Honor Societies

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

The White Coat Ceremony at the conclusion of Orientation to the First Year. This ceremony highlights the importance of humanistic care, and concludes with the taking of the Hippocratic Oath by all incoming first-year students. We were the second medical school in the nation to have a White Coat Ceremony.

The Student Clinician Ceremony at the conclusion of Orientation to the Third Year, is entirely run by rising fourth year students for rising third year students. It honors RWJ Residents who are role models for excellence in clinical practice and compassionate care giving.

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS)

The Gold Humanism Honor Society, for which students are selected by peer nomination in September of their fourth year of medical school, is considered of great importance in our school. 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. The students who are selected for the GHHS 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 Robert Wood Johnson Medical School 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.

Election to AOA is an academic honor. 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.