Alpha Omega Alpha (AΩA) is the only national medical honor society in the world. Founded in 1902, the society was originally established “to encourage high ideals of thought and action in schools of medicine and to promote that which is highest in professional practice.” Today, there are over 130 chapters in medical schools throughout the United States and more than 183,000 members elected since its founding. The honor of AΩA membership is accompanied by the responsibility to uphold and promote the mission that in the profession of medicine, patient care will be improved by:
- Recognizing high educational achievement
- Honoring gifted teaching
- Encouraging the development of leader in academia and the community
- Supporting the ideals of humanism; and
- Promoting service to others
The Texas Beta chapter of AΩA at Baylor College of Medicine was founded in 1949, the 55th chapter in the country. Medical students are elected to AΩA membership based on their academic performance, research endeavors, and commitment to the community. Generally, one-fifth of the graduating class is elected to membership. In addition, our AΩA chapter elects deserving residents, faculty, and medical school alumni each year.
AΩA Student Selection Process
The AΩA selection process has undergone significant changes since its inception and continues to evolve locally and nationally. Below is the timeline for a traditional student, where “September of MS3 year” represents an intent to graduate in the following academic year (eg. for the Graduating Class of 2025, September 2023 would be an early MS3 student).
Timeline for the selection process
- September of MS3 year – updated process for AΩA Selection to be announced
- Mid-January of MS3 year – Top ~10% based on core clinical GPA are notified of nomination to submit full portfolios; all other students are invited to submit 3 Honors Items for consideration for nomination (given 2 weeks to submit)
- Early February MS3 year – AΩA Selection Committee reviews Honors Items for determination of student nominations (up to an additional ~25% of the class)
- Late February MS3 year – Portfolio requests sent out to all AΩA nominees (up to 35% of the class); students have over 1 month to prepare portfolios
- Late March MS3 year – Portfolios due for all nominees
- Late April MS3 year – Students notified of AΩA selection
See details regarding the most recent selection process and a sample of the fillable portfolio request form for AOA nominees. NOTE: The final process for MS3 students will not be determined until September of the MS3 year.
Feedback regarding the selection process is welcome – please reach out to Dr. Atul Maheshwari (BCM AΩA Councilor) at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions, comments or concerns.