UW Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

Visiting Professorship

Every year, schools with an active AOA chapter are eligible to invite a visiting professor from another institution to speak about a topic of their choosing. This initiative aims to encourage clinicians to participate in new opportunities to educate students, residents and fellow clinicians. The visiting professor spends one full day of teaching and interacting with students, residents, and faculty. Additionally, the visiting professor is awarded a $1,500 honorarium by the national AOA for their election.

University of Washington AOA is proud of the incredible achievements, both within and outside of medicine, of the recent visiting professors. This year, we are honored and humbled to welcome:

Dr. James O. Woolliscroft, MD

Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine

Professor of Internal Medicine and
Learning Health Sciences

University of Michigan Medical School



Dr. Woolliscroft received his B.S. summa cum laude in 1972 and his M.D. in 1976 from the University of Minnesota. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the University of Michigan in 1980. In 1980, he joined the faculty of the Department of Internal Medicine and rose through the academic ranks being promoted to Professor of Internal Medicine in 1993. He has a joint appointment as Professor in the Department of Learning Health Sciences.

His research interests in medical education have resulted in numerous publications, invited presentations and visiting professorships across the US and internationally. Dr. Woolliscroft has served as chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Educational Affairs; chair of the AAMC Research in Medical Education Committee; and as a founding member and President of the Clerkship Directors of Internal Medicine. He has also served on several National Board of Medical Examiners committees and the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME) Board.

Dr. Woolliscroft’s stature as an internationally recognized medical education scholar led to his selection as the first Josiah Macy, Jr. Professor of Medical Education, an endowed professorship awarded through a national competition in 1996. In 2001 he was named the Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine. He received the Society of General Internal Medicine’s Career Achievement in Medical Education Award in 2004 and the AAMC’s Group on Educational Affairs Merrel Flair Award in 2008. The University of Minnesota Medical School presented him their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009. In 2014, he received the AAMC’s most prestigious recognition, the Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education.

He is a Master of the American College of Physicians and was selected as a Laureate of the Michigan Chapter in 2015. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.

At the University of Michigan, he has served in several administrative capacities including Associate Chair in the Department of Internal Medicine, Chief of Staff of the University of Michigan Hospitals, Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Medical Education and the Executive Associate Dean of the University of Michigan Medical School. From 2006 -2015 Dr. Woolliscroft served as Dean of the University of Michigan Medical School.


Previous Visiting Professors:

Dr. Eve Higgenbotham – 2018

Vice Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the Perelemen School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
Co-founder and Directory of ROI Squared, LLC
Visiting Scholar in Health Equity at the AAMC
Three decades of academic experience and twenty years experience managing business units within academic health centers
Associate Professor with tenure, Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs, University of Michigan, 1990-94
Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Department, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Dean and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Morehouse School of Medicine
Professor of Ophthalmology at Emory University, 2006-09
Senior Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences, Howard University, 2010
First woman to head a university-based ophthalmology department in the United States
Completed Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program, Drexel University, 2000
Chair of the FDA Ophthalmic Devices Panel
Current member of Research Advisory Committee of the Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation
Authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles and co-edited four ophthalmology textbooks
Authored a commentary entitled, “Making the Case for Hastening the Pace of Progress tow

Notable past achievements:

  • Past Trustee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Past President of: the Maryland Society of Eye Physicians, the Baltimore City Medical Society, the Harvard Medical School Alumni Council
  • Former member: Department of Veteran Affairs-sponsored Blue Ribbon Panel on VA-Medical School Affiliations, NEI Data and Safety Monitoring Committee, former chair of Planning Committee NEI National Eye Health Education Program, formed treasurer of the American Glaucoma Society, member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Editorial Board member of JAMA Ophthalmology
  • Former Vice Chair National Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study, 15-year NEI-sponsored multicenter clinical trial


Dr. Wiley “Chip” Souba – 2017:

Professor of Surgery and Professor of Medical Education at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

He is deeply involved in research on the topic of medical student leadership. He has published extensively on diverse topics such as leading yourself, personal and organizational transformation, barriers to effective
leadership, resilience, and the language of leadership. In addition to giving the keynote address at our chapter’s Annual Banquet, Dr. Souba spoke on the topic of medical student leadership at an MS4 Capstone session, with MS1 student leaders, with a UWSOM professor interested in leadership and professionalism, and in a small-group setting with AOA members over meals. His thoughts on leadership is an inspiring call for action within the profession of medicine, and he suggests that true leaders are those who are fulfilled by showing deep humanism and compassion for those most in need.


Dr. Maxine Papadakis – 2016:

Associate Dean of Student Affairs at University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Papadakis has been deeply involved in teaching both undergraduate medical students and residents for many years, and she is the recipient of many teaching awards. She is also the recipient of the John P. Hubbard Award, given by the NBME, which is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the pursuit of excellence in the field of evaluation in medicine. She received this award specifically for her academic research on medical school policies, student professionalism, and evaluating professional attributes of physicians. Her research has led to identifying what professional behaviors look like and remediating when unprofessional behaviors occur. This work in the field of assessing and addressing medical student professionalism has been recognized on a national level, and she truly is a leader of this field.


Dr. Ruth-Marie “Rhee” Fincher – 2015:

During her visit, Dr. Fincher went out to dinner with 8 of our UW AΩA Chapter members in downtown Seattle. There, she had a thoughtful conversation with MS3 and MS4 students about our WWAMI program, life on clinical rotations, how they chose their specialties, as well as sharing her story of her professional development over the years. The small group allowed Dr. Fincher to get to know some of our AΩA chapter students on a more personal level and allowed the students a chance to meet a retired doctor/professor who had much wisdom to dispel about her journey through medicine and academics. The UW AΩA Chapter Councilor as well as the staff coordinator joined the group for dinner.

She also went out to breakfast with a different set of 8 students from our UW AΩA Chapter at a restaurant near campus, before the students had class. Much like the evening before, the students and Dr. Fincher engaged in a rich conversation that included current topics in medicine, medical school, academia, as well as a political conversation about the issue of a new medical school in eastern Washington.

She engaged in an interactive session with first and second year medical students. She discussed the following topics: Transitioning to third year, preparing for Clerkships, how to balance STEP studying with increasing clinical duties, stress management, study skills as they relate to STEP 1, developing a professional identity, research at UWSOM, and decision-making as it relates to choosing a specialty. The session ended with Dr. Fincher’s top 10 pieces of advice for the pre-clinical students, which was very well received. After this session, Dr. Fincher joined the UW Councilor, Dr. Doug Paauw, in a faculty meeting where they discussed how Medicine Clerkships went over the past year.

She talked with students about their plans after graduation and how to succeed in their first year of residency. Dr. Fincher gave the keynote address at the UW Annual AΩA Banquet. She used three stories along her journey as a physician to illustrate to the 100-person crowd that we can’t always know what things will happen in our lives that actually turn out to be teaching moments or turning points along our professional journeys.


Dr. Bill Foege – 2014:

Dr. Foege, a University of Washington School of Medicine graduate, played a key role in the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s, and has recently written a book about this campaign, entitled “House on Fire: The Fight To Eradicate Smallpox.” He has also been a key member of the Task Force for Child Survival, a professor at Emory, has served as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and as the director of the Carter Center, and has been a Senior Medical Advisor for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As part of his many years of service, he has been bestowed several honorary degrees, has had the William H Foege Genomic Sciences building here at the University of Washington named in honor of him, and is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.