MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University School of Medicine students do more than just learn about how to care for patients. They are putting their learning into action with community service projects around the area. The West Virginia Alpha Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society has worked with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Sundale Nursing Home, various area schools, and Scottie’s Place, a charity for homeless children based in Peterstown, W.Va. Alpha Omega Alpha members also tutor younger medical students in practicing for upcoming clinical exams.

“The motto of Alpha Omega Alpha is ‘Worthy to Serve the Suffering,’” Brendan Cline, fourth-year medical student and Alpha chapter president, said. “Our chapter has tried to live up to that motto by helping those that are suffering, not just in our capacity as medical students, but reaching out and trying to help socially as well.”

Alpha Omega Alpha is the only national medical school honor society and was organized by William W. Root, M.D. and five other medical students at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago, Ill., in 1902. Eligibility requires academic rank in the top quartile of the class. Only one-sixth of a class may be elected to membership, with a maximum of one-half of this number elected in the third year of medical school.

The WVU School of Medicine supports the West Virginia Alpha chapter. This chapter was founded in 1962 as the 86th Alpha Omega Alpha chapter. It was organized to promote scholarship and research in medical schools; encourage a high standard of character and conduct among medical students and graduates; and recognize high attainment in medical science, practice, and related fields.

On Friday, March 27, the West Virginia Alpha Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society inducted 15 students and several residents, faculty, and alumni.

This year’s inductees are: Class of 2015 – Douglas Campbell, James Walter Dutton, Chase Foy, Dorothy Knutsen, Casey McRoy, Cy Mozingo, Jessica Neidhardt, and William Sherrill III; Class of 2016 – Lindsay Bach, Lauren Gioia, Sara Kurian, Hayley Leight, Priyanka Reddy, Benjamin Smith, and Levi Stevens; Resident – Jared Feyko, D.O.; Faculty – Stanley Zaslau, M.D.; Alumnus – Hannah Hazard, M.D., Class of 2001.

“The students selected as members in WVU’s Alpha Omega Alpha Chapter are at the top of their class academically and are committed to being worthy to serve the suffering now and as future physicians,” said Melanie Fisher, M.D., assistant dean for Continuing Medical Education, professor of medicine, and Alpha chapter advisor. “However, this is not an exclusive organization, and our members reach out to include many other students, faculty members, and staff in organizing and conducting all of their activities.”

Featured speaker at this year’s ceremony was Michael B. Edmond, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.A., clinical professor of infectious diseases at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Edmond also serves as chief quality officer and associate chief medical officer at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Edmond addressed the inductees and their families at 4 p.m. at the WVU Health Sciences Center with the topic “Noblesse Oblige” followed by the induction ceremony at 5 p.m.

Photo Caption: Students in the WVU School of Medicine’s Classes of 2015 and 2016 were inducted into the West Virginia Alpha Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society on Friday, March 27 at the WVU Health Sciences Center.

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