Published March 31, 2017
Twenty-four medical students, three residents and one faculty member have joined the University at Buffalo’s chapter of the national honor medical society Alpha Omega Alpha.
Election to AOA is a lifelong honor that signifies a commitment to scholarship, leadership, professionalism and service to the art of healing.
Addressing the inductees at the ceremony, Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said: “Membership in Alpha Omega Alpha serves, truly, as a lifelong testament of your intellect, your morality, your work ethic and your character.”
“AOA is all about excellence, and I wish to emphasize to you that your demonstrated excellence during the time you’ve been with the school has an important price that you must pay going forward, which is: true responsibility and leadership in the field of medicine,” said Cain.
“Our university and medical school expect all of our AOA awardees to be leaders,” he said. “We need leaders, and I rest each night knowing that this group of AOA inductees will rise to the occasion and help lead American and international medicine.”
Chapter officers inducted the following during the March 16 ceremony:
This year’s faculty inductee was Charles M. Severin, MD, PhD, associate dean for medical education and admissions and associate professor of anatomy. Severin oversees the educational performance of first- and second-year medical students and monitors their research and clinical work.
Fourth-year medical student and AOA initiate Terence J. McLaughlin gave a talk about the AOA’s history.
McLaughlin discussed the improvement of medical education since the turn of the 20th century and described the circumstances leading to the AOA’s founding by William Webster Root, MD. He explained that Root sought to establish an honor society that would “foster the standards of morality and honesty and promote academic scholarship.”
McLaughlin urged his fellow inductees to “be mindful of the honor and privilege” of AOA membership. “We must encourage ourselves to continue to embrace the model physician that Dr. Root described to us, we must hold true the ideals of AOA and we must continue to be worthy to serve the suffering,” he emphasized.
During his presentation, “Neurological Ailments of U.S. Presidents,” Silvestri highlighted American leaders who died of strokes, and he examined the ramifications of various presidents’ neurological disorders throughout presidential history.
Chapter councilor Frank T. Schimpfhauser, PhD, recognized three chapter officers for their many years of service to the honor medical society:
Schimpfhauser noted that the officers have been instrumental to the chapter’s success. “They are highly organized, dedicated, extremely passionate and committed to the mission and goals of AOA,” he said.
“They have made major contributions, which have allowed the chapter to support and fund a number of ongoing educational programs and projects for students and faculty through the curriculum.”
In addition to Cain and chapter officers Silvestri and Schimpfhauser, the ceremony was led by chapter vice president Faye E. Justicia-Linde, MD, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and chapter treasurer Christopher S. Cohan, PhD, professor of pathology and anatomical sciences.
Kenneth M. Ludmerer, MD — professor of medicine, professor of history, Mabel Dorn Reeder Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis — was scheduled to give the AOA Distinguished Lecture but canceled due to inclement weather.