Humanism/Honor Societies

The Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) was introduced at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 2002. This Society completed a quartet of programs at RWJMS, all designed to inspire and teach our students to become more humanistic physicians. These programs include the following:

The White Coat Ceremony

This ceremony highlights the importance of humanistic care, and concludes with the taking of the Hippocratic Oath by all incoming first-year students.

The Student Clinician Ceremony

This ceremony honors RWJ Residents who are role models for excellence in clinical practice and compassionate care giving, and is held at the conclusion of Orientation to the Third Year.

The Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS)

The society recognizes and honors those students who are felt by their peers to be exemplars of excellence in compassionate care giving and empathy in the context of medical practice. Students are selected by peer nomination in September of their fourth year of medical school, and selected students are integrated into the teaching process for underclassmen in several ways. Students and Residents who are GHHS members regularly schedule events and educational sessions for the RWJMS community.

Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA)

AOA is the national medical honor society. Its goals are the promotion of scholarship and research in medical schools; the encouragement of a high standard of character and conduct among medical students and graduates; and recognition of high attainment of goals in medical science, practice, and related fields.

Students are elected by the individual chapters of the society on the basis of their academic achievements and on their potential for becoming leaders in the medical profession. Students are elected to AOA in their junior or senior year of medical school. In order to be considered for election to the society, juniors must be in the upper 1/12 of their class and seniors must be in the upper 1/4 of their class. The number of students elected from any class may not exceed 1/6 of those expected to graduate. An alumnus may be elected to AOA, based on achievement, ten years after graduation. In addition, a chapter may elect one member each year from the faculty of medicine at its institution.

The society’s board of directors elects honorary members. The selection process takes place in the spring (March or April) of the third year for Junior AOA and in September of the fourth year for Senior AOA. A committee of faculty and administrators makes the selection. The AOA designation is included in the student’s Medical Student Performance Evaluation, which is sent to residency programs on November 1st of the student’s year of graduation.