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Alpha Omega Alpha

3 rows of sharply-dressed students with name tags, all smiling in a fancy event center

National Chapter

Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) is a medical honors society that was founded in 1902. The society recognizes, advocates for, and inspires physicians in the care of patients and the promotion of health. Members may be elected throughout their career and epitomize professionalism, leadership, academic and clinical excellence, research, community service, and “being worthy to serve the suffering.” The medical community has long recognized Alpha Omega Alpha as the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medicine.

IU School of Medicine Chapter

Initiated in 1916, the Alpha Omega Alpha of Indiana Chapter at Indiana University School of Medicine is proud to actively uphold the mission of the national organization by organizing events within the school as well as organizing outreach to the broader community.


  • Recognizing high educational achievement
  • Honoring gifted teaching
  • Encouraging the development of leaders in academia and the community
  • Supporting the ideals of humanism
  • Promoting service to others


Faculty President – Joanne Wojcieszek, MD
Student President – Willa Sasso
Student Secretary – Dalton Sullivan

IU School of Medicine Outreach

Within the school, AOA sponsors a booth at the orientation for incoming first-year students. AOA also co-sponsors a creative-works competition for the Finding Inspiration and Resilience in Medicine (FIRM) conference in coordination with the FIRM conference community and Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Mentorship events guide first through fourth-year students through the challenges of medical school:

  • Welcome to Medical School panel for first-year students
  • Step 1 prep panel for second-year students
  • Panels to guide third-year and fourth-year students through clerkships and applying to residency

Community Outreach: Medical Day

Within the larger community, one of the largest undertakings includes planning Medical Day, an event designed to show undergraduates from all over Indiana what life as a medical student is like. The event debuted at the Indianapolis campus with more than 100 undergraduates in attendance. Medical Days have also been held at other locations around the state.


Election to Alpha Omega Alpha is an honor representing a lasting commitment to professionalism, leadership, scholarship, research, and community service. Membership is a lifelong honor that confers recognition for a physician’s dedication to the profession and art of healing.

Criteria for selection

Selection into AOA is done by chapter members and the school supplies the chapter a list of eligible students who are then invited to apply. Eligibility is based on academic performance, but selection into the chapter is determined by the chapter members and is based on a holistic review that includes elements such as leadership, scholarly/ research work and service.

Find more details about AOA.

Step 1 scores and clerkship grades were previously used to calculate which students are eligible, roughly the top third of the class. Since Step 1 is now Pass/Fail, the eligibility list will be determined at the end of Phase 2 based on the following: P1Y1 exam scores (20%); P1Y2 exam scores (30%) and Phase 2 clerkship Grades (50%). In addition, students in the top 25% of the class based on Phase 2 clerkship grades only, and in the top half overall, are also eligible. This method results in an overall eligibility of roughly 30% of the class. The AOA typically sends out invitations to those eligible to apply in the early summer