News » GW SMHS Celebrates New Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society Members

GW SMHS Celebrates New Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society Members

Develop the right mentors, continue to learn, and be open and alert. These were words of advice given by Jonathan Himmelfarb, M.D. ’83, professor of Medicine and Joseph W. Eschbach Endowed Chair in Kidney Research at the University of Washington, the Alpha Chapter’s invited 2012 AOA Visiting Professor, and keynote speaker at the annual banquet and ceremony of the GW chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AOA). Himmelfarb expressed to the students the importance of keeping their minds open and taking advantage of the resources they have available. He noted that no one has “mastered” medicine, but finding the right mentors and pushing yourself to learn will help you make good choices as a doctor.

On the evening of Thursday, May 17, 30 members of the graduating class of the GW medicine program were inducted into the AOA at the event, as well as three residents, two GW SMHS Alumni, and two members of GW’s clinical faculty. Each person was called up individually and given their certificate of membership. Induction into AOA is a high honor, based on a student’s academic standing, as well their leadership qualities, professionalism and firm sense of ethics, promise of future success in medicine, and commitment to service in the school and community. Each chapter inducts up to three residents and two faculty members annually. These individuals are selected by a group of elected AOA faculty and students who nominate and them and then vote to select the inductees. At the banquet, the induction is formalized and membership is conferred.

The evening was moderated by Alan Wasserman, M.D., M.A.C.P., chair of the Department of Medicine, Eugene Meyer Professor of Medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and Councilor of the GW Alpha Chapter of AOA. Wasserman also serves on the Board of Directors of AOA as a Councilor Director. The event was organized by Angelike Liappis, M.D., F.I.D.S.A., ’96 associate professor of Medicine at SMHS and secretary of the GW chapter of AOA.

In his welcome to the nearly 200 family members and inductees at the event, Wasserman impressed upon the inductees that “becoming a member of AOA is something that brings a great deal of responsibility and accountability that is carried with you for the rest of your life.” He noted that AOA members are a highly select group of people and that it is a true honor to be a part of the society.

Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D. ’81, G.M.E. ’85, Interim Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of SMHS, also welcomed the guests and echoed Wasserman’s sentiments. He extended his congratulations to the inductees on their outstanding accomplishments and to the families and faculty members who support them.

At the event, the annual AOA Voluntary Faculty Award was presented to David Goodman, M.D. ’63.  The award was established by the DC Alpha chapter of AOA to recognize community-based clinicians who make significant contributions to the development and education of our medical students. Dr. Goodman was a member of the faculty for decades, and continues his services to SMHS by teaching third-year medical students the Observed History and Physical Examination course, a course taught by retired or semi-retired clinicians who are former faculty members.

The event was the first of many events that will take place during the 2012 commencement weekend.

About The Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society

The Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society is the national medical honor society dedicated to recognizing high educational achievement, honoring gifted teaching, encouraging the development of leaders in academia and the community, supporting the ideals of humanism, and promoting service to others.