Honorary Societies

Alpha Omega Alpha

Alpha Omega Alpha is the only national honor medical society in the world. Membership in AOA recognizes and perpetuates excellence in the medical profession. At UVa the goal of AOA is also to promote contact between the students and members who are practicing physicians, both here in the University and in private practice.

From the top quartile of students, each chapter may elect to AOA membership up to one-sixth of the projected number of students that will graduate. Those students chosen from the top quartile for election are picked not only for their high academic standing, but as well for leadership among their peers, professionalism and a firm sense of ethics, promise of future success in medicine, and a commitment to service in the school and community.

Approximately 6-9 students are elected following their second year based on a vote of peers and overall academic performance in an unweighted manner. Approximately 17 more are elected after their third year based on a vote of peers and cumulative academic performance in an unweighted manner.

Gold Humanism Honor Society

Started in 2003, the Gold Humanism Honor Society recognizes approximately 20 students in each class (1/6th) nominated by their peers for the following qualities and characteristics:

  • Cares for patients with obvious compassion and empathy
  • Maintains thoroughly professional demeanor and highest ethical standards
  • Respects everyone
  • Engenders patients’ trust and confidence
  • Listens and communicates well, establishing good rapport with patients
  • Shows cultural sensitivity to all personals, especially those of different ethnic/racial/spiritual backgrounds
  • Seeks to help patients and families understand nature and impact of illness and treatment
  • Attends to patients’ psychological well-being
  • Advocates on behalf of patients with attending physician and team
  • Works collegially as member of interprofessional health-care team
  • Seeks and accepts help, criticism, and advice in order to improve performance
  • Is committed to reflecting on and evaluating own attitudes, skills, and behaviors
  • Engages in community activities and volunteer service


The Raven Society

The Raven Society was founded at the University of Virginia in 1904. The Society’s objective is to promote fellowship among people of similar intellectual interests beyond the limits of the classroom. It has the interests of the University at heart and directs its efforts toward expansion of Virginia’s influence and prestige. Undergraduates, graduate students, and members of the faculty and alumni are eligible for membership; they are selected on the basis of excellence in their field and contributions to the University. The Society meets regularly during the year to conduct business meetings, hear speakers, and hold elections for new members. Its activities culminate each year in a formal Spring banquet at which officers are elected, new members are initiated, and highly-coveted Raven awards are presented to people outstanding in their manifold contributions to the University. Each year four students from the medical school are elected.


Omicron Delta Kappa

ODK, founded in 1914, is a national honor society with a threefold purpose: to recognize students who have attained a high standard of leadership in collegiate activities; to bring together individuals representing all phases of college life; and to bring together members of the faculty and the student body on a basis of mutual interest, understanding, and helpfulness. Each year two or three students from the medical school are elected.