to graduation. Up to fifty (50) percent of the total number of students to be elected may be elected in their penultimate year.

Each school/Chapter will identify evidence-based methods for determining eligibility based on AOA’s mission and values and the school’s mission and definitions of excellence in physicianship. In addition to academic achievement, schools/Chapters should use measures of research and scholarship, leadership, ethical behavior, professionalism, service to the school and community at-large, and/or other elements determined by the school/Chapter. Each school/Chapter should identify and then weigh these elements in the election process based on their mission and goals.

Each school/Chapter must maintain the attributes of AΩA – academic achievement, research, education, leadership, humanism, professionalism, service – throughout the election process. Each school/Chapter must be transparent with this process and shall implement a mechanism for the selected elements and weighting to be made known, e.g., handouts, orientation, website, etc.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AΩA) is committed to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion based on evidence that inclusion of talented individuals from different backgrounds benefits patient care, population health, education, research, 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, equitable, and 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, equity, and inclusion within the organization and throughout the medical profession. 

No candidate shall be denied election to AΩA because of ageracecolor, 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 laws of a state, province, territory, or nation. 

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

Based on AΩA’s core principles of professionalism, leadership, education, scholarship, and service, the primary criteria for fellowships, grants, and awards will be distinction, excellence, and achievement(s). 

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