"Be worthy to Serve the Suffering" Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

The University of South Carolina

South Carolina Beta Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha


The University of South Carolina's School of Medicine is one of the most recent medical schools established in the United States. In 1975, recruitment of faculty and curriculum planning began and in 1976, the School received provisional accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges. In February 1977, the School was granted approval for admission of the first class of 24 medical students in the fall of this year. Since 1977, the class size has tripled and currently approximately 300 medical students are enrolled in the four-year program.

The Charter Class graduated in May on 1981, at which time the School of Medicine was fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Drs. Ronald V. Wade (OB/GYN) and Donald E. Saunders, Jr. (Cardiology/Internal Medicine) were asked by Dean Roderick MacDonald to seek the establishment a chapter of AOA at USC. In January of 1983, through their hard-work and perseverance, the Charter for the South Carolina Beta Chapter of AOA was granted. Dr. Wade was nominated at Councilor and Dr. Saunders served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the new Chapter. The first induction banquet was held in May of 1983 and inductees included members of the classes of 1981 and 1982.

In 1986, Dr. Saunders assumed the role as Councilor and Dr. O'Neil Barrett served as Secretary/Treasurer. The Chapter received eight video tapes of "Leaders in American Medicine" donated from the AOA National archives.

In 1994, the "Evening on Doctoring" formerly known as "The Hippocratic Oath Ceremony" was begun as an AOA student project in conjunction with the Student Government Association. It continues to serve as a venue for students to express their personal experiences during their medical education. Students describe some of their most personal moments during their pursuit of becoming a doctor. Quotes, short stories, guest speakers and musical displays are incorporated to make this a meaningful event in medical students' journey to becoming a doctor. The event has traditionally occurred the day before graduation.

In 1999, Dr. Friedman was nominated to serve as Councilor and Dr. Derrick as Secretary/Treasurer. To this day, there are 301 community and faculty members and twelve students serving in the South Carolina Beta Chapter.

Throughout its history, the Chapter has upheld the principles upon which the AOA organization was founded. It elects members based upon a list of the top 25% by G.P.A., involvement in student office and positions in extracurricular activities. Personal characteristics and faculty observations weigh a strong 20% in the selection process. Traits including: leadership, fairness in dealing with colleagues, compassion, integrity and service to the school and community are reviewed during the selection process. Currently, three third year medical students and nine fourth year students are elected into the organization annually.

The annual induction banquet takes place the week of graduation. It is open to all members of the community, including students, residents, faculty and retirees of the medical profession. A wide variety of speakers has made this event a wonderful experience for the newly inducted students and brings together the community. The following is a list of the previous Induction Banquet

Induction Speakers

1982Oscar A. Thorup, MD
1983 Eugene A Stead, Jr., MD
1984 James V. Warren, MD
1985 H. Rawling Pratt-Thomas, MD
1986 James R. Stallworth, MD
1987 Robert M. Sade, MD
1988 Edward R. Annis, MD, past president of AMA.
1989 Seymore T. Swartz, MD, Professor and Chair of Surgery, University of Rochester
1990 Edward W. Hook, MD, Professor of Medicine at UVA
1991 G. William Bates, MD, Vice President of Greenville Hospital
1992 Douglas McDonald, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, Furman University
1993 J. Richard Sosnowski, MD, MUSC
1994 Roy Menninger, MD, The Menninger Clinic
1995 Einar W. Anderson, MD. USC
1997 Richard Hoppmann, MD, USCSM
1998 Jim C. Chow, MD, USCSM
1999 B. Lewis Burnett, Jr., MD, UVA, Family Practice
2000 Story Musgrave, MD
2001 James Edwards, DDS
2002 Frederick L. Greene, MD, FACS
2003 Basil A. Pritt, Jr., MD, FACS, FCCM
2004 Peter E. Dans, MD
2005 Mark E. Silverman, MD
2006 Edward Day Harris, Jr., MD
2007 Jeremiah A. Barondess, MD, MACP
2008 John Noble, MD, MACP
2009 L.D. Britt, MD
2010 William P. Magee, Jr., MD, DDS
2011Darrel G. Kirk, MD, President and CEO, Association of American Medical Colleges

Awards are presented during the Induction Banquet to faculty, alumni and volunteer faculty selected by the students of AOA and the graduating class.

Faculty Inductees

1982Oscar A. Thorup, MD
1983 Roderick Macdonald, Jr., MD
1984 C. Warren Derrick, Jr., MD
1985 William L. Poteat, PhD
1986 O'Neill Barrett, Jr., MD
1987 James R. Stallworth, MD
1988 S. Terrell Smith, MD
1989 James R. Augustine, PhD
1990 Thomas M. McCullough, MD
1991 Harold I. Friedman, MD, PhD
1992 Charles S. Bryan, MD
1993 Richard A. Hoppmann, MD
1994 Gerald N. Olsen, MD
1995 None selected
1996 Larry R. Faulkner, MD
1997 Craig Davis, PhD
1998 Michael Shawn Stinson, MD
1999 Nancy Anne Richeson, MD
2000 None selected
2001 Joshua Thornhill, MD
2002 Jamee Lucas, MD
2003Paul V. Catalana, MD
2004Abdul Ghaffar, PhD, and James E. Morrison, MD
2005Allen Brett, MD
2006Davinder K. Lally, MD
2007Francis H. Neuffer, MD
2008Donald J. DiPette, MD
2009John V. Dacus, MD, and Carol Lynn McMahon, MD
2010Wendy R. Cornett, MD, and L. Britt Wilson, PhD
2011Carole Lowman Pillinger, MD, and James R. Wells, MD, FACS

Alumni Inductees

1997 C. Dorn Smith, MD, Class of 1985 USCSM
1998 Elizabeth G. Baxley, MD, Class of 1984 USCSM
1999 None selected
2000 C. Scott Lamar, MD, Class of 1991 USCSM
2001 March Seabrook, MD
2003Richard L. Frierson, MD, Class of 1988, USCSM
2004G. Grattan Correll, MD, Class of 1994, USCSM
2005Franklin O. Smith, MD, Class of 1984, USCSM
2006Robert Roy Ireland, MD, Class of 1985, USCSM
2007James Chow, MD, Class of 1985, USCSM
2008Ralph N. Riley, MD, Class of 1982, USCSM
2009Daniel P. Bouknight, MD, Class of 1993, and Katherine A. Close, MD, Class of 1988, USCSM
2010Robert C. Holleman, Jr., MD, and Leroy F. Robinson, MD
2011Lisa Henderson Bryant, MD, and James O. Williams, Jr., MD

Resident Inductees

2004Brown James McCallum, MD, and Michael M. McKee, MD
2005Jeffrey Smith, MD, and Christopher Starnes, MD
2006Elizabeth Hayes Mack, MD (Columbia), and Eric Shane Swanson, MD (Greenville)
2007Roland C. Craft, MD, and Steve E. Herndon, MD
2008Shanna Bradley Holcomb, MD, and Jeremy M. Byrd, MD (Greenville)
2009Janie Catherine Bruce, MD, Ginny L. Gottschalk, MD, and Mark Allen Jones, MD
2010John Andrew Goldsmith, MD, Philip David Keith, MD, and Kristin H. Rollins, MD
2011Christopher W. Bailey, MD, Lauren S. Holliday, MD, and Spencer F. Robinson, DO

Volunteer Clinical Faculty Awards

1999 J. Daniel Love, Jr., MD
2000 Charles N. Still, MD
2001 James Wells, MD
2002 O'Neil Humphries, MD
2003Nadeem Inayat, MD
2004Charles H. Ham, Jr., MD
2005Barbara Morgan-Faile, MD
2006Steedman Sarbah, MD
2007Jeanette Fulton, MD
2008Scott J. Pettit, MD
2009Jimmy Pacheco-Perez, MD
2010William C. Giles, MD
2011William M. Moore, Jr., MD

As the Chapter continues to grow, so does its influence in the medical community. The program "Role Models for Medicine" was established in 1997 with the help of the Schools' Assistant Dean of Admissions, Dr. Robert Sabalis. This is a program in which students from high schools around the state come to learn more about medical school and a career in medicine. It is held twice annually and typically has over 200 high school students and guidance counselors attending. Participants are given a 20-30 minute lecture addressing the medical school experience and the process of becoming a physician (from high school, to college, to the four years of medical school and residency training). After lunch, the students are split into groups and attend mini-presentations given by the AOA student members. These sessions include: pathology, radiology, physiology, anatomy, suturing, and the human brain. Students receive the opportunity to ask questions of medical students and faculty throughout the day. It has become a wonderful encouraging experience for all who attend.

In the year 2000, a desire to interact with other chapters led to the development of the Medical Jeopardy competition. The idea for the competition was founded by the AOA councilor at the Medical University of South Carolina, Dr. Gabe Virella. Questions were solicited from students and faculty for the game during the spring and compiled by a designated AOA student. The competition location varies each year from the Medical University of South Carolina to the University of South Carolina. The past participating chapters include: the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina and the Medical College of Georgia. Three fourth-year medical students and one third-year student comprise the teams sent to the competition. In 2000, the Medical University of South Carolina won by 700 points. In 2001, the University of South Carolina won by one point. A plaque is awarded to the winner of the event and currently resides in the medical student lounge at the University of South Carolina.

The Medical Jeopardy competition between students was such a success, that the members of the Chapter decided to challenge the faculty. In 2000, a team of three student members selects three faculty members to face in the competition. The 2001 team faced off against Drs. Gerald Olsen, Nancy Richeson, and Shawn Stinson. The students prevailed by two points. It was a terrific opportunity to have fun, learn a little and enjoy the favorite faculty of the class.

Thank you for visiting the South Carolina Beta Chapter of AOA.