Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
Alpha Omega Alpha, or AOA, is a national medical honor society. As established by the national organization constitution, each school may elect up to 20% of the graduating class of students (top 30% GPA) junior and senior students. Once meeting this criterion, each candidate must prepare an application and then new members are chosen based on academic, personal, and service criteria. The chapter may also select several house staff, faculty, and alumni each year.
Our chapter, as well as the national AOA organization, values how diversity and inclusion in all forms improves patient care, population health, education, research, and scientific discovery. We have committed to improving the diversity of our healthcare system by highlighting these values not only in our selection criteria, but how our chapter invests in the Philadelphia community we are honored to be a part of through projects and service. There are chapters of this national honor medical society, founded in 1902, at 125 U.S. medical colleges and several Canadian colleges.
The Thomas Jefferson University chapter, Pennsylvania Alpha, was founded in 1903, the 5th to be chartered and the 1st to be established on the East Coast. Our chapter strives to foster excellence in medicine through sponsoring 20-25 ongoing educational and service projects at Thomas Jefferson University and in the community. Many of the projects may involve and most benefit all in the Jefferson community, not just those who are members of AOA. In recent years, our chapter has remained among the most productive in the nation.
Projects & Services
Alpha Omega Alpha
The Jefferson chapter of the AOA has created a set of educational and practical guides to assist with students’ clinical training.
AOA tutoring is dedicated to providing free assistance to the first- and second-year students in need of academic help. The service is available to Thomas Jefferson University medical students during the entire college year.
To sign up for AOA tutoring, please send us an email.
Annual Research Symposium
Annual poster session hosted by the AOA to highlight research endeavors of SKMC students. This day offers an opportunity for students to network with faculty and features a physician keynote speaker. The event also awards student investigators who have displayed significant research findings.
"Intro to Medical School" Podcast
Podcast founded by AOA members in 2021 to answer questions they would have found helpful coming into medical school. The podcast hopes to provide insight, alleviate stress, and help incoming students make the most of their medical school career. It is developed specifically for students at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Topics include studying tips, becoming involved in research, work/life balance, ways to best use boards resources, and much more.
AOA has partnered with SKMC diversity groups South Asian Student National Medical Association and Latino Medical Student Association as well as the not-for-profit Healthcare Career Collaborative to develop a longitudinal mentorship program with students at two local Philadelphia high schools. AOA members help develop and deliver sessions on resume building, mock interviews, the process of applying to higher education, and award a scholarship to two graduating seniors interested in healthcare careers.
Since 2008, AOA recruited medical students to volunteer at the Special Olympics held at Villanova University. (Has been held virtually since 2020).
Third Year Scheduling Q&A
During the session, AOA members inform current second year students about the third year scheduling process. Members convey important information about particular rotations and particular affiliate sites. Lastly, AOA members form a panel to answer questions that arise during the session.
Fourth Year Scheduling Q&A
Our fourth year advising occurs over several sessions. During the session, clerkship liaisons and AOA members will inform current third year students about the fourth-year scheduling process, as well as away rotations. At the end of the session, e-mail addresses of current fourth year students interested in various fields will be provided for those interested. Subsequent residency-specific information sessions will be held in February/March, as third year students hone their interests in particular fields.
Medical school can be challenging, both academically and personally. We all face similar challenges of balancing personal and academic life, finding direction in medical school, contemplating future career paths, while staying sane and happy! To help students navigate these issues, the mentoring program connects first- and second-year students with third- and fourth-year students at Jefferson. These relationships are meant to allow students to support one another.
The mentoring committee is also building a Jefferson AOA alumni network, in various locations around the US. This network is meant to help exiting students reach out to graduates in new cities, or students who are interested in a particular field to reach out.
Step 1 and Step 2 Advising
Each year, AOA conducts a USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Panel sessions that are instrumental for many students in crafting their dedicated study plans and schedules. We will have a brief overview of the USMLE Step experience, including exam day logistics, prior Jefferson class performance, score outcomes in relation to the Match, and then allow our panelists to answer FAQs that we have compiled. They will discuss the resources they used, how they studied, how long they studied, their daily schedule, and what they would and would not have done differently. They will then answer any questions you (the audience) may have.