Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Who should submit CVs?
  2. What if I plan to take a year off?
  3. What is the deadline for CV submissions?
  4. How should CVs be submitted?
  5. What if my CV is submitted late?
  6. Why was the CV scoring system made public? Doesn’t that make it easy to “game” the system?
  7. What if I participated in an activity during medical school that is not explicitly defined in the CV scoring criteria?
  8. What if I am not selected into AOA but I feel that I should have been?
  9. When will I know if I am selected?
  10. What do I need to do if I am selected?
  11. Why is a peer assessment included in the selection process?
  12. Won’t peer evaluations make selection unfair and favor the most well-known individuals?
  13. Why are peer evaluations not anonymous?
  14. Can I tell individuals whom I worked with that I am eligible for AOA?
  15. Who should fill out peer evaluations?
  16. How do I fill out peer evaluations?
  17. What should I put in the comments section?
  18. What if I have a question that isn’t answered here?

ABOUT SUBMITTING A CV

Who should submit CVs?
All students who are in the top 12.5% of the class are eligible for junior AOA consideration. All students who are in the top 25% of the class are eligible for senior AOA consideration. All eligible students should be submit CVs when requested (in February for junior AOA and in July for senior AOA). Students near the GPA cutoffs are encouraged to submit CVs if they would like to be considered for selection, as their class rank could change with pending MS3 clerkship grades. If you are unsure, please submit a CV anyway.
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What if I plan to take a year off?
Students who anticipate delaying graduation to complete additional educational opportunities (research, IMEP, MBA, MPH, etc.) should apply for Jr. and Sr. AOA in the spring and summer of their MS3 year so as to be considered alongside their peers.
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What is the deadline for CV submissions?
The current deadline for CV submissions for election to the Senior AOA Class of 2018 is August 9th at midnight. Information about the application process is due to be sent out July 26th.
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How should CVs be submitted?
All CVs should be submitted electronically as an email attachment to Holli.Holbert@utsouthwestern.edu with a carbon copy (cc) to UTSWAOA@gmail.com.
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What if my CV is submitted late?
No late submission will be accepted, and there are no extenuating circumstances!
All individuals are made aware of the deadline with sufficient time to prepare their CV in the appropriate format. CVs not submitted in the appropriate format will be rejected, and individuals will be asked to re-submit their CV in the appropriate format prior to the deadline.
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ABOUT THE SELECTION PROCESS AND SELECTION CRITERIA

Why was the CV scoring system made public? Doesn’t that make it easy to “game” the system?
The issue of keeping the scoring system known only to the CV reviewers has been considered at length by the AOA Executive Committee. Ultimately, the scoring system was made public in order to make the selection process as fair as possible. The Committee chose not to keep the information private because of the potential exists that a private scoring system could become known by a sub-set of individual students being considered for AOA selection, giving these students a likely advantage over their peers in the selection process. Furthermore, the review committee will check the veracity of submitted CVs, and any individuals who misrepresent themselves will be eliminated from consideration.
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What if I participated in an activity during medical school that is not explicitly defined in the CV scoring criteria?
Individuals are encouraged to include any activity they participated in during medical school that they believe fits into the specified categories. Points for these activities will be determined by consensus among the review committee.
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What if I am not selected into AOA but I feel that I should have been?
Decisions about membership are made according to the strictly defined selection criteria, and all decisions are final. Students may contest decisions of the committee under two circumstances only, which are listed below.

  1. If a student believes an error was made in the calculation process that adversely affected their final ranking.
  2. If a student’s GPA placed him/her in the top 12.5% (junior AOA) or the top 25% (senior AOA) of the class, and he/she was wrongly excluded from consideration.

In either event, the student should contact the AOA officers for details on how to submit a petition to the AOA Executive Committee and to the Registrar’s Office requesting re-consideration. Under no circumstances will individual CV scores or peer evaluation results be released during  an appeal process. CVs will not be reviewed a second time, and CV scores from the initial review process will not be changed.
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When will I know if I am selected?
Selected students will be notified via email in February as juniors and in August as seniors. It is possible that a few students who move into the top 25% later than August will be selected into AOA, and these students will be notified at a later date. Students who submit CVs but are not able to be offered membership will receive notification at the same time.
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What do I need to do if I am selected?
Be sure to respond to the email to register online at the national AOA website and pay your dues! Students who fail to pay their dues will forfeit their membership. Selected members will also need to save the date for an AOA induction banquet, which typically takes place the night prior to Match Day. Also be sure to let your family, spouses, significant others, and friends know so they can plan to attend! AOA members are expected to maintain GPA’s consistent with the eligibility criteria. Issues with professionalism or course failure may result in rescinding membership.
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ABOUT THE PEER REVIEW

Why is a peer assessment included in the selection process?
A peer vote was incorporated because the qualities of a good physician are not entirely captured in a student’s GPA or CV. For this reason, the Executive Committee felt it important to include a measure of aptitude and integrity based on evaluations of individuals working directly with applicants. These evaluations provide firsthand information and help to identify the individuals who best embody and practice the organization’s values.
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Won’t peer evaluations make selection unfair and favor the most well-known individuals?
The peer evaluation was designed to benefit those students who best demonstrate the virtues central to taking care of patients and to working with colleagues. It was deliberately designed to be as objective as possible. Only classmates who worked directly with individuals eligible for AOA are allowed to submit evaluations. Because the selection process for both junior AOA and senior AOA occurs in the MS3 year (in January/February for the juniors and in July/August for the seniors), all students will have a similar number of potential evaluators. Since the peer score is only computed for students receiving two or more evaluations, no individual suffers from a single poor peer assessment, nor does one individual benefit from a single superior peer assessment.
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Why are peer evaluations not anonymous?
In order to verify the legitimacy of all peer evaluations, it is necessary that evaluators identify themselves. After verifying that all evaluations were submitted in accordance with the outlined procedure, the names of evaluators are removed. These evaluations are seen only by the UTSW faculty and administration, and under no circumstance is the information released to the party being evaluated.
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Can I tell individuals whom I worked with that I am eligible for AOA?
Due to confidentiality surrounding grades and class rank, we are not able to release a public list of eligible individuals. At the same time, we cannot prevent anyone from informing former teammates that he or she is eligible for AOA. Nor can we prevent individuals from encouraging former teammates in a neutral manner to complete peer evaluations. However, any attempt to positively influence evaluation scores by teammates is strictly prohibited. Providing any form of compensation and/or performing or promising favors with explicit or implicit reciprocity in the form of better evaluations from teammates will be considered unprofessional behavior. Individuals found to have deliberately influenced peer evaluations will be eliminated from consideration.
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Who should fill out peer evaluations?
All students should fill out evaluations for all of the classmates with whom they have worked! The evaluation is not limited to those individuals eligible for AOA. The evaluations are also used to identify individuals for additional awards given to graduating seniors.
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How do I fill out peer evaluations?
Peer evaluations are to be filled out online by following the appropriate link sent from the Deans’ office. This link will be sent in an email to the entire class. Follow the instructions on the survey page.
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What should I put in the comments section?
We value all comments, but we prefer positive comments. For individuals selected into AOA, these comments may be used during the induction banquet in the spring during individual introductions. In the future, it is also possible that these comments may be incorporated into the Dean’s letter.
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ABOUT OTHER THINGS

What if I have a question that isn’t answered here?
Please send questions not answered here to utswaoa@gmail.com with subject line: “AOA Question.” If you require a reply within the next 24 hours, contact either Philip.Tolley@UTSouthwestern.edu or Lindsey.West@UTSouthwestern.edu.