Getting into AOA

Dedikated2liftn

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    Hey all, I'll be starting medical school this fall and was just curious how one is chosen for this organization (do you apply?? do they drafy you w/o an application??). The reason I ask is because I'm wanting to do ortho, and from what I've seen in match lists, being a member of AOA gives you a pretty significant leg up.
     

    Monica Lewinsky

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      AOA certainly helps but even the most competitive specialties aren't going to be closed to you if you didn't get into AOA. (e.g only 50% of derm residents are AOA) If you have your eyes set on a specialty, excelling on rotations and doing research are going to be much more helpful in getting a match than your AOA status.
       
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      Chizwheel

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        Congrats on getting in...you're starting the next big step in a long road. It's good to have your goals set but don't get so fixated on what specialty you want to do when you haven't even started medical school. You should definitely start pursuing contacts in your first and second years in Ortho and maybe do some shadowing to see if you really like it but keep the other fields open as well.

        I also wanted to do ortho coming into med school. As you can see from my title I kind of lost interest in that...
         

        Monica Lewinsky

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          It's not being AOA that strictly gives you a leg up, but if you are AOA, you're more likely to destroy the Step 1 and reap the benefits of that as well.

          :confused:

          You can't get into AOA until spring of 3rd year at the earliest. Even students at schools where you take Step 1 later usually have taken Step 1 by February of 3rd year.
           

          Isoprop

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            requirement #1: make sure your school has an AOA chapter.

            then, i believe you are invited to join, and it's based on grades and class rank. the qualifications vary from school to school.
             

            Wylde

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              :confused:

              You can't get into AOA until spring of 3rd year at the earliest. Even students at schools where you take Step 1 later usually have taken Step 1 by February of 3rd year.

              By the time you take step 1, you are probably well on your way to being in AOA (assuming you get into AOA later). The point is that the charts where 99% of the AOA students match, the students aren't solely matching because they are AOA; the AOA students are also likely to have other very positive, applicable qualities (high step scores for example).
               

              greel9

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                Actually it is the opposite. Our AOA chapter takes into account 1st, 2nd year grades AND Step 1 score for the Junior inductees.

                This makes it even more self-fulfilling. If they're choosing those who slaughtered the Step 1 to be inducted, they're choosing those who would have gotten into competitive specialties anyway based on their academic performance (I'm sure clinicals could still mess that up)
                 

                velo

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                  Actually it is the opposite. Our AOA chapter takes into account 1st, 2nd year grades AND Step 1 score for the Junior inductees.

                  Yeah it really varies from school to school and depends on whether your school inducts "Jr" and "Sr" members (one after 2nd year and one after 3rd year) or just have one induction after 3rd year. Also different schools use slightly different criteria...ours, for example, doesn't consider Step 1 scores, the decision is mainly based on grades with a little consideration given to results of a class vote and of course it's ultimately at the discretion of the selection committee.

                  bottom line: pretty much wherever you are, to get AOA just do really well in all your classes, particularly clinical rotations if your school doesn't induct Jr members
                   

                  notdeadyet

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                    I think the minimum is being in the top 25% of your class, and then there are additional selection criteria applied, depending on your school.
                    Yeah, the 25% rule is set by AOA. After that, schools have quite a bit of freedom in determining what their criteria is for the 5% or somesuch that are actually selected. Some use the kind of subjective system that scares so many folks (make sure that you don't actually scare patients, and whatnot).

                    Dedikated2liftn- congrats on your acceptance. My advice would be to just study hard during your first year and let AOA take care of itself. Everyone comes in to medical school as one of the smart kids. But this ain't undergrad. You're going to find that more often than not, most folks are shooting just to make class mean. And half don't make it. Just work hard and don't distract yourself with stuff you have little control over.
                     
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                    Monica Lewinsky

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                      By the time you take step 1, you are probably well on your way to being in AOA (assuming you get into AOA later). The point is that the charts where 99% of the AOA students match, the students aren't solely matching because they are AOA; the AOA students are also likely to have other very positive, applicable qualities (high step scores for example).

                      Obviously :sleep:
                       

                      tulane06

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                        By the time you take step 1, you are probably well on your way to being in AOA (assuming you get into AOA later). The point is that the charts where 99% of the AOA students match, the students aren't solely matching because they are AOA; the AOA students are also likely to have other very positive, applicable qualities (high step scores for example).

                        Yes, like sycophancy :p.
                         

                        sprinkibrio

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                          By the time you take step 1, you are probably well on your way to being in AOA (assuming you get into AOA later). The point is that the charts where 99% of the AOA students match, the students aren't solely matching because they are AOA; the AOA students are also likely to have other very positive, applicable qualities (high step scores for example).

                          That's not true at all. At most schools 3rd year counts equal to or more than all of your grades from first and second year. So if you ace step 1 and your first two years, you have only gotten 50% of the way there with the other 50% based on personal qualities and 3rd year grades.
                           

                          Monica Lewinsky

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                            if you understand, what was the point of your original post?

                            My point was that (except at very few MD schools) you take Step 1 about a year before you can even get in AOA (even then most people get into AOA during 4th year, not during 3rd year, of course your "pre-medical" designation reveals you don't know what you are talking about anyway). Furthermore, most AOA chapters weight 3rd year evaluations more than M1 and M2 year grades and they often use Step 1 scores to rank students. Therefore, getting AOA says nothing about future performance on Step 1 (as the post I was responding was insinuating), but rather about past performance.

                            You can't "destroy Step 1" if you are already in AOA since you can only take Step 1 once...
                             

                            Monica Lewinsky

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                              That's not true at all. At most schools 3rd year counts equal to or more than all of your grades from first and second year. So if you ace step 1 and your first two years, you have only gotten 50% of the way there with the other 50% based on personal qualities and 3rd year grades.

                              Exactly, posters here are making it sound like getting honors M1 and M2 is the best way to get AOA.

                              A premed telling a med student how to get AOA is insulting and stupid.
                               

                              DwyaneWade

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                                Yeah, the 25% rule is set by AOA. After that, schools have quite a bit of freedom in determining what their criteria is for the 5% or somesuch that are actually selected. Some use the kind of subjective system that scares so many folks (make sure that you don't actually scare patients, and whatnot).

                                Dedikated2liftn- congrats on your acceptance. My advice would be to just study hard during your first year and let AOA take care of itself. Everyone comes in to medical school as one of the smart kids. But this ain't undergrad. You're going to find that more often than not, most folks are shooting just to make class mean. And half don't make it. Just work hard and don't distract yourself with stuff you have little control over.

                                repped if I could. Every other person in medical school comes in thinking they will be at the top, just roll with the punches and do your best.
                                 
                                Yeah, the 25% rule is set by AOA. After that, schools have quite a bit of freedom in determining what their criteria is for the 5% or somesuch that are actually selected. Some use the kind of subjective system that scares so many folks (make sure that you don't actually scare patients, and whatnot).

                                Dedikated2liftn- congrats on your acceptance. My advice would be to just study hard during your first year and let AOA take care of itself. Everyone comes in to medical school as one of the smart kids. But this ain't undergrad. You're going to find that more often than not, most folks are shooting just to make class mean. And half don't make it. Just work hard and don't distract yourself with stuff you have little control over.

                                Criteria for induction into AOA is set by the individual chapters. There is no 25% rule handed down from "on high". Contact the chapter at your school and find out what criteria they use for induction. For our chapter, it's the top 1% with grades from first and second year only for induction during third year. Board scores + grades and top 2% for fourth year. Out of 85 grads we had one person inducted third year and 15 inducted fourth year.
                                 

                                kypdurron5

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                                  repped if I could. Every other person in medical school comes in thinking they will be at the top, just roll with the punches and do your best.
                                  Oh not me...I'm definitely not going to be at the top of my class! I'm going to hold out for passing and pray for decent board scores :).

                                  According to the AOA website, anyone in the top 25% can be picked, but each school is only allowed to elect up to 1/6th of the estimated number of graduating students (so more like 16.7% max). Those are just maximums though- sounds like NJBMD's school went with much less.
                                  http://www.alphaomegaalpha.org/about/membership.html


                                  PS- it does appear to specify, however, that the 1/6th MUST all be from the top 25%.
                                   
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                                  Pinkertinkle

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                                    I agree completely with you, but you can't do more than your best right? Do your best (i.e. shoot for the top) and see where you are at. Be realistic, not pessimistic.

                                    It's just that that's the same kinda thing people get told going from middle school to high school, from high school to college, and now from college to med school. I get a bit sick of it.
                                     

                                    pseudoknot

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                                      Criteria for induction into AOA is set by the individual chapters. There is no 25% rule handed down from "on high".
                                      Wrong.

                                      http://www.alphaomegaalpha.org/about/constitution.html
                                      ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP AND GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS
                                      ...
                                      Section 2. Medical Student Memberships

                                      a. Those candidates whose scholastic qualifications place them in the upper twenty-five percent of their class shall be considered for election. From that number, one-sixth of the total number of the class expected to graduate may be elected to membership. In those medical schools that have no graded standings for students, the Dean or his/her designee can provide to the chapter Councilor the names of students that approximate in number the upper quartile of the class expected to graduate and who, by consensus, match the high criteria for selection to membership (see section 2c.).
                                       

                                      DwyaneWade

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                                        It's just that that's the same kinda thing people get told going from middle school to high school, from high school to college, and now from college to med school. I get a bit sick of it.

                                        But maybe because it never applied to you? Judging by your test scores I would say that you never have had the problem of not being near the top.

                                        EDIT: This is not meant to be a knock, but a compliment to you and a reminder that not everyone can be in the top quartile.
                                         

                                        thebeatblitz

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                                          AOA is highly subjective. Aside from good grades, at least for my school, they take class vote, CV, LORs, and something else into consideration. It's like running for student government in high school again.
                                           

                                          Ashers

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                                            They leave a golden scroll in your locker. When you open it, it whisks you away to a secret room in the school, where people in hooded robes chanting the AOA society pledge in Latin strip you of your clothes and then deposit you in the doctors' lounge.

                                            Pie Jesu domine, dona eis requiem.

                                            HolyGrail024.jpg


                                            Seems more fun than some of the actual AOA processes of induction or even getting in.
                                             

                                            LadyWolverine

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                                              They leave a golden scroll in your locker. When you open it, it whisks you away to a secret room in the school, where people in hooded robes chanting the AOA society pledge in Latin strip you of your clothes and then deposit you in the doctors' lounge.

                                              LOL

                                              Sounds like pledge night.

                                              Sign me up!
                                               

                                              pseudoknot

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                                                They leave a golden scroll in your locker. When you open it, it whisks you away to a secret room in the school, where people in hooded robes chanting the AOA society pledge in Latin strip you of your clothes and then deposit you in the doctors' lounge.

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                                                AmoryBlaine

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                                                  There are three types of medical students with respect to AOA...

                                                  1. Those that can get AOA and do.
                                                  2. Those that can get AOA and don't.
                                                  3. Those that can't get AOA.

                                                  Most of us non-AOAers would like to think that we fall into category 2 but in point of fact alot of medical students are in group 3. The OP will learn which group he's in within a few months of starting.

                                                  My point (and I do have one) is that it's not even a possiblity for a significant number of people in med school.
                                                   

                                                  velo

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                                                    Exactly, posters here are making it sound like getting honors M1 and M2 is the best way to get AOA.

                                                    A premed telling a med student how to get AOA is insulting and stupid.

                                                    well those posters are right and wrong. Like people said it depends on what your school's individual chapter looks at for AOA. For example, here we don't consider step I scores and we induct members after 3rd year. Since third year grades dwarf preclinical grades they're really the primary determinant of AOA. Our residency adviser flat out told me, "if you get all honors 3rd year it's almost impossible not to be AOA."

                                                    At schools where there is a 'Jr' AOA induction before your third year (and if they consider step I scores) then the advise "get honors M1 and M2" is good advise.

                                                    You just need to find out at your school exactly what goes into AOA, but like I said before, a good rule of thumb is just get honors on as many rotations and classes as you can. Hard to go wrong if you do that...
                                                     

                                                    Dedikated2liftn

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                                                      There are three types of medical students with respect to AOA...

                                                      1. Those that can get AOA and do.
                                                      2. Those that can get AOA and don't.
                                                      3. Those that can't get AOA.

                                                      Most of us non-AOAers would like to think that we fall into category 2 but in point of fact alot of medical students are in group 3. The OP will learn which group he's in within a few months of starting.
                                                      My point (and I do have one) is that it's not even a possiblity for a significant number of people in med school.

                                                      I'll be in group 1 for sure. If not, I threaten to powerbomb the faculty until they give me honors. :smuggrin:
                                                       

                                                      notdeadyet

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                                                        Criteria for induction into AOA is set by the individual chapters. There is no 25% rule handed down from "on high".
                                                        I'm not sure this is right. Unless I'm misinformed (hardly the first time) the 25% rule is a hard and fast rule that AOA uses as a minimum. But if students are in that pretty large group, schools have a lot of leeway in determining who makes the final cut.

                                                        My understanding is that this was put in place so that the Dean's kid, attending med school via nepotism, isn't given AOA as he slobbers into his cheerios.
                                                         

                                                        muscles

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                                                          AOA QUALIFICATIONS, copied directly from the AOA website on how members are chosen:
                                                          The Constitution of AΩA gives many degrees of freedom to each chapter for the process of election of student members within certain firm guidelines. These can be summarized as follows:

                                                          At approximately 16 months before a given class will graduate from medical school, the Councilor must arrange with the dean's office, with the students' permission, to receive in confidence a list of the top quartile as measured by academic performance.
                                                          From this top quartile of students, each chapter may elect to AΩA membership up to one-sixth of the projected number of students that will graduate. The Councilor then invites members of AΩA in the faculty who know students and their performance in the classroom and in clerkships to meet in confidence to select students for membership. The chapter may elect up to half of that one-sixth of students in the spring of the third year, and the remainder at any time from the fall of the fourth year until graduation. There is wide variability in the process among chapters. Some elect no junior students, and several elect all student members in the spring of their senior year just prior to graduation.
                                                          Those students chosen from the top quartile for election are picked not only for their high academic standing, but as well for leadership among their peers, professionalism and a firm sense of ethics, promise of future success in medicine, and a commitment to service in the school and community. By adherence to these criteria it has happened that one or more of the highest ranked students by grade point average have not been elected to the society.
                                                          Each chapter may elect each year up to three residents/fellows to membership and one or two faculty members. These individuals are expected to be selected by a caucus of student members of the society at some time before the induction ceremony during the senior year. With input from faculty members and the office of the dean, one or two alumni/alumnae may be elected each year as well.
                                                           
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