Alpha Omega Alpha honor society welcomes 2023 inductees

The School of Medicine welcomed 21 students and one medical resident as new members of its Missouri Delta Chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society on May 10 during a celebration at Diastole.

Members are selected based on character and values such as honesty, honorable conduct, morality, virtue, unselfishness, ethical ideals, dedication to serving others, and leadership. Selection to AOA memberships is an honor that recognizes one’s excellence in academic scholarship and the highest ideals of professionalism in medicine.

Last fall, 15 senior members, those graduating this year, were selected for induction to the honor society. They include Sumalya Alam, Anissa Bernardez, Noah Brown, Patricia Carey, Annahita Fotouhi, Jordan Frankow, Herschel Gupta, Siddhanth Hegde, Jordan Held, Sahithi Katragadda, Camryn Maloney, Asha Nanda, Molly Pasque, Shil Shah and Arjun Rao.

Four junior members and two more senior members were chosen this spring for induction. Junior class inductees include Victoria Cegielski, Karishma Kondapalli, Nabeel Rasheed and Victoria Shi. Jourdan Brandon and Emily Gharabegi were the senior class inductees.

Reuben de Almeida, M.D., an internal medicine physician, was the resident inductee.

This year’s AOA student officers were Neal Shah, president, Joe Bean, vice-president, Kevin Varghese, secretary, and Sid Ramesh, treasurer.

Catherine Spong, M.D., ’91, delivered the annual AOA lecture on May 11. Spong serves as professor and the Paul C. MacDonald Distinguished Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She began her career with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institutes of Health, serving in numerous roles including director of extramural research.

Speaking to students and faculty, Spong talked about how to leverage one’s research opportunities.

“What I want you to do is think about the big questions, the untouched areas and the clinical questions that you face,” Spong said.

Ultimately, she encouraged each one to have a passion and love for what they do.

“Bring passion to what you do because it makes it so fun,” she said. “It makes it easier to be creative. It makes you more motivated and also makes everyone around you more creative.”

More than 4,000 students, residents/fellows, faculty and medical school alumni are elected to the AOA each year with nearly 200,000 members elected to the society since it began in 1902.