The Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) medical honor society recently welcomed its newest members from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Inductees included medical students, residents, and faculty, as well as an alumnus – each selected for their academic performance or contributions to the medical field.
“Membership in the society is a lifelong honor that confers recognition for a physician’s dedication to the profession,” says John P. Flaherty, MD, councilor of the AOA Illinois Gamma Chapter, professor of medicine at Feinberg, and associate chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases. “For medical students, this award can also positively impact their residency placements, as it serves as a clear indicator of their position at the top of their medical school class.”
Samuel Haywood, a fourth-year medical student, shares credit for his success with his Feinberg mentors. The medical school’s faculty and administration continually strive to develop top-caliber physicians, he says, and while the journey has been difficult, this mark of distinction acknowledges his hard work.
“AOA members include a highly distinguished group of physicians, both from Northwestern and nationwide,” says Haywood. “The opportunity to be listed alongside these distinguished physicians is a great honor.”
Along with Haywood, the following 27 undergraduate medical students were inducted into AOA: Leah Abrass, John Boyle, Sarah Clark, Robert Eilers, James Flaherty, Daniel Fuchs, Haley Goucher, Julia Hubert, Jennifer Kaplan, Ashley Keyes, Kathryn Kinner, Sara Kleinschmidt, Jill Larson, Jozef Murar, Claire O’Connell, Megan Pirigyi, Christy Pomeranz, Kavitha Ranganathan, Erika Reid, Lina Rodriguez, Alexander Sandhu, Blayne Sayed, Emily Schwartz, Ami Shah, Lakshmi Sridharan, Tianyi Wang, and Kali Zhou. Three residents – Edward D. Auyang, MD, MS, Jeffrey D. Kennedy, MD, and Clara J. Schroedl, MD – were also inducted, along with faculty members, William J. Catalona, MD, professor in the Department of Urology, and James J. Paparello, MD, associate professor in the Division of Nephrology/Hypertension.
For Paparello, induction into AOA is a humbling honor and recognition of his efforts during his tenure at Feinberg.
“I think that one of my strengths as an educator is that I remember well what it was like to be a student; I believe that empathy helps me to work with these learners,” Paparello says. “I would be happy only practicing nephrology, but the interactions with students at an academic institution like Feinberg have provided a cherished and invaluable experience.”
The final inductee, Alan W. Yasko, MD ’84, MBA, a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery who passed away suddenly in August 2010, was an alumnus of the medical school. This posthumous honor recognized the achievements made during Dr. Yasko’s active life in medicine.
“Dr. Yasko was a distinguished surgeon and a leader in his field,” says Flaherty. “He certainly accomplished a tremendous amount during his career and deserves this honor.”