the usual AOA question


Senior Member
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Feb 17, 2003
    Tufts has a point system for AOA based entirely on 3rd year grades with an H/HP/P/LP/F grading system during the clinical years. The top 10% using the point system as follows get AOA; there is also a point scale for Step 1 scores that carries some weight (people who get above the national average get extra points depending on their score).

    20 points given for Honors in Medicine or Surgery (for each H grade)
    15 points for Pediatrics or OB/GYN
    10 points for Honors in Psychiatry

    no one who gets below a Pass in anything is eligible for AOA. Step 1 scores are used as the tie breaker for people with the same numerical score in the ranking.


    Senior Member
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    Dec 5, 2002
      With junior AOA, do most schools base it on heavy involvement in extracurriculars and student council type stuff?

      Is it really more of a political battle to get AOA? i.e. who you know.... and to the other extreme, how much kissing up you do?

      And is senior AOA not a big deal then? It seems like junior AOA is the crown jewel since it is so tough to get...
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      16th centry dutch painter
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      Feb 27, 2003
        Post history of zama:

        Preview: I was wondering what kind of numbers (grades, AOA affliation, board scores) you need to match into a great metropolitan program (NYC, Chicago, Boston, etc.).

        Preview: What do you guys think about studying for step part 1 starting in M1 summer.

        Preview: I found out today that I cannot honor all my classes, in fact, I think I can only honor 3 of my 5 classes, one I am one point out of range, you know how bad that pisses me off. I study and I study and...

        Preview: What percentage of people honor or near honor everything in their first year?

        Preview: anyone know the website that lists schools with the highest USMLE part 1 and/or 2 scores.

        Preview: Anyone know the website that lists schools with the highest USMLE part 1 and/or 2 scores. (posted twice)

        Preview: I realize that many of you don't have any acceptances or interviews. My advice to you is to chill out (especially tweetie and lola). I have been accepted to three schools (one top 30), and you might...

        Preview: I declined an interview offer from them. The schools doesn't look that great.


        Not your scut monkey
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        Sep 9, 2003
        Palo Alto, CA
          at UIC, AOA is based solely on grades. for junior AOA, they take the top 4% across all four campuses (Chicago, Rockford, Peora, Urbana-Champaign) with half of your ranking based on your M1 and M2 grades (H/P/F) and the other half based on your Step 1 score. for senior AOA, they tak the top 12% across all four campuses with 25% based on your M1/M2 grades, 25% based on your Step 1, and 50% based on your core clerkships (medicine, surgery, peds, ob/gyn, and psych). the core clerkships are also H/P/F and are weighted 2/3 clinical, 1/3 shelf.

          the actual pdf file is here.


          1K Member
          15+ Year Member
          Feb 28, 2001
          Lactate > 15
          1. Attending Physician
            At Rochester, the top 25% of the class is considered, and no more than 16% can be chosen (I think this is set by the national). This is solely based on core clerkship (3rd year plus our 1-2 second year outpatient clerkship). Those twenty-five percent are then evaluated based on leadership, ECs, research and volunteer work.



            sleep deprived
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            Jul 3, 2000
            1. Resident [Any Field]
              Here's how it works at Duke.

              In February of third year, the top 25% of the class is invited to submit a CV or letter to the AOA committee (which includes both faculty and students). Class rank is determined by first and second year grades only (since our third year is for research). The grades are converted to a single numerical score.

              Committee members are given the CVs or letters and numerical scores for each of the 25. They discuss each person, and committee members speak on behalf of applicants they know. At the end of the meeting, committee members vote for the students they want. The top 8 are selected. The same process is repeated the fall of our 4th year and an additional 8 are selected.

              We are told that selection is based on academic record and a whole host of other less quantifiable attributes (leadership, community service, extracurriculars, compassion, etc.) Committee members report that there's no real consensus about what's most important. Some reportedly vote for the 8 with the top grades; others vote for those with the most community service, and so forth.

              Of course knowing people on the committee helps, but it's hard to predict who will be at the meeting or what they will say. For example, I was told afterwards that when I was being considered, I received a glowing testimonial from the director of my psychiatry rotation. This really suprised me: I really had a rough time with that rotation, and thought the director didn't like me at all. Good thing I didn't know he was on the committee, or I might have subconsciously tried kissing ass, which would probably have backfired since it would have come across as phony.

              The internal inconsistency of the process is reflected by the 8 who were selected this year: all are bright, but some are very, er, grade-oriented, while others have more extra-curricular/community service stuff. And while some folks are genuinely commited to service, in a few cases it struck me as being more of a "resume-builder" than anything else. In that respect the AOA selection process is much like the medical school application process.
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