Alpha Omega Alpha
Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) is a national medical honor society organized in 1902. The Northwestern
chapter was founded in 1903. It is composed of undergraduate, graduate, and alumni members that
are selected on the basis of scholastic achievement and significant contributions in medicine.
In accordance with its constitution, AOA is committed to recognizing new student members with the
highest level of competence, character, trustworthiness, leadership, professionalism, scholarship, and
service. AOA is committed to supporting elections that are inclusive, diverse, and equitable. In line
with this mission, Feinberg School of Medicine has amended its review and selection process and is
proud to recognize the top 20% of graduating students for outstanding contributions to scholarly
pursuits, clinical performance and service/leadership.
All fourth-year medical students are invited to submit an application for consideration of election into
AOA. This application consists of a personal narrative, curriculum vitae (CV), and an optional
demographic form. AOA selection is made by committee decision after a thorough and holistic
review of each application. The committee includes a diverse group of faculty members and
housestaff leaders and includes members that are underrepresented in medicine (UIM). Applications
are reviewed and outstanding contributions in three domains are considered. These domains include
clerkship performance, service/leadership, and scholarly activity. Each member of the AOA
committee is assigned to a subcommittee designated to review the applications in one of the three
domains. Each application is reviewed by 2 reviewers in each subcommittee and scored based on
significant and outstanding contributions in that domain. If there is a discrepancy in scoring between
the two reviewers, it is re-reviewed by the subcommittee chairs. Once all scores are received, each
subcommittee chair creates a tiered list of students based on outstanding contributions to that domain. Election to AOA will be considered based on significant contributions to one or more domain. Results are presented to the entire AOA committee to review and a final group is selected for AOA induction.
In addition to electing new student members to AOA, the chapter also identifies faculty, residents,
fellows, and alumni who are not yet members of AOA. These candidates must demonstrate
excellence in medical education or scholarly activity and show potential to excel or have already
made significant contributions in their area of specialty. These individuals are also inducted to the
Feinberg School of Medicine AOA chapter. Nominations are generally submitted by the program
director, residency director, or department chair. Final selection is made by holistic review by the
AOA selection committee.
All inductees are recognized at an annual dinner.