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Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

A Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Service in the Profession of Medicine

Byyny, Richard L. MD, FACP; Martinez, Dee MA; Cleary, Lynn MD; Ballard, Billy MD; Barth, Bradley E. MD; Christensen, Sean MD; Eidson-Ton, Wetona MD; Estevez-Ordonez, Dagoberto MD; Fuhrer, Jack MD; Kinzie, J. Mark MD, PhD; Lee, Amy L. MD, FAAFP; Lynch, Catherine MD; Pfeil, Sheryl MD; Schoenbaum, Ellie MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003088
Invited Commentary: PDF Only

With a motto of “Be Worthy to Serve the Suffering,” Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AΩA) supports the importance, inclusion, and development of a culturally and ethnically diverse medical profession with equitable access for all. The underrepresentation of minorities in medical schools and medicine continues to be a challenge for the medical profession, medical education, and AΩA. AΩA has worked, and continues to work, to ensure the development of diverse leaders fostering within them the objectivity and equity to be inclusive servant leaders who understand and embrace diversity in all its forms.

Inclusion of talented individuals from different backgrounds benefits patient care, population health, education, and scientific discovery. AΩA values an inclusive, diverse, fair, and equitable work and learning environment for all, and supports the medical profession in its work to achieve a welcoming, inclusive environment in teaching, learning, caring for patients, and collaboration.

The diversity of medical schools is changing and will continue to change. AΩA is committed to continuing to work with its members, medical school deans, and AΩA chapters to assure that AΩA elections are unbiased and based on the values of AΩA and the profession of medicine in service to patients and the profession.

Progress toward diversity, inclusion, and equity is more than simply checking off a box or responding to criticism—it is about being and developing diverse excellent physicians. AΩA and all those in the medical profession must continue to guide medicine to be unbiased, open, accepting, inclusive, and culturally aware in order to “Be Worthy to Serve the Suffering.”

R.L. Byyny is executive director, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Aurora, Colorado, chancellor emeritus, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, and a retired internal medicine physician.

D. Martinez is chief of staff, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Aurora, Colorado.

L. Cleary is associate dean for curriculum, senior associate dean for education, vice president for academic affairs, and AΩA chapter councilor, State University of New York, Upstate, Syracuse, New York.

B. Ballard is associate dean for continuing medical education, chairman and professor of pathology, and AΩA chapter councilor, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee; ORCID:

B.E. Barth is associate professor, emergency medicine, and assistant dean for student affairs, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas; ORCID:

S. Christensen is a psychiatry resident and a drug abuse and research training fellow, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina; ORCID:

W. Eidson-Ton is professor of family medicine and obstetrics and AΩA chapter councilor, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, California.

D. Estevez-Ordonez is a neurosurgery resident, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, and a student director, AΩA Board of Directors.

J. Fuhrer is associate dean for admissions; director, HIV Treatment Center; associate professor of medicine; and AΩA chapter councilor, Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York.

M. Kinzie is associate professor of psychiatry and AΩA chapter councilor, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.

A.L. Lee is assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, and AΩA chapter councilor, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts; ORCID:

C. Lynch is associate vice president, College of Medicine obstetrics and gynecology; associate vice president, women’s health and faculty development; associate dean, faculty development; professor, obstetrics and gynecology; and AΩA chapter councilor, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida; ORCID:

S. Pfeil is medical director, Clinical Skills Education and Assessment Center; professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition; and AΩA chapter councilor, The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio.

E. Schoenbaum is professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health; professor, Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases; director, Medical Student Research, Office of Medical Education; and AΩA chapter councilor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City, New York; ORCID: 0000-0002-0878-284X.

Editor’s note: This is an Invited Commentary on Lynch G, Hollaway T, Muller D, Palermo A-G. Suspending Student Selections to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society: How One School Is Navigating the Intersection of Equity and Wellness. Acad Med. 2019;94:XXX-XXX.

Funding/Support: None reported.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable

Correspondence should be addressed to Richard Byyny, 12635 E. Montview Blvd., Suite 270, Aurora, CO 80045; email:; Twitter: @AOA_society.

© 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges