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March 1989

Personal Characteristics, Career Plans, and Specialty Choices of Medical Students Elected to Alpha Omega Alpha

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, College of Medicine (Dr Babbott), and Department of Medical Biostatistics, Division of Health Sciences (Ms Weaver), University of Vermont, Burlington, and Office of Education Research, American Medical Association, Chicago (Dr Baldwin).

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(3):576-580. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390030064012

• Among US medical graduates in 1983, personal characteristics, career plans, and specialty choices of men and women elected to Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), the honor medical society, differed in a number of ways from those of their non–AOA classmates. Students in AOA scored significantly higher on each subtest of the Medical College Admission Test, were disproportionately white, and had a higher proportion of parents achieving a post–high school education. Members of AOA participated in undergraduate medical research and authored papers during medical school significantly more frequently than those who were not members of AOA, planned a major career commitment to research, and planned careers in academic medicine significantly more frequently than those who did not belong to AOA. In contrast, neither religious preference, among students from Catholic, Jewish, or Protestant backgrounds, nor gender differentiated members of AOA from non–AOA members. Among the 15 specialties studied, internal medicine subspecialties and internal medicine attracted the highest proportion of students elected to AOA.

(Arch Intern Med 1989;149:576-580)

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