AOA Honor Medical Society Fall Senior Election – Application & Deadlines

The Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society Fall ‘Senior’ election will be held in early September. AOA is a national medical honor society in which election is based on a commitment to scholarship, leadership, professionalism, and service. There are 123 chapters around the country. Each year, approximately 3,000 students, alumni, residents, and faculty are elected into the society.

You can learn more about the organization on the national AOA website or on the UW Chapter of AOA website.

Election Action Items:

 Who is eligible to be elected?

In the past, students eligible for AOA election had to be in the top 25 percent of their class.* In light of research and data that shows there are racial and ethnic disparities in clinical grading in medical school, the chapter felt that it was important to acknowledge this and adjust eligibility parameters to help mitigate biases. Therefore, in addition to the top 25 percent of the class, the UW Chapter has decided to also include the top 25 percent of students in all self-reported racial/ethnicity categories.

Students are considered once for junior AOA and once for senior AOA. Students who are expanding/taking a leave of absence will be considered for senior AOA during the fall of their final year in medical school.

  • If you expanded after the fall AOA election occurred last year, you will not be considered this year as you were considered last year.
  • If you are currently listed in the student database as scheduled to graduate in 2025, you would be considered in next year’s fall election and therefore do not submit an application now.

*Note about qualifications: At this stage in the process, it is not possible to confirm if a given student is in the top 25 percent of the class. That information will not be known until closer to the election when it would be too late for students to be notified and have a reasonable amount of time to compile an application. 

How do students get nominations? How can I nominate my peers?

The AOA will reach out on your behalf to clerkship directors, College mentors, and MSTP advisors. Students may nominate their MS4 peers by Sunday, August 27 at 10:45 p.m. AK, 11:45 p.m. PT, 12:45 a.m. Monday MT. Comments that were submitted in spring will be “carried forward” for the fall election, at this time you may nominate additional peers. Good candidates include students who display scholastic achievement, demonstrate utmost professionalism in medicine, are leaders who set an example worth emulating, and who have a record of service in the medical school and community at large.

How can I submit my application in order to be considered by AOA?

To be considered for AOA, students must complete the required AOA Application by Sunday, August 27 at 10:45 p.m. AK, 11:45 p.m. PT, 12:45 a.m. Monday MT * – NO late submissions will be accepted.  Contained within the application are the grade release authorization**, the lived experiences statement, service and activities, and research and publications. You DO NOT need to update/add information to a separate service tracker survey for AOA election purposes.

*If you submitted an application during the spring application process, please submit a new application for the fall application process. We recognize that it is an inconvenience, however some questions in the application have changed, and we want to ensure that everyone is being reviewed based on the same application materials.

**AOA considers student grades/Step information through a blind election process. When the group reviews grades, your name is not linked to your grades.

How many people will be elected?

The AOA national constitution allows up to 20 percent of the graduating class to be elected into the chapter per year. During the Fall election in September, approximately 30 to 40 MS4 students can be elected. The current junior AOA members will elect the students that will make up the rest of the UW Chapter this fall. To repeat, for clarification: The AOA election is a BLIND process; no names are revealed while the group is deciding on its members.

Only after all the votes are in are the names of the elected students revealed. Elected students will be contacted by Sept. 15.

Thank you for taking time to read all of this carefully – you can find more information about the election on the UW AOA website.