Alpha Omega Alpha is the only national honor medical society in the world. National Alpha Omega Alpha was established in 1902 at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago, the Kansas Alpha Chapter received its charter in 1931. Its raison d' etre can be expressed in a phrase: to recognize and perpetuate excellence in the medical profession. As stated in the society's constitution, "Alpha Omega Alpha is organized for educational purposes exclusively and not for profit, and its aims shall be the promotion of scholarship and research in medical schools, the encouragement of a high standard of character and conduct among medical students and graduates, and recognition of high attainment in medical science, practice and related fields."
To fulfill the role it has set for itself, Alpha Omega Alpha elects outstanding medical students, graduates, alumni and honorary members to its ranks and offers its membership important national programs like: Alpha Omega Alpha Visiting Professorships, a quarterly journal, The Pharos, Student Research Fellowships, and two Distinguished Teaching Awards in collaboration with the Association of American Medical Colleges. In addition to national programs, the Kansas Alpha Chapter has several local programs which include: The William Root Lecture Series, KUMC Clinical Student Orientation Manual, Residency Review Seminar and service projects.
Election to Alpha Omega Alpha is a distinction that accompanies a physician throughout his or her career. Especially for the younger physician, the society provides a forum for the exchange of ideas as well as a source of valuable contacts. Members can be elected as a student, house officer, alumni or faculty of an affiliated institution, or by virtue of distinguished achievement in any field related to medicine, on a honorary basis.
Elections in the first four categories are carried out by the individual chapters. Chapters elect undergraduate members from students in their last two years of medical school. Scholastic excellence is a key criterion, but not the only one for election; capacity for leadership, compassion and fairness in dealing with one's colleagues are also to be considered. Students who are in the top academic quartile of their class are eligible for election, but the number elected may not exceed one-sixth of the graduating class. The Alpha Chapter at the University of Kansas has two separate elections in which undergraduates may be voted into Alpha Omega Alpha. The first opportunity is at the end (Spring) of junior clinical clerkships when the top 12.5% of undergraduates are eligible, and the second comes during your senior (Fall) clerkships when the top quartile are eligible. The students elected to the society are men and women who have compiled the requisite high academic standing and who, in the judgment of the members of the local chapter, have shown promise of becoming leaders in their profession. As noted above, opportunities exist for later election to the society of those not selected as undergraduates.
Kansas Alpha Chapter Officers - 2012-13 Academic Year