Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
Alpha Omega Alpha, or AOA, is a national medical honor society. As established by the national organization constitution, each chapter may select one-sixth of each class among academically eligible (top 25% 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.
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.
Class of 2018
Brian Elliott (President)
Lauren Grunenwald (Vice President)
Ryan Sutton (Secretary)
Qinglan Huang (Treasurer)
Projects & Services
Medical Educational Services
The Jefferson chapter of the AOA has created a guide to assist with students’ clinical training. It is available online, or students can pick up hard copies in the Office of Student Affairs and Career Counseling.
About 2-3 days prior to each anatomy practical exam, 8-10 AOA members will prepare a mock practical exam. Students will be divided into small groups for a mini practical complete with buzzer and simulation of the actual test day. At the end of the practice, the correct answers are read, and students are able to assess their performance on the practice exam.
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.
The sessions will provide some basic knowledge about ordering appropriate radiological studies and interpreting X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. The sessions will be divided by body system and will be presented by radiology residents and attendings.
AOA hosts a "teaching to teach" seminar to prepare fourth year students for life as an intern/resident-teacher. Topics include strategies for assuming the role of teacher of medical students, teaching the basic skills of being on service, teaching and supervising procedures, methods for dividing and delegating responsibilities, advice on balancing responsibilities as resident and teacher and how to provide feedback.
Led by a pulmonologist or pulmonary fellow, the tutorial focuses on indications, management and complications involved in using assisted ventilation in the hospital setting.
AOA members assist in the white coat ceremony that takes place in the first year of medical College. AOA members help new medical students put on their white coats for the first time at this special event.
All students are welcomed and encouraged to participate in any of these activities.
AOA sends medical college students to the surrounding undergraduate colleges and universities to speak with interested pre-medical students. We inform students about resume building, the process of applying to medical college and give an overview of "the medical college experience."
Since 2008, AOA recruited medical students to volunteer at the Special Olympics held at Villanova University.
Medical Student Advising
Upper year students who have been through the scheduling process run the question and answer sessions. The upper year student will be available for questions either in a large group or individually.
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 Advising
Each year, AOA conducts a USMLE Step 1 Panel session that is instrumental for many students in crafting their dedicated study plans and schedules. We will have a short overview of the USMLE Step 1 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
Clara A. Callahan, MD, AOA Faculty Sponsor