UW Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society


Alpha Omega Alpha, founded in 1902, is the national medical honor society. Its mission statement is:

“AOA is dedicated to the believe that in the profession of medicine we will improve care for all by recognizing high educational achievement, honoring gifted teaching, encouraging the development of leaders in academia and the community, supporting the ideals of humanism, and promoting service to others.​”

Election to Alpha Omega Alpha is an honor signifying a lasting commitment to scholarship, leadership, professionalism, and service. A lifelong honor, membership in the society confers recognition for a physician’s dedication to the profession and art of healing.


At the UW chapter of AOA, we view this honor as not a mark on our CV, but an opportunity to use a platform to advise fellow students; impact national programs through involvement in the Carolyn Kuckein Research fellowship, Glaser Poetry competition, and Pharos Essay competition; and make a meaningful impact in the community by promoting diversity, underserved care, and educational outreach. Please see the links above for more information about the programs we are currently involved in.


UW – AOA Election Process

Student members are elected after they have completed their required clerkships, after third-year. By national guidelines, eligible students must be in the top 25% of their class, and the total number of students that can be elected each year is up to 16% of the class.  For the Autumn election, students in the top 25% of their class are those with an “Outstanding” summary word on their MSPE. For the Spring election, the AOA students elect  7-12 “Junior AOA” members among MS3 students. In the Spring election, the “top 25%” is determined by ranking students according to the % of Honors and High Passes they have received thus far in their required clerkships as well as on their Step 1 score. Students are considered 2 times – once in the spring of their MS3 year and once in the fall of their MS4 year.

Students are nominated by a vote of current chapter members (students, faculty, residents), and votes are based primarily on excellent required clerkship grades and also on peer nomination comments; comments from College faculty, clerkship directors, and PhD advisors; scholarships, publications, UWSOM involvement, and community service. Students are considered based on how well they meet the goals of AOA in the areas of leadership, service, professionalism, scholarship, research, and promise of contribution to the medical field. ​