Alpha Omega Alpha at the University of North Carolina

About AOA

Alpha Omega Alpha, founded in 1902, is a medical honor society dedicated to the belief that we can 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 signifies a lasting commitment to scholarship, leadership, professionalism, and service. Membership in the society confers recognition of someone’s dedication to the profession and art of healing. UNC’s chapter of AOA was founded in 1954 and is proud to induct new medical students, residents, alumni, and faculty into the chapter each year.

Eligibility for Nomination

For medical students, those with scholastic qualifications that place them in the upper 25% of the class are eligible for AOA nomination. Of these nominated students, one-sixth of the total number of the class expected to graduate may be selected for membership. Only those currently enrolled in the School of Medicine are eligible.  Students participating in dual degree programs are not eligible while they are enrolled in graduate schoolbut could be eligible during the spring before they leave for graduate school, or in the fall when they are re-enrolled as School of Medicine students.

 Junior AOA Nomination (spring)

  • The numerical grades for each course in Application Phase are averaged by credit hour and used to calculate the top 25% of the class. Students who receive all Honors in their Application Phase courses may not meet numerical criteria for eligibility. Only students who have completed Application Phase at the time of nominations will be considered for membership.

Senior AOA Nomination (fall)

  • The numerical grades of each Application AND Individualization Phase courses (Blocks 1-4), averaged by credit hour, are used to calculate the top 25% of the class. Application Phase courses are weighted at 15 credits each and Individualization Phase courses are weighted at 6 credits each. For Individualization Phase courses, the letter grade equivalents are as follows: H=100, HP=75, and P=50. No blocks taken off or P/F courses (i.e. Research or Career Exploration electives) are included in these calculations. The selection committee makes every effort to elect and notify Senior members prior to September 15th. Students who receive all Honors in their Application and/or Individualization Phase courses may not meet numerical criteria for eligibility. Students are only eligible for AOA nomination and election in the fall immediately prior to their graduation.

Notification of eligibility

Students eligible for nomination will be notified of the details by email. Appearing on the election ballot requires the student to provide a CV detailing involvement during medical school and a release of information.

Election Process

Medical students appearing on the ballot for election are independently reviewed by two faculty reviewers and one student reviewer. These reviewers evaluate the student based on academic performance, leadership capabilities, demonstrated professionalism, and a record of service to the school and community. Faculty members complete this evaluation by reviewing a nominee’s CV, MPSE, and transcript. For spring elections the MPSE will only include clerkship course evaluations and comments that are available in a student’s permanent file; the MPSE in fall elections will also include evaluations and comments from Individualization Phase courses, in addition to the student’s noteworthy characteristics.

Should evaluations of the three reviewers differ significantly, another reviewer will submit an evaluation. These evaluations are presented to voting members at semi-annual elections. The students with the most votes are nominated for membership.

Candidates are also evaluated based on their ethical standards, ability to deal fairly with colleagues, and demonstrated professionalism. Any candidate with a record of professionalism offense may be removed from consideration for AOA by the selection committee and/or the Dean of Student Affairs.

Residents, fellows, alumni, and faculty are nominated for membership by voting members at the election meetings according to similar criteria of academic achievement, leadership, professionalism, and service. For residents, fellows, and faculty, special attention is given to excellence in the teaching of medical students. Alumni of UNC are eligible for nomination after ten or more years following graduation. The number of each of these four groups that is eligible for nomination depends on the size of the medical school class.

Contact information:

AOA President: Samantha Robin (samantha_robin@med.unc.edu)
AOA Vice-President: Marni Krehnbrink (marni_krehnbrink@med.unc.edu)
Faculty Director: Dr. Amelia Drake (amelia_drake@med.unc.edu)