Contact Information
University of Miami Chapter
Alex J. Mechaber
Chapter Councillor
Email: Click Here
Phone: (305) 243-0496

Contact Information
National Office
525 Middlefield Road, Suite 130
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Phone: (650) 329-0291
Fax: (650) 329-1618
Email: Click Here


AΩA History

Alpha Omega Alpha, founded in 1902, is the national medical honor society. Its mission statement is:

Alpha Omega Alpha — dedicated to the belief that in the profession of medicine we will improve care for all by

  • 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.

Election to Alpha Omega Alpha is an honor signifying a lasting commitment to scholarship, leadership, professionalism, and service. A lifelong honor, membership in the society confers recognition for a physician's dedication to the profession and art of healing.


Criteria for election to Alpha Omega Alpha are detailed in the Constitution. About 3000 students, alumni, house staff, and faculty are elected each year. Since its founding in 1902, more than 150,000 members have been elected to the society.


Alpha Omega Alpha supports many programs for medical students and physicians at our 120 chapters, and publishes a quarterly journal, The Pharos, which contains articles on nontechnical medical subjects, including history, ethics, national issues, personal essays, and poetry.



Our History

When William Webster Root and five other medical students at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago organized Alpha Omega Alpha in 1902, "excellence" was hardly the word that would describe American medical education.


Indeed, the founder viewed the society as a protest against "a condition which associated the name medical student with rowdyism, boorishness, immorality, and low educational ideals." Of the approximately 25,000 medical students in the United States at the turn of the century, no more than fifteen percent were college graduates. The only requirement in most schools was a high school diploma or its equivalent; the latter often meaning the ability to pay the fee. The schools themselves—there were about 150—were by and large of dubious quality. In his landmark study of medical education in the United States and Canada, published in 1910, Abraham Flexner found so-called medical schools located in storefronts, tenements, and warehouses, their laboratory equipment consisting of a couple of microscopes, some moldy slides, and a lonely skeleton. With a few exceptions, notably the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, founded in 1893, the medical school curriculum consisted of a series of lectures, sometimes supplemented by demonstrations at the bedside or in the laboratory, if such existed.


These, then, were the circumstances under which Root and his fellow medical students met to form a society that would foster honesty and formulate higher ideals of scholastic achievement. Chartered in 1902 in the state of Illinois, Alpha Omega Alpha's growth has paralleled the development of American medical education. Today there are 120 active chapters in the United States and Lebanon.