bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,067
8
E-USA
Visit site
Status
Hey all,

My school chooses junior AOA in a month+ or so. My question is this: HOW IS AOA CHOSEN/DONE AT YOUR SCHOOL? I have conversed in regards to this topic quite a bit with other SDN-ers (scootad., among others) and have been somewhat disappointed with what I've heard. It seems that at some/most/many/all schools, AOA is predominantly a popularity/political contest that seems to take the "brown nosers" more than than the academic standouts.

Any comments? I'll post RE: at my school in a few weeks.
 

mikegoal

rebmeM
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2001
202
0
Visit site
Status
my school its 40% grades 30% step1 scores and 30% extracurricular which is decided based on resume and personal statement by other members who are blinded to the name
 

Radiohead

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2002
174
2
GA
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
I just found out that I was accepted into AOA as a junior, and I have virtually no extra curriculars. No offices, no research (in med school), and I am definitely not a brown noser. Most of my classmates would probably consider me a class clown, i.e. the one sitting at the back of the class flicking paper footballs at everyone. I would consider myself extremely easy to get along with, which probably helped considering that the 4th year members have some say in the election. I guess the 268 step I score, 4.0 GPA, and excellent clinical comments the had most to do with it ;) . Our school did ask for my CV, so they must take activities and such into account. From what I've heard through the grapevine, Junior AOA is more focused on grades/boards, where Senior AOA is more about what you have done while still holding a high standard for grades/boards.
 
OP
bigfrank

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,067
8
E-USA
Visit site
Status
AOA - Alpha Omega Alpha, a medical school honors society. Some say that approximately 15% of the class can be elected during the junior/senior year of medical school. Theoretically, only ~ 5% can be elected during their junior year.

I'll post more about my school's strategy (based on who gets elected!) in a month or so.
 

dukeblue01

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2001
237
0
Boston
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I was also recently elected to junior AOA. After speaking with a few of my advisors who were congratulatory in a hush-hush type of way, it seems that at my school Junior AOA is reserved for 4.0 students. I don't think they take boards into account (I bet this would be a moot point, we all probably had 260s), but they do look at extracurriculars if there are more than 5 students with 4.0s. They are chosen by a faculty committee. These 5 students then make up part or all of the selection committee for senior AOA. Early in the senior year, everyone in the top ~25% are considered, but only a total of 1/6 (~16%) will be elected. This is based on everything in an applicant's file. Thus, a more sure fire way to get AOA is to maintain a 4.0 (obviously not really easy), and thus they cannot keep you out. If you are in the top 25% then you probably need some EC's and good standing in the class and faculty to get elected. Just what I know/assume about the process.
 

medstudent123

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2005
52
0
Status
bigfrank said:
AOA - Alpha Omega Alpha, a medical school honors society. Some say that approximately 15% of the class can be elected during the junior/senior year of medical school. Theoretically, only ~ 5% can be elected during their junior year.
my school ranks you based on 4 criteria. 1. usmle score 2. gpa 3. activities/research/leadership, and 4. popular vote

in another words, you get a number (1 thru however many # of students in your class)

then these four numbers are added together to give your final ranking. (so theoretically, a super stud could have a 4)
 

doc05

2K Member
15+ Year Member
May 24, 2003
3,517
1,435
U.S.A.
Visit site
Status
guess what? the criteria don't matter, and you'll just stress yourselves out worrying about AOA. either you get it, or you don't. in the end, nobody gives a rat's ass anyway. so just have fun in med school and try to learn everything the best you can.
 

skidmark

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 3, 2003
110
1
Visit site
Status
I'm pretty sure at my school it is strictly gpa. Top 5 or so get junior AOA. The next 10 or so get senior AOA.
 
OP
bigfrank

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,067
8
E-USA
Visit site
Status
doc05 said:
in the end, nobody gives a rat's ass anyway.
Hmmmmmmmm. Seems like most of the PDs I've spoken to would disagree. AOA isn't required for any residency, but it sure can't hurt getting interviews.
 

Elysium

Not Really An Old Beaver
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2001
2,014
5
46
Austin
Visit site
Status
Non-Student
I'm at a DO school, but at my boyfriend's school (MD), AOA seems like it's a popularity contest, in that you're voted in by current AOA members. So, if you're not really social and active in school type stuff (even if you have a good rank, pre-clinical grades, etc) you're not going to get AOA. Which kinda sucks, if you're not particularly social.
 

Long Dong

My middle name is Duc.
10+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2004
1,894
11
The Best Coast
Status
Attending Physician
It must suck a$$ to go to a med school that has grades and requires you to have 4.0 gpa to get aoa. And yeah I really believe guys with 4.0 gpa in med school and 260 boards are really the class clowns who are relaxed and sits in the back of the class flicking paper balls at classmates. More like sitting in the back of class with a sniper scope instead :D , I'm just jealous cause I have to try so hard just to maintain average.
 

14022

Unregistered Abuser
5+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2002
665
7
Visit site
Status
I have been told by PD's of the "less competitive specialties" (eg, peds, IM) that not having AOA will not prevent you from interviewing/matching at strong programs but it can only help you in the application process. It is definately a distinction that sets you apart because it reflects (at my school) academic achievement, extra-curricular involvement, and rapport among the faculty and your classmates.

At my school, we do not have a GPA. We are on an honors/pass/fail system and accumulate "honors points" based on the number of honors grades you get. Junior AOA considers only those in the top 10% of the class based on honors points accumulated in the first two years only. Once these 10% are identified, they are invited to submit a letter to the committee describing their involvement in extra-curricular activities. Grades, their letter, and input from faculty members are the primary factors for consideration (step 1 has nothing to do with it). Then 3-5% of the class (or a third to a half of those under consideration for junior AOA) are chosen. Early in the fourth year, the top 25% of the class based on "honors points" accumulated in the first 3 years are invited to submit a letter and senior AOA is offered to students such that junior and senior AOA members are limited to 15% of the class.

I am guessing that "brown-nosing" may have something to do with it since faculty members do have some say in the process. Personally, I think that those accused of "brown-nosing" are more likely genuinely nice people whom faculty members look favorably upon regardless of their academic acheivements. It is hard to brown-nose for three years of medical school without being perceived as insincere by your peers. Those that accuse these people of being brown-nosers are probably jerks who blame their rejection from AOA on the behavior of others rather than their own marginal interpersonal skills or inflated perception of their qualifications for AOA. Plus, brown-nosing cannot magically boost your academic acheivements within the cut-off range for consideration for AOA.
 

Hercules

Son of Zeus
15+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2000
1,296
285
40
Mobile, AL
Status
Attending Physician
AOA is kind of weird since every school does it differently. Our Junior AOA are top 5 by GPA rank after the preclinical years. You have to be in the top 25% by GPA rank to qualify for senior AOA, and then you get voted on by the Junior AOA folks and some faculty. You'll note my school never takes Board scores into account.

AOA is nice to have, but I can tell you that unless you get Junior AOA it probably won't factor into the Match. You get to check a box on ERAS that says (1) you're junior AOA (2) you're senior AOA (3) your school hasn't done AOA elections yet. Most people will probably be checking box #3 unless your school does senior AOA a lot earlier than mine.
 
OP
bigfrank

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,067
8
E-USA
Visit site
Status
bigfrank said:
AOA - Alpha Omega Alpha, a medical school honors society. Some say that approximately 15% of the class can be elected during the junior/senior year of medical school. Theoretically, only ~ 5% can be elected during their junior year.

I'll post more about my school's strategy (based on who gets elected!) in a month or so.
Well, I found out tonight that I was elected to junior AOA at my school. I'm shocked and very thrilled. The other 3 that were elected were outstanding students, and the top 4 students by class rank (i.e., # of honors in first two years and 2/3 of M-3 year) were elected.
 

typeB-md

Be more like McCain!
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2005
700
1
Status
bigfrank said:
Well, I found out tonight that I was elected to junior AOA at my school. I'm shocked and very thrilled. The other 3 that were elected were outstanding students, and the top 4 students by class rank (i.e., # of honors in first two years and 2/3 of M-3 year) were elected.
congrats on an outstanding achievement. but i must say that if you were in the top 4, to not get it would've been unjustified.

i don't know about your ideas sometimes, but kudos is due where kudos is due... and this is quite a spectacular feat. so kudos to you.
 

Hawkeye Kid

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 29, 2005
360
1
39
Status
Attending Physician
way to go frank. as someone pointed out above, it is very interesting that AOA is so highly regarded, yet the only thing most people know about the selection process is that it's different everywhere. my school *claims* not to rank us at all, so it's anyone's guess as to how they determine the top 1/4. In fact, a big advantage to AOA here is that it lets programs know that you're in the top 1/4 of the class, because our dean's letters make no mention of class rank (except to say that it doesn't exist).
we were asked to submit a CV, an essay on what we would contribute to AOA, and an idea for a service project that we would want to help AOA implement "if you think you might be in the top 1/4 of the class." But, we still have no idea what criteria they use, what weight those criteria are given, or when we'll find out anything. Fraternities like to have their secrets, eh?
Anyhoo, congrats again (since you're in the top 4, i'm sure your application needed all the help it could get, right?) ;)
 

bulldog

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2002
553
1
Visit site
Status
bigfrank said:
Well, I found out tonight that I was elected to junior AOA at my school. I'm shocked and very thrilled. The other 3 that were elected were outstanding students, and the top 4 students by class rank (i.e., # of honors in first two years and 2/3 of M-3 year) were elected.
great job bigfrank! or should i say supersizedfrank? j/k btw, was the other members also 260+ step i? how did u do on ur mcats? it's amazing how you do so well from the various posts i've read.
 

Pox in a box

1K Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2005
1,345
1
Status
bigfrank said:
Well, I found out tonight that I was elected to junior AOA at my school. I'm shocked and very thrilled. The other 3 that were elected were outstanding students, and the top 4 students by class rank (i.e., # of honors in first two years and 2/3 of M-3 year) were elected.
Good job bigfrank. Are you going to take a picture and post it like you did of your Step 1 score? :laugh: Just kidding, I knew you had nothing to worry about...AOA, sheesh.
 

Long Dong

My middle name is Duc.
10+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2004
1,894
11
The Best Coast
Status
Attending Physician
Pox in a box said:
Good job bigfrank. Are you going to take a picture and post it like you did of your Step 1 score? :laugh: Just kidding, I knew you had nothing to worry about...AOA, sheesh.

:laugh: :laugh: I remember that, I even remember seeing his step 1 score on ebay, someone trying to sell their copy of first aid.

Congrats big dog.
 
OP
bigfrank

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,067
8
E-USA
Visit site
Status
Long Dong said:
:laugh: :laugh: I remember that, I even remember seeing his step 1 score on ebay, someone trying to sell their copy of first aid.

Congrats big dog.
I'll get that picture sent right out to you. ;)

P.S. I actually sold MY copy of First Aid to an M-2 at my school for $250. :eek:
 

Pox in a box

1K Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2005
1,345
1
Status
bigfrank said:
I'll get that picture sent right out to you. ;)

P.S. I actually sold MY copy of First Aid to an M-2 at my school for $250. :eek:
Are you serious? Did you sell him the laminated one?
 

automaton

drone
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 25, 2004
1,063
6
assembly line
Status
hopefully it wasn't the one he used exclusively in the bathroom
 
OP
bigfrank

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,067
8
E-USA
Visit site
Status
guys, chill, it was just a joke. I love to make people squirm on here. :laugh:
 
OP
bigfrank

bigfrank

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
2,067
8
E-USA
Visit site
Status
All kidding aside, if you want it, Pox, you may have it for a special deal of $225