"Be worthy to serve the suffering."

-William W. Root, MD - Founder, 1902

The Pharos Poetry Award

To encourage medical students to write meaningful poetry related to health or medicine.

Important Dates

Deadline for submission

November 7, 2023

Award Announcements

February 16, 2024

Winning poets must submit a W-9 form prior to the issuance of the award check.

2023 Awardees

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society is pleased to announce the 2023 winners of The Pharos Poetry Award. Out of 172 submissions, the following were selected as the winners:

First Place — Home to Alaska by Dana Arenz, University of Washington School of Medicine

Second Place (tie) — Kid in a White Coat by Gabriella Garcia, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University

Second Place (tie) – Hues of You by Marilee Kneeland, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

Second Place (tie) – A Voice Unheard by Matthew Robinson, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Third Place — Earl by Jane Buell, Baylor College of Medicine

The winner’s poems will be published in the 2023 Autumn edition of The Pharos. Congratulations to all.

The Award

Cash awards of $600 for first place; $350 for second place; and $200 for third place. The three winning entries will be published in The Pharos.


Authors must be enrolled in medical schools that have an active AΩA Chapter or Association, but need not be members of AΩA. However, if an applicant is a member of AΩA, he/she must have active status. Only one entry per student.


  1. Poems must be written while the student is in medical school, must be the work of a single author, and must represent original work.
  2. The poem may be on any subject related to health or medicine.
  3. The poem must be single spaced, single column, and not exceed two pages of 12-point type with minimum 1-inch margins.
  4. Please do not include any images or special formatting with the poem.
  5. The poem must not have been offered to or published by any other journal or entered in any other contest.
  6. Poems not meeting all requirements will be rejected.
  7. A committee of the editorial board of The Pharos will review the poems and select the winners.

Questions may be directed to

Alpha Omega Alpha is committed to upholding a high standard of professionalism, compassion and humanism in medicine. Patients should be treated with dignity and their privacy respected. We will not accept submissions to any of our programs that conflict with these values, or contain bigotry, or highly politicized content.