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National and Chapter News

Recent Chapter updates and events {Spring 2016}


University of California, Davis, School of Medicine—Eta California

Councilor Regina Gandour-Edwards, MD

Newly inducted AΩA members at the induction banquet on March 17, 2016 at the Courtyard Marriott

AΩAle fundraiser: On February 27, 2016 our chapter held its third annual AΩAle fundraiser, which netted $3,500 to fund our Service Awards Program. The event included 12 tasting tables of local craft beers, ales and ciders, and an entertaining lecture on beer appreciation given by Charles Bamforth, PhD, Endowed Chair of Brewing Sciences, at UC Davis. The attendees included a mix of medical, nursing and veterinary students, staff and faculty. Prominently featured, were five poster presentations of previously-funded student service award projects.

The UC Davis AΩA Service Awards Program provides $500-750 in start up awards to student-initiated service projects. Past awards have included: app/website for sexual education directed to preteens; medical Spanish/cultural training for undergraduate student volunteers at a community clinic; and an outreach program for sex workers at risk for drug abuse. This is a competitive program with up to 12 submissions for two to three awards, given twice a year. The students evaluate and score the submissions with precise metrics, and provide guided feedback and advice.

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Loma Linda University School of Medicine— Epsilon California

Councilor Danny Wongworawat, MD

We have been working on a membership tracking system that would enable us to register residents, faculty, and alumni that have been inducted into AΩA at Universities other than Loma Linda (yet, which are located close enough to Loma Linda to allow meeting attendance); this would assure that these members are captured in chapter communications. Although this process has taken longer than anticipated, we hope to have something in place this year so that we can bill chapter dues and send out communications about events, etc.

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University of Colorado School of Medicine—Alpha Colorado

Councilor James Beck, MD

The University of Colorado Chapter has not had an AΩA Visiting Professor in any one’s recent (or not so recent) memory. Current AΩA students selected Kirsten Slesar, LCSW, MS. Ms. Slesar is a clinical trauma psychotherapist whose practice involves victims of child abuse, domestic violence, and terrorism. She directs the Program in Narrative Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia, and participates in the Child and Adolescent Witness Support Program for the New York Unified Court System.

Ms. Slesar conducted a full day of interactive activities. She started with Grand Rounds at the Kempe Center, housed within Colorado Children’s Hospital; the Kempe Center focuses on child abuse. After that, she provided an interactive session to all medical student classes, as part of their interdisciplinary training program. Next, she conducted an interactive session on narrative medicine for our Academy of Medical Educators. Finally, she led small-group workshops in narrative medicine for faculty members and students.

Although Ms. Slesar was a nontraditional selection, her participation was a huge success! It bridged the disciplines of medicine, psychology, criminal justice, and literature. She also established an outstanding precedent for our annual AΩA Visiting Professorship.

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George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences—Alpha District of Columbia

Secretary-Treasurer Angelike Liappis, MD

The Alpha Chapter, District of Columbia is located at the George Washington University. Annually, we select and induct deserving medical students, alumnae, faculty, and house staff into the AΩA. In 2015 we were proud to sponsor our ninth consecutive awardee for the AΩA Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship. Our recipient in 2015 was Jason Chien, Class of 2017. His mentor, Sung Chul Park, MD, is the Director of both The Glaucoma Clinic and The Advanced Ocular Imaging Laboratory at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai. Jason has presented his project titled, "Glaucoma Diagnostic Capability of Macular Layer Volume and Thickness Using Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography" at various national meetings.

This last year, our chapter hosted its eighth consecutive AΩA Visiting Professor event. Visiting Professors typically spend the day with our chapter. The Visiting Professor is the speaker for our annual AΩA–sponsored Internal Medicine Grand Rounds, and the featured speaker at our Induction Banquet each year.

The Visiting Professor in 2015 was Peter Hotez, MD, PhD. Dr. Hotez is an internationally-recognized clinician and investigator in the field of neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development. His Grand Rounds was titled, “Vaccinating against Poverty, War, and Neglected Diseases.” This event was covered by the GW media office (link).

Dr. Hotez is the founding Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also the Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics. He is also President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and the Baker Institute Fellow in Disease and Poverty at Rice University.

On May 14 2015, we held our 60th Annual Induction Banquet for the Alpha Chapter, District of Columbia, at Maggiano’s Chevy Chase. It was hosted by chapter officers Councilor Alan Wasserman, MD, and Chapter Secretary Angelike Liappis, MD. In his charge to the inductees at the onset of the banquet, Dr. Wasserman stated, “The society will provide an avenue for the exchange of ideas and contacts, but most importantly, you will always be recognized as a member of AΩA. It is a distinct honor, the highest honor the medical profession has to give you.” The event hosted over 200 faculty, friends and family members, who gathered to celebrate the induction of graduating medical seniors. The chapter inducted 29 graduating seniors from the AΩA Class of 2015 who were either elected in the early fall, or who had been elected in prior years but had deferred graduation to pursue research opportunities. We are particularly proud of the commitment to service our graduating senior class displayed last year. The AΩA Class of 2015 participated in our longstanding collaboration with the GWU Dean‘s Office to offer a tutoring service to junior students requesting assistance. Soon after being selected for induction, our students volunteer time to assist their peers in topics of their choice. This tutoring service is coordinated by a AΩA class volunteers. The AΩA Class of 2015 also completed an update to our very popular resource, the AΩA Guide to the 4th Year. Each year since 2008, our students coordinate with their peers in the graduating class to collect experiences and insights from their residency interviews throughout the year. We distribute this resource annually to GW students, which we maintain with accessible links found on our National and local chapter websites.

Each year we nominate faculty who have demonstrated continued academic excellence and professional achievement, leadership, professionalism, service, teaching, research and a commitment to scholarly excellence and medical education. This last year we inducted Joao Ascensao, MD, PhD. Dr Ascensao is the Chief of the Section of Hematology at the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Professor of Medicine and of Immunology at the George Washington University. We also inducted Jillian Catalanotti, MD. Dr Catalanotti is Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and Assistant Professor of Medicine of Health Policy in the Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, at George Washington University.

We were also proud to have inducted three of our house staff, who were elected by the current chapter faculty and senior inductees, for their academic promise, teaching and professionalism. The three new inductees include: 1) Daniela Botolin, MD, from the Department of Surgery, who is now a Fellow in Vascular Surgery; 2) Jessica Davis, MD, from the Department of Medicine. Dr. Davis is now finishing her year as a Medical Chief Resident, and will soon be starting a fellowship in Transplant Medicine; and 3) Alan Siu, MD, from the Department of Neurosurgery, who is now working on a Skull-based Surgery fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

We also inducted Jeremy M. Blumberg, MD, Class of 2005, into the Alpha District of AΩA, during our 60th Annual Induction Banquet, based on his distinguished continued achievements to the field of medicine. Dr. Blumberg is an alumnus of George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is currently the Chief of Urology and Surgical Director of Renal Transplantation, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, as well as Assistant Professor of Urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Additionally, we recognized Richard Kaufman, MD, GW alumnus (Class of 52’) and Emeritus Clinical Professor of Medicine, as our 2015 Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award recipient.

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Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University—Eta Florida

Councilor Michelle Schwartz, MD

Newly elected AΩA members

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Florida State University—Delta Florida

Councilor Ricardo Gonzalez-Rothi, MD

The 2015/2016 AOA inductees, along with AOA faculty, during the AOA Induction Ceremony on March 17, 2016

Left: John Fogarty, MD, FSU College of Medicine Dean, recognizes Alma Littles, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education and Academic Affairs, on her faculty induction Right: Dr. Fogharty recognizes Heather Flynn, PhD, Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Research, on her faculty induction

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University of Florida College of Medicine—Beta Florida

Councilor Heather Harrell, MD

On April 1, the University of Florida, College of Medicine AΩA chapter hosted its second annual Food Truck Rally at Root & Pecker (formerly Cymplify) to raise funds for Streetlight, an adolescent and young adult support group for people 13-35 years living with cancer and other chronic and life-limiting diseases.

AOA student leaders, Rachael Hilton and Sean Connolly, expertly planned and implemented an exceptional event. Rachael handled all of the coordination with First Friday Food Truck Rally staff and led the AOA team to identify donations for raffles and plan fundraising activities. In addition to assisting with planning and donations, Sean served as the event emcee. The night consisted of Streetlight patient and volunteer musical performances, raffles, and interactive events like water balloon tosses and a scavenger hunt. Many Streetlight patients and families attended the event in addition to health professional students, physicians, and the Gainesville community. One special attendee was the mother of a Streetlight patient who died two years ago. Approximately $1100 was raised.

Streetlight Director, Emily Sullivan, said, “As part of my position as Streetlight director, I am responsible for finding programmatic funding. Finding funding is a continual challenge, thus, AOA’s efforts to fundraise for Streetlight is a tremendous help to me. Patients were so excited to attend, traveling as far as an hour away from Gainesville. One mother even took time off of work to bring her daughter, who looked forward to coming to the event for weeks. In addition to the funds raised, the benefit for these patients and families to feel supported and affirmed was unparalleled. And it was all made possible by AOA. Our volunteers gathered this weekend to reflect on our graduates, and at that time, we gave a huge victory cry for AOA for helping Streetlight sustain and continue to use our peer relationships to psychosocially support our palliative adolescent patients. “

This event was one of two main outreach projects to continue to serve the suffering in the community at the University of Florida AΩA chapters. They also completed their annual toiletry drive and donated over 500 items to GRACE Marketplace, a major local resource that serves and houses the homeless. During interview season, AΩA members enlist the help of all their classmates by asking them to collect the free hotel room amenities during their travels. Sometimes they are donated in bulk to an agency that helps the underserved, other times they are packaged as gift bags for individual distribution to the underserved.

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University of Central Florida College of Medicine—Zeta Florida

Councilor Colleen Moran-Bano, MS, MD

AAΩA Zeta Florida is a relatively new chapter having just elected and nominated our 4th class of students to AΩA. For the first time we nominated two residents to our ranks that will be under the directorship of a first-year councilor. This past year has been quite an organizational year. The accomplishment we are most proud of is that of getting known and visible around our college of medicine campus. We are making AΩA known at the UCF COM to be the beginning of the journey —not the destination —for a good residency. Our student members have created public awareness presentations for health-related monthly Awareness Months on our video monitors, on which we have proudly displayed our new UCF Zeta Chapter logo.

We have worked hard getting information about AΩA out to the student body, and we have great plans for an informational session at our M1 orientation that occurs in August. We were successful in getting involved with the national programs, which included: Having UCF COM students submit their poetry to the student poetry contest; getting the word out about the student research award; and taking advantage of the teaching, administrative assistant, and volunteer clinical faculty awards. Additionally, we have organized a committee to select a candidate for the fellow in leadership, professionalism award, as well as the student service awards. Our goal for the next year is to develop a stream of funding to support an AΩA Distinguished Scholars Program—in conjunction with our major affiliate hospitals, and to continue to grow our chapter.

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University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine—Gamma Florida

Councilor Catherine Lynch, MD

Class of 2016 Student Inductees

Class of 2017 Junior Student Inductees

2016 Fellows/Residents Inductees

L to R: Dean Charles Lockwood, MD; Alumnus Inductee Robert Fier, MD; and AΩA Councilor Catherine Lynch, MD

2016 Faculty Inductees
L to R: James Mayer, MD; Kellee Oller, MD; Lynette Menezes, PhD; Dean Charles Lockwood, MD

AΩA Visiting Professor Meredith B. Rosenthal, PhD, Professor of Health Economics and Policy, Associate Dean for Diversity, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health with AΩA Councilor Catherine Lynch, MD (right)

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Mercer University School of Medicine—Delta Georgia

Councilor Alice House, MD

New AΩA members. Taken at the AΩA Induction Banquet on May 3, 2016.

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Indiana University—Alpha Indiana

Councilor Richard Gunderman, MD

This year, the Alpha Indiana Chapter celebrates the 100th anniversary of their AΩA chapter. Began in 1916, just twelve years after AΩA’s founding, they were the 22nd school to join.

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University of Kansas School of Medicine—Alpha Kansas

Bradley Barth, MD

New AΩA members

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University of Illinois College of Medicine–Alpha Illinois

Councilors Melvin Lopata, MD & Jessica Hanks, MD

New AΩA student inductees w/ chapter leadership in the center row.

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University of Kentucky College of Medicine—Beta Kentucky

Councilor Charles H. Griffith III, MD, MSPH, FACP

On February 4, 2016, we had our annual celebration of medical student research, the AΩA/Groves Memorial/MD-PhD Program Student Research Symposium. It begins with a distinguished clinical investigator-speaker; this year it was Ramnik Xavier, the Chief of Gastroenterology at Harvard, who spoke about "The Gut Circuit.” This was followed by oral presentations of three student abstracts, and a poster session in which ~50 students presented their work. Since this is a celebration of student research, it spans a range of projects which includes: Those that have already been published and presented at national meetings by MD/PhD students—and others; medical education research including research on clinical topics that has been done by first-year college students; case reports; and clinical trials. This provides a venue for students and potential faculty mentors to meet.

Also, click here to view our AΩA induction banquet program.

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Tulane University School of Medicine—Alpha Louisiana

Councilor Bernard M. Jaffe, MD

The Tulane Chapter of AΩA is partnering with a medical student program to provide tuberculin skin testing in four-student run clinics for the underserved in New Orleans. AΩA students provide goals of professionalism, guidance and support. Funding is provided by grants to the partnership. The program is under the auspices of the chapter councilor and secretary/treasurer (who, coincidentally, is an Infectious Diseases specialist), with involvement of the Dean of Students. The program assures the provision of TB testing for a large homeless population, permits epidemiologic research, and enhances care and medical safety in the New Orleans community.

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Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine—Alpha Maryland

Councilor Charles W. Flexner, MD

In 2015, our Chapter was fortunate to host as our annual AΩA Visiting Professor, Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, President and CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Desmond-Hellmann’s career has been a series of firsts in American academic medicine and biomedical research. She was the first woman to lead a major American pharmaceutical company (Roche/Genentech); the first woman to serve as Chancellor of the University of California at San Francisco; and now, the first woman to lead the world’s largest private philanthropic organization. During her Visiting Professorship, Dr. Desmond Hellmann was able to meet with small groups of Johns Hopkins medical students and residents. She discussed her rather unconventional career path, which included two years of global health research in Uganda, and two years in private practice as an oncologist in a suburban community in California. At the end of her visit, she delivered an address that was open to the public, on the topic of “Precision Public Health: Big Data’s Next Big Idea.” This talk inspired a later TED talk that Dr. Desmond-Hellmann delivered in January, 2016, which is now available online. Everyone in our Chapter agreed that this was an inspirational time shared with a truly inspirational person.

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Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine—Gamma Maryland

Councilor Patrick O’Malley, MD, MPH, FACP

The Uniformed Services University Gamma Chapter (at “America’s Medical School”) has been working hard to implement a student-led chapter that expands its leadership roles to coincide with chapter functions and empowers success through basic communication of goals and expectations, with accountable outcomes. This has resulted in an overall more productive Chapter. Our Alumni Outreach program created a quarterly e-newsletter and published its first three editions that were delivered to our AΩA chapter members to keep them abreast of current activities. Our Student Outreach program hosted our annual peer-to-peer session for medical students transitioning from pre-clerkship to clerkship. During this session, we hosted our annual Military Medical Specialty Night which showcases our residency and fellowship programs that feature over 50 programs from our local—and not so local –- areas. Some of the more distance locations included Hawaii, California, Washington, Georgia, and Texas; more than 150 students attended. Our Community Service program continues to support the N Street Village program in Washington, DC, by promoting education on women’s health issues. Our Awards Program has successfully assured our Chapter applications for each of the National AΩA awards, resulting in us receiving both a Fellow in Leadership Award and a Student Service Leader Award. The latter award allowed us to support Bethesda Cares which provides medical support to the homeless in Bethesda, MD. Additionally, our Chapter President, Jeremy Bolin (MS4), was selected as a Student Director for the AΩA National Board of Directors. Finally, we have implemented a local annual dues program and a local website; these local infrastructure additions have allowed us to be more effective in achieving our Chapter goals.

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Boston University School of Medicine—Gamma Massachusetts

Councilor David McAneny, MD

The Alpha Omega Alpha chapter at the Boston University School of Medicine had an historically low profile. After learning about the wonderful opportunities presented by AΩA, the newly appointed Councilor and Secretary-Treasurer proposed one of two paths to the students elected to AΩA at the beginning of the 2014 academic year. They could maintain the traditional model, which had exclusively been a designation of honor, or they could become fully engaged in the greater organization. Fortunately, they selected the latter option, as did their immediate successors. Since then, the students have really had no choice but to preserve this new tradition.

The invigorated chapter has successfully sponsored two Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship awardees, one Student Essay competition winner, two Visiting Professors, and two Volunteer Clinical Faculty Awardees; we are supporting all of these activities during the current academic year. We have also submitted proposals for many other competitions, along with the nomination of an outstanding faculty member for the Distinguished Teacher Award.

The BUSM students responded to our original challenge, and the chapter has truly become theirs. The presidents and vice presidents have been strong, committed leaders, although the early ones carried most of the load. I would say the best thing that our chapter has done during the past year has been to establish a culture of the officers in which they broadly delegate responsibilities to all of their colleagues; this has generated excitement about each award and special event, including vetting all research proposals, as well as developing a nascent web page. We aspire to create a vibrant chapter that resonates among all students, faculty, house staff, and alumni.

We are delighted that the BUSM students have embraced their AΩA chapter and raised its awareness about campus. We have, hopefully, enhanced the value and significance of AΩA far beyond a desirable designation for residency applications.

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Tufts University School of Medicine—Beta Massachusetts

Councilor Amy L. Lee, MD, FAAFP

The Tufts University School of Medicine's annual AOA Lecture and Banquet was held on March 14, 2016. Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, gave the annual AOA Lecture open to the entire university. His lecture was entitled “Open Data: The Future of Publishing-Controlled Trials.” He was our honored guest at the AOA banquet, along with our AOA faculty nominees, Dr. Jo Linder from Maine Medical Center, and Dr. James Gilbert from Brockton Hospital. Deans Harris Berman, Amy Kuhlik, Henry Klapholz, and Joyce Sackey warmly welcomed our 32 graduating AOA student members at the banquet.

Dr. Vicki Hayes was welcomed at the banquet as our new Tufts AOA faculty liaison for our Maine campus, where 20% of our students do their clinical training with the goal of increasing the number of physicians practicing in the state of Maine. She coordinated meetings and community service events for our Tufts Maine AOA students this year, with the goal of expanding the presence and service of AOA members in Maine.

We welcomed Ms. Judith Woolridge from the Dean’s office, who has taken over providing administrative support for the Tufts AOA chapter this year. We are also excited that Philip Chan won a 2015 Alpha Omega Alpha Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship award. His study entitled “The relationship between administered oxygen levels and arterial partial oxygen pressure to neurocognition in postoperative mechanically ventilated cardiac surgical patients” received support from the national AOA office.

We also celebrated the sixth year of the Tufts AOA Community Service Project, partnering with the Melanoma Foundation of New England. Our AOA student members have helped to train hundreds of hair stylists and other beauty professionals to identify possible skin cancers on the head, neck and scalp of their clients. Our medical students also assisted in educational programs for teens and young adults about sun safety and skin cancer prevention. This community service project has received generous support from the AOA National Office.

New AΩA members at the induction banquet and at graduation.

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Michigan State University College of Human Medicine—Gamma Michigan

Councilor Gary Ferenchick, MD, MS, FACP

New AΩA Inductees

In November 2015, the Gamma Chapter of AΩA at Michigan State University, was proud to induct one alumni, one faculty member, two residents, and 35 students into this respected society. The banquet was held at the Country Club of Lansing on November 4, 2015, with Dr. William Wadland, MD, MS, as the keynote speaker. Dr. Wadland’s talk was entitled “Knowledge, Leadership and Service: Shackleton’s Way.” During this evening, we also honored Dr. Elizabeth Warner, who received the National 2015 Alpha Omega Alpha Fellow in Leadership Award.

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University of Minnesota—Alpha Minnesota

Councilor Charles Billington, MD

Chapter Activities

Junior AΩA Class of 2019 election begins in March 2018

Junior AΩA Class of 2019 Induction Ceremony: April 2018

Senior AΩA Class of 2019 election begins TBD

Senior AΩA Class of 2019 Induction Ceremony TBD

Election Criteria

Junior AΩA Election Criteria

Year 1 Grades: 27.5%

Year 2 Grades: 27.5%

Step 1 Score: 15%

Essay: 20%

CV: 10%

Senior AΩA Election Criteria

Year 1 Grades: 12.5%

Year 2 Grades: 12.5%

Step 1 Score: 10%

Year 3 and 4 Grades: 35%

Essay: 20%

CV: 10%

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University of Mississippi School of Medicine—Alpha Mississippi

Councilor Omar A. Rahman, MD

Click to read our chapter newsletter!

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Saint Louis University School of Medicine—Beta Missouri

Councilor Matthew Broom, MD, FAAP

The Beta Missouri Chapter at Saint Louis University recently hosted AΩA Visiting Professor Jo Shapiro, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Medical School, on May 4-5 2016. Dr. Shapiro is an internationally known speaker on professionalism and peer support programs, an established leader and was a contributor to the AΩA monograph, Medical Professionalism: Best Practices.

Dr. Shapiro's itinerary included a dinner on the 4th with AΩA chapter leadership, including various AΩA faculty, student co-presidents, and the recent Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship recipient. Dr. Shapiro was also the guest lecturer at a Medical Centerwide Grand Rounds on the 5th entitled, "Professionalism: Beyond Platitudes," which was attended by over 175 students, residents, and faculty from Saint Louis University.

Dr. Shapiro also participated in the following events: a faculty development workshop on "Difficult Feedback: A Crucial Skill for Professional Development" (attended by 30 faculty), a stuent and resident Noon Conference on "Speaking Up: Let's Sort this Problem Out Together" (attended by 75 students/residents), and an AΩA chapter roundtable discussion that focused on improving the educational experience for student learners.

Dr. Shapiro's visit was outstanding. She created a buzz among the School of Medicine leadership regarding ways to improve upon our current processes relating to peer support and also empowered students and residents regarding better methods for receiving and delivering feedback. Overall, it was a testament to the Visiting Professor program offering via AΩA.

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Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine—Alpha Missouri

Councilor Morton Smith, MD

New AΩA members. Taken at the AΩA Induction Banquet on March 9, 2016.

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Rutgers New Jersey Medical School—Beta New Jersey

Councilor Robert Schwartz, MD

Former US Senator and 59th New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa visited Rutgers New Jersey Medical School on April 28, 2016 as the Alpha Omega Alpha (AΩA) Distinguished Visiting Professor. Jeff Chiesa, a New Jersey native with an undergraduate degree from Notre Dame University and a law degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, has dedicated himself to providing the American public with the most current and accurate information on human trafficking and opiate abuse. Senator Chiesa was the featured guest at a luncheon hosted by The Sharon and Joseph L. Muscarelle Endowed Dean Robert L. Johnson, and was joined by faculty, house officers and student members of the AΩA New Jersey Beta chapter (Fig. 1,2). There, he discussed his life experiences in government with AΩA Chapter President Ann M. John.

Senator Chiesa also delivered the 14th Tamotsu Imaeda MD, PhD Memorial Visiting Professor Lecture (Fig 3), an eye-opening and pivotal discussion on the prevalence of human trafficking. During this lecture, Senator Chiesa shared personal anecdotes about his experiences as US Senator and Attorney General. He vividly recounted his own prosecution of a human trafficking center that had lured several young African girls with the promise of job security, safety, and better lives in America. He fought for the reconstruction of the victims’ lives, with both therapy and assimilation into American culture. He also urged other members of the United States Senate to raise countrywide awareness of the plague of human trafficking, an issue in major metropolitan cities. Senator Chiesa also shared information contact information for local agencies that physicians should contact if they suspect human trafficking, beyond police forces. During a second lecture, Senator Chiesa discussed the modern epidemic of opiate abuse, specifically advocating for the addicts who were introduced to opiates because of a medical reason. He emphasized his own support of mandatory rehabilitation for non-violent drug abusers.

Senator Chiesa was also featured speaker at the Spring Induction Dinner, which was held at a courtly Portuguese restaurant in Newark’s historic Ironbound Section, with over 100 attendees, including inductees with families and friends and AΩA faculty members (Fig 4-6). The chapter inducted 14 junior and 12 new senior medical students, plus faculty inductees, Marc Klapholz, Steven F. Schutzer, and Robert Wieder (Fig 6). AΩA Chapter President Ann M. John administered the AΩA oath. Senator Chiesa delivered an inspiring keynote address. He shared the advice he himself was given as he pursued law and service to the public. He urged medical students to love what they do, keep learning, and fight for those without a voice.

Photos (left to right)

Figure 1. William E. Halperin, James M. Oleske, Senator Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Robert A. Schwartz, Robert Wieder, W. Clark Lambert, Ann M. John

Figure 2. W. Clark Lambert, Senator Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Edmund Janniger, Ann M. John, Marc Z. Handler, Robert A. Schwartz

Figure 3. Senator Jeffrey Chiesa with new inductees, current members, and faculty

Figure 4: A smiling honoree Thomas J. Jastrezbski beside Ann M. John, Robert A. Schwartz, W. Clark Lambert, Thomas J. Jastrezbski, Senator Chiesa, Vice Dean Maria Soto-Greene, and Rutgers University Provost Robert Wieder

Figure 5. Senator Jeffrey S. Chiesa, Robert A. Schwartz, Laura Goldsmith, Robert Wieder, Steven F. Schutzer, Maria Soto-Greene, Marc Klapholz, Stanley H. Weiss

Figure 6. Selected Junior and Senior AΩA inductees at the induction ceremony

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State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center—Eta New York

Councilor Douglas Lazzaro, MD

New AΩA members mingling during AΩA Day, with a speaker event and induction ceremony

Left: Dean Carlos N. Pato of the College of Medicine speaking at AOA Day
Right: Guest speaker, Dr. David H. Abramson, MD giving a lecture on retinoblastoma at AOA day

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State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center, College of Medicine—Gamma New York

Councilor Lynn Cleary, MD

Twenty six students from Upstate's College of Medicine, along with two residents, two faculty members, and one alumni member were inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha at the Society's induction banquet on May 20, 2016, at the Genesse Grande Hotel in Syracuse. Dr. Daniel Rancier, MD, received the Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award.

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The Ohio State University College of Medicine—Gamma Ohio

Councilor Sheryl Pfeil, MD

The Ohio State University Alpha Omega Alpha Gamma Chapter of Ohio has an Excelling Series each year. The activities vary from year to year—depending on the interests of the current members, but the focus of the series is still service to the College of Medicine student body.

An event that the students include very year is the Art of Roundsmanship. AΩA partners with our GHHS chapter and research honor society to give information to the new Med 3’s on how to succeed in the clinical setting. AΩA provides academic information, such as good resources for each rotation, how to study while on clinical rotations, and how to ask for feedback. GHHS does skits on professional comportment (as well as how not to act) on the wards. The most productive part of the event is the open question and answer session that follows the presentations. Med 3’s can ask questions that they couldn’t ask anywhere else. This part of the program usually lasts 1-½ to 2 hours.

This year, our students sponsored a presentation on medical student burnout. This presentation was given by Steven Gabbe, MD, who has a special interest in this area. Dr. Gabbe is a national proponent for addressing this issue. This event was attended by almost 200 students. After presenting statistics on medical student burnout, Dr. Gabbe talked about ways to combat the problem. He highlighted the many resources available to our OSU COM students, ranging from personal counseling and wellness activities, to participation in Arts and Humanities opportunities.

The most recent AΩA presentation was a resident panel on “How to Interview Successfully.” This was open to all Med 4 students, many of whom took advantage of the opportunity.

In addition to the Excelling Series, our AΩA students are often asked to represent the College at events to assist with mentoring or tutoring needs, or to participate in hosting visitors to the College. The AΩA chapter and its members, has a history of being available for ad hoc service needs for the College and student peers.

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University of Cincinnati College of Medicine—Beta Ohio

Councilor Robert Luke, MD

New AΩA Inductees

The Beta Ohio Chapter celebrates their 100th anniversary as an AΩA chapter.
Began in 1916, just twelve years after AΩA’s founding, they were the 20th school to join.

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University of Oklahoma College of Medicine—Alpha Oklahoma

Councilor William Kern, MD

The AΩA Chapter at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Medicine, inducted 25 members of the fourth-year medical student class into AΩA. Andrew Miller, MSIII, is a current recipient of a Carolyn Kuckein Student Research Fellowship for his project, “Optical Coherence Tomorgraphy Angiography Before and After Treatment of Patients with Diabetic Macular Edema and Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy.”

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Drexel University College of Medicine—Delta-Zeta Pennsylvania

Councilor Kathleen Ryan, MD

The AΩA induction banquet was held on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue. Dr. Sarah Long was featured speaker and gave this year’s June F. Klinghoffer, MD AΩA Lecture. Forty-five new student members were inducted, as well as 2 alumni, 5 faculty members and 3 residents. Dr. Scott Richard received the AΩA Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award.

Back row from L to R : Faculty inductee Michael M. White, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Pharmacology & Physiology; Alumnus inductee Joseph M. Becker, MD, MS, FCPP, Clinical Associate Professor, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Faculty inductee Valerie D. Weber, MD, MS, FACP, William Maul Measey Chair in Medical Education, Vice Dean Educational Affairs; Graduate inductee Ioannis Koutroulis, MD, PhD, 2nd Year Fellow; and Volunteer Clinical Faculty Awardee Scott Richard, MD

Front row: Faculty inductee Christine M. Schlichting, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics; AΩA Councilor Kathy Ryan, MD; Graduate inductee Nicola Brodie, MD, PGY 3 Resident, Department of Pediatrics; Graduate inductee Sophia E. Katz, MD, PGY 4 Chief Resident, Department of Pediatrics; Speaker Sarah Long, MD; and Joel Horwitz, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology

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Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine—Eta Pennsylvania

Councilor Robert Atnip, MD

On April 19, 2016 the Eta Pennsylvania Chapter inducted thirty new members into AΩA. The evening began with Dr. David Muller, Dean for Medical Education, Dean for Medical Education, Professor, and Marietta and Charles C. Morchand Chair in Medical Education, giving an address titled, “If I Had To Do It All Over Again.” Following that, Robert Atnip, MD, AΩA Councilor, and Ian Schreibman, MD, AΩA Treasurer/Secretary, introduced and inducted the new student, resident and faculty members, with help from current members. The class of 2016 includes: Allison Aunkst, Steven Cornelius, Alissa Evenson, Ranjodh Dhami, Amy Du, Trenton Gause, Falisha Gilman, Christopher Haley, Ryan Hanson, Darren Hill, Timothy Irwin, Alyssa Klein, Sudhir Kunchala, Jacob Lipkin, Michelle Matzko, Marissa Milchak, Ryan Ridenour, John Rinaldi, Robert Saadi, Scott Seaman, Kate Templeton, Marianne Twilley, Hilary Whelan, Natasha Alligood-Percoco, MD, Rachel Andrew, MD, Namath Hussain, MD, Jonathan Zipkin, MD, Faisal Aziz, MD, Timothy Craig, MD, and Tamara Oser, MD.
Please join us in congratulating them!

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Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania—Beta Pennsylvania

Councilor Jon Morris, MD

New AΩA Inductees with chapter councilor Jon Morris, MD and Board member Eve Higginbotham, MD (both seated, second & third from right)

New AΩA members signing their names in the official AΩA book
Learning how to tie their AΩA scarves

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Temple University—Epsilon Pennsylvania

Councilor Amy Goldberg, MD

New AΩA members.

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University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine—Gamma Pennsylvania

Councilor Carl Fuhrman, MD

AΩA Thanksgiving Food Drive: This was a very good service activity which did not require excessive time. Collected food was donated to the Pittsburgh Food Bank. Our hospital (which is physically connected) has its own food drive, so we directed our attention to the medical school and faculty. We had three large barrels (and additional boxes) near the two main entrances to the medical school building and medical student lounge.

It is necessary to have students empty the containers each evening and a place to store the food. At the end of the drive, the Food bank provides a truck for pickup, but still needs student volunteers to get it to the pick-up site. It is a good idea to have a large poster near the collection bins that indicates that the bins are for the AΩA food drive and what products can be donated: in our case, these food items included boxed items, canned goods, but no perishable or fresh foods. Additionally, it is very helpful to advertise the food drive to the medical school faculty and students, through emails and signs, etc.. The Food bank was very appreciative to receive the donated food prior to Thanksgiving.

Another idea we are considering is a “hat, gloves, warm socks” drive to be donated to various homeless shelters (which are in need of these types of materials in our cold climate). One of our physicians runs a free clinic for the homeless and would be appreciative of donated warm clothing.

Also, this year, the Gamma Pennsylvania Chapter celebrates the 100th anniversary of their AΩA chapter. Began in 1916, just twelve years after AΩA’s founding, they were the 21st school to join.

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Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University—Alpha Rhode Island

Councilor Brian Zink, MD

L to R: Hannah Levavi, Andrew Loftus, Paul Herman, Dr. Arthur Kellermann, Jack Ludwig, Teresa Lii, Shihab Ali

L to R: AΩA Visiting Professor, Dr. Arthur Kellerman and AΩA Councilor Brian Zink, MD

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Medical University of South Carolina—Alpha South Carolina

Councilor Christopher Pelic, MD

On November 19, the Alpha Chapter of AOA in South Carolina was honored with the visit of Dr. Julie McElrath, MD, PhD, who participated as the AOA Visiting Professor in the 22nd Edition of the AIDS Symposium organized by the Medical University of South Carolina Faculty, an integral part of the curricula of the Colleges of Medicine and Dental Medicine in our institution. Dr. McElrath, a Medical University of South Carolina alumna, is a Professor of Medicine in the University of Washington, Seattle, and she is also Senior VP and Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where she directs the Vaccine and Infectious Diseases division.

Dr. McElrath's talk, entitled "Closing the Gaps Toward Development of an HIV Vaccine" began with a comprehensive review of all the past efforts to develop an HIV vaccine (they have been largely disappointing). In the second half of her lecture, Dr. McElrath presented current views on the interaction of HIV and the immune system and on the potential translation of the recent developments on more efficient and widely usable vaccines.

Besides his presentation in the AIDS symposium Dr. McElrath attended a dinner organized on his honor by our AOA chapter at one of our local restaurants. Dr. Virella (representing the Councilor, Dr. Chris Pelic, who could not attend due to health issues), Dr. Preston Church (AIDS Symposium Coordinator), AOA student officers, and faculty members of our school's Division of Infectious diseases were present at the dinner. Dr. McElrath also met with Faculty Members form the Division of lnfectious Diseases and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and attended an ID case discussion meeting at the Division of Infectious Diseases on Friday morning before her departure to Seattle.

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University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia—Beta South Carolina

Councilor Joshua Thornhill, MD

On March 17, the South Carolina Beta Chapter held its 2016 spring induction banquet. With 100 attendees, 15 students from the classes of 2016 and 2017 were inducted into AΩA, along with three resident physicians, two School of Medicine faculty members and two alumni. O’Neill Barrett, Jr., MD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus was the keynote speaker for the event. In addition, Philip N. Chaipis, MD, was recognized with the AΩA Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award.

Inductees to the South Carolina Beta Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha (AΩA) Honor Medical Society include:
Class of 2016
Candace Marie Broussard
Alyson Nicole Ford
Chase C. Houghton
Joseph D. King III
Thomas Wilbur Lenz III
Lindsay Marie Vendetta
Jason Maurice Wray II

Class of 2017
Matthew James Blackburn
Purva R. Choudhari
Sean Christensen
Paige M. Cisa
Jessica R. Hoglund
Leila Kutob
Kevin Michael Mays
Tyler James Willenbrink

Resident Physicians
John-Tyler Cene, M.D. – Emergency Medicine
Michael J. Cryer, M.D., – Internal Medicine
Carrye Lynn Daum, M.D. – Obstetrics and Gynecology

William B. Owens, M.D. – Department of Internal Medicine
Rebecca A. Payne, M.D. – Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science

Thomas Brian Powell, M.D. – Class of 2001
Antoinette Williams Rutherford, M.D. – Class of 2001

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University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine—Alpha South Dakota

Councilor Tim Ridgway, MD

In 2014, our chapter initiated a service project aimed at stimulating interest in health careers among Native American students. AΩA students, along with an AΩA faculty member, visited Todd Count High School in Mission, SD, to talk with students about health careers and other health-related topics. A follow-up visit for these students to come to our Sioux Falls campus was arranged, where the students were given a tour of our simulation center with the opportunity to participate in basic simulation exercises. As a result, a mentoring program was established, pairing one of our AΩA students with a high school student interested in a health career.

The USD Sanford School of Medicine (SSOM) has recently been awarded a grant by the Office of Minority Health, US Dept HHS, in support of the National Workforce Diversity Pipeline Program. The grant funds the Native American Healthcare Scholars Program (NAHSP), which seeks to identify, mentor and encourage Native American high school students to pursue careers in healthcare. NAHSP focuses on careers and academic mentoring, as well as career awareness-building activities for selected upper-level Native American high school students from the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation, as well as the Wagner Community School, located on the Yankton Sioux Reservation. Members of the SSOM chapter of AΩA will serve as mentors for those NAHSP students who had expressed interest in pursuing a career as a physician. This is an exciting project for our chapter and one which we anticipate will be very rewarding.

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University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine–Beta Tennessee

Councilor Susan C. Brewer, MD

The Beta Chapter of Tennessee co-sponsored both a Research-in-Medicine 2016 and AΩA Medical Student Research Day, on February 12, 2016, for which the theme was “Re Kindling Enthusiasm for Biomedical Research.” Dr. Samuel Dagogo-Jack was our keynote speaker. We had 88 medical students, residents, fellows, and post-doctoral trainees, submit research abstracts for presentation to a committee who chose first-, second-, and third-place winners, in each category. The first-place abstract winner gave an oral presentation, while the other winners presented their research abstracts during a poster session. Scores of medicine faculty and trainees attended this event, giving our students the opportunity to learn from each other and our faculty, as they field questions on the implications of their work. This event gives our students a venue in which to meet a UTHSC academic requirements of completing a project and presenting it in a public forum. AΩA Student Research Day is an event attended by the best of the best. We also hosted a reception, held after the oral presentations for all attendees and speakers.

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University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Southwestern Medical School—Gamma Texas

Councilor Kevin Klein, MD

Our AΩA students are involved in many activities throughout the year, such as organizing teaching sessions for underclassmen, and service projects for the community. Yet, the best thing we do every year is to honor our students with a banquet. This has turned out to be a really big deal, as the students are so proud of their induction into AΩA. The banquet is always held the night before Match Day so that everyone is in town, and parents are encouraged to come to both events. It is really a festive atmosphere. We use the Faculty Club, so everyone is familiar with the location. We gather at 6:30 pm, making it early enough for faculty to come straight from work. The FC staff say this is their favorite event of the year. We even have live music provided by student volunteers, as well as a cash bar.

We permit students invite up to three guests (but more, if needed). After socializing with students, parents and faculty, we all enjoy a lovely dinner. After dinner, we begin the ceremony led by the student officers. The students are great at introducing the newly-elected faculty and residents who are chosen primarily for outstanding teaching of medical students. The students are introduced last, about whom interesting stories are told by their classmates, with acknowledgment of their future field-of-study.

Lastly, the guest lecturer is introduced. We try to make sure the talk will be interesting to all. This year we will have Dr. Kent Brantley, missionary doctor and Ebola survivor, as the AΩA Visiting Professor. After dinner, we have a group photo taken by one of the faculty. Since we have faculty and guests cover the cost of their own meals, this gala event of up to 200 people costs surprisingly little as it is covered by the local dues of $40, per member. I would encourage every chapter to do something similar to this event, as a way of honoring induction of member into AΩA.

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Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine–Eta Texas

Mark L. Montgomery, MD

The highlight every year for the Texas A&M/Eta chapter of AΩA is the annual spring banquet. Banquet speakers over the past five years have included:

  • 2011: K. Patrick Ober, MD—Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
  • 2012: Peter Dans, MD—Johns Hopkins University, contributor to The Pharos
  • 2013: Sam Shomaker, MD, JD—former Dean of Texas A&M College of Medicine
  • 2014: Richard Gunderman, MD, PhD—AΩA Councilor University of Indiana College of Medicine
  • 2015: Darrell G. Kirch, MD—President AAMC
  • 2016: Paul Ogden, MD—Interim Dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center

The 2016 annual Induction Ceremony for the Texas A&M-ETA Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha was held on April 19, 2016 at the Mayborn Auditorium at Scott and White in Temple, TX. Dr. Paul Ogden, Interim Dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, gave the keynote address on the current state of medical education at Texas A&M. Dr. Michael Hofkamp, senior staff from the department of Anesthesiology was honored as the faculty inductee into AOA. Anesthesiology resident Joel Cavazos, Radiology resident Eric Chang and Surgery resident Eric Sparks were also inducted. Fourteen seniors were also elected and thirteen juniors.

Our AΩA chapter has recently begun an endowment, and fundraising has been very successful.

AΩA student members have participated in a public service vascular screening program over the past five years at Scott & White Clinic. The program is called “Legs for Life,” and is sponsored by the Society of Interventional Radiology.

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University of Utah School of Medicine–Beta Tennessee

Councilor Robert O. Hoffman, MD

Our AΩA chapter has been active during the last year. I have met monthly for breakfast with student leadership. We held our annual induction dinner to acknowledge new inductees. Activities included a book sale for medical students and a major revision of our AΩA guide to clinical rotations. This guide provides a practical guide to acquaint students with how to get the most out of clerkships, as well as how to be the most helpful.

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University of Virginia School of Medicine—Alpha Virginia

Councilor Mark J. Mendelsohn, MD

I am most proud of our students offering a more comprehensive, transparent approach to AΩA nominations. It has been a challenge to make changes and our students were extremely thoughtful regarding a more detailed nomination process. They continue with service projects throughout the year, including monthly Step 1 review lectures for the second-year class, and book fairs, which raised money for literacy programs and ongoing tutoring for students.

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Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine–Beta Virginia

Councilor Susan DiGiovanni, MD

The AΩA chapter at VCU has three main focuses: service, leadership and education. For service, our group participated in a Day of Community Service (DOCS), in which our members helped clean up the James River. For leadership, the students will hold a post-match panel for the rising fourth-year students, in which the newly-matched seniors will pass on their wisdom from the application and interview process, to the lower classmen. For education, we hosted a seminar given by Dr. Margaret Offerman, the President of FASEB. Dr. Offerman gave a wonderful seminar on the future of the physician scientist.

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Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine—Delta Virginia

Gary Simonds, MD

The Virginia Tech Carilion (VTC) School of Medicine 3rd annual Alpha Omega Alpha banquet and induction ceremony was held on April 19, 2016 at Valhalla Vineyards. It was attended by approximately 50 student/faculty AOA members and their guests. We inducted 6 new student members, 2 faculty members, and one resident member into the Delta Virginia AOA chapter. The banquet was accompanied by a faculty and guest speaker. Our faculty speaker was Dr. Sandy Fogel and our guest speaker this year was Dr. Marcia Childress from University of Virginia. Dr. Childress spent a full day at VTC. She gave a guest lecture on the importance of humanities in medical education entitled "Clinician Eye: Schooling Medical Education (in the Art Museum)." She spent two hours participating and helping facilitate a "Narrative Medicine" session for a small group of students in collaboration with the Humanism in Medicine Club at VTC. She also provided a guest lecture at the AOA banquet entitled "The Things You Carry."

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University of Washington School of Medicine–Alpha Washington

Councilor Douglas S. Paauw, MD, MACP

Teaching health science in middle schools, a new professionalism project working with students from day 1 of medical school on what it means to be a medical professional, an elective fair to help 3rd year students pick out meaningful electives for the fourth year, A web page with pearls for success in medical school. I have attached the information about the UW turkey book (a resource created by UW AΩA students over the years to help students with the nuts and bolts of succeeding on clinical clerkships—it now is available as an app.

Graduating AΩA Seniors

New AΩA Juniors

Top: induction ceremony; bottom right: Volunteer Clinical Faculty recipient, Sarah Hafbauer, MD; bottom right: Visiting Professor, Maxine Papadakis, MD

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University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health–Alpha Wisconsin

Councilor Laura Zakowski, MD

New AΩA student inductees

New AΩA faculty, alumni and resident inductees.
Seated left Dr. A. Lorris Betz and Dr. Laura Zakowski, AΩA Councilor

We were honored to have Dr. A. Lorris Betz as our 2016 AOA Dr. David de Harter and Diane de Harter Visiting Professor. Dr. Betz is a University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Alum, and he was elected into AOA during medical school.

Dr. Betz’s visit began with a Department of Pediatrics Grand Rounds presentation entitled “Creating a Culture of Respect in Healthcare.” Dr. Betz spoke about his experience with this issue at University of Utah. Following meetings with the Dean and other leaders, Dr. Betz heard research presentations from: a fourth year AOA student who recently returned from a translational research fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; another AOA student conducting research with the Department of Family medicine, and a third student who is currently enrolled in the MD/PhD program.

Dr. Betz met with the team involved in the UWSMPH curriculum transformation about creating a respectful learning environment. He also shared his experiences on leadership in healthcare with members of the Gold Humanism Honor Society and current AOA inductees. Dr. Betz concluded his visit by addressing students, families and faculty at the AOA induction ceremony.

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Updated on July 18, 2018.