Student Organizations, Honor Societies, and Committees

Student organizations and committees are a way for students to perform community outreach and explore career options. The Office of Student Services oversees all TTUHSC El Paso student organizations and interest groups. There are over 40 medical student organizations that can be viewed at For more information, students can email the Office of Student Services at

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society

The Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, commonly known as Alpha Omega Alpha or AOA, is a national honor society for medical students, residents, scientists and physicians in the United States and Canada. The goal of AOA is to recognize and perpetuate excellence in the medical profession. The AOA motto is to “Be Worthy to Serve the Suffering.” AOA was founded in 1902 by medical students who were dedicated to medicine as a scholarly pursuit and to the importance of physicians dedicating themselves to serving patients.

Election to AOA is limited to those students that have excellent scholastic qualifications. In addition to academic excellence, candidates are selected on the basis of their outstanding professionalism, leadership skills, teaching, community service, research and scholarly activity. The total number of students elected shall not exceed one-sixth of the total number in the class expected to graduate.

We are currently only selecting senior AOA students. To be nominated to AOA a student must be in the top 25% of their class as determined primarily by their clerkship grades and secondarily by their score on the Step I. Those students that have been nominated will then be requested to submit an AOA application addressing their research/scholarship, teaching experiences, leadership activities, and volunteer service since matriculating to PLFSOM. At the same time, the clerkship director SARP directors, year one and two course directors, SCI course directors and the college masters will be polled to make recommendations for selection into AOA from the nominated students.

The AOA committee will evaluate the AOA application and faculty recommendations to develop a ranking of the nominated students according to the values of AOA that each student has demonstrated while attending PLFSOM. These values will be professionalism, leadership skills, teaching, community service, research and scholarly activity. This ranking will have equal weight to the ranking of the grades the student has made to be nominated into AOA. Selection into AOA is not just about grades the student has achieved. We are looking for student leaders who ultimately will become medical leaders in the future. Since we are only able to select one sixth of the class into AOA, some of the students that are nominated will not be selected into AOA.

Gold Humanism Honor Society

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) is a national organization that promotes the values of humanism and professionalism in medicine. The GHHS recognizes medical students, residents, and physician-teachers for their commitment to the values of humanism and professionalism in medicine. Members of the GHHS advocate for humanism by organizing activities on campus and in the community. Inspiration for the GHHS began in the late 1990s at Colombia University when a group of medical educators and residency program directors expressed the need for a mechanism to identify applicants for internships and residencies who have outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills. Thanks to a series of grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, deans, medical educators, and experts in assessment were convened to explore and research the viability of an honor society to promote humanistic values and behaviors. The organization was named in honor of Arnold P. Gold, MD, a pediatric neurologist at Colombia University whose exemplary career has been an inspiration for a generation of medical trainees.

The PLFSOM Chapter of the GHHS was chartered in 2011, and membership is limited to no more than 15% of each class. Members are selected by their peers in the third year of medical school. The student members organize activities on and off campus to promote the values of the organization.

Medical Student Council

The Medical Student Council (MSC) represents the medical student body. Each class is represented by its elected president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, service chair as well as a representative from each college in each class. The MSC is regarded by faculty and administration as the official voice of the student body and it is advisory on an ad hoc basis to the Dean and the various Associate Deans. The membership of this group comes from each of the four classes.

In the MSC Constitution, duties and responsibilities of the officers are mandated and defined. Likewise, the formation of committees is discussed. Also contained within the Constitution are the mechanisms by which proposals and petitions are handled when they are brought before the Student Government. For further information on the Medical Student Government, please visit

Organization of Student Representatives

The OSR is the student branch of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is charged with the representation of undergraduate medical student body of the U.S. to the academic medicine community. The concerns of the OSR lie exclusively within academic medicine and medical education. Each of the LCME accredited medical schools have students who serve as the OSR representative for their schools. As an OSR representative, you must communicate the opinions of your student body to the national officers so that the OSR can effectively represent medical students on a national level. In addition, you can take OSR national priorities and objectives from your colleagues at the national level and implement them at your school. At PLFSOM, the role of OSR representative is chosen through an essay and interview process of members of the Student Curriculum Committee and is selected by the Office of Student Affairs in conjunction with current OSR students.

Student Affairs Committee

The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) is a standing committee of the PLFSOM that includes faculty and students. The purpose of the committee is to review and recommend policies and programs that support student affairs, campus life and the academic mission. Student representatives from each academic level serve until they graduate. Students are recommended by their college master to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Student Curriculum and Evaluation Committee

Charter: The Student Curriculum and Evaluation Committee (SCEC) is a student organization sponsored by the Office of Medical Education.

PLFSOM delegates to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) are selected from the SCEC.

For each class, each college elects two Student Curriculum and Evaluation Committee members to serve for one year, and members may be re-elected.

Service on the Student Curriculum and Evaluation Committee is dependent on the maintenance of good academic standing as collaboratively determined by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the Associate Dean for Medical Education. Members who resign or who are determined to be at academic risk may be replaced by special election by the relevant College or replaced at the next appointed election.

The Student Life Committee – Be Well, Do Well

The Student Life Committee (SLC) is an advisory committee to the Student Affairs Committee. Its major purpose is to organize student wellness activities that maximize student academic performance and provide positive lifestyle balance. Organized into three (3) subcommittees (Expressive Arts; Mind/Emotional/Lifestyle; and Physical/Stress Management), it is responsible for developing a calendar of student activities. These activities are run primarily by student volunteers but may also include interested outside individuals.

Students from all colleges will be included in the SLC. Each college will elect 1-2 student representatives per class year to serve on the SLC. This includes the Student from each college who currently serve on the Student Affairs Committee. Once elected as a student representative, that student can continue to serve on the committee during their 3rd and 4th year in medical school. The SLC will elect a chairperson, but may have co-chairs, a treasurer and a chairperson for each subcommittee.  The term for these positions will be for one year; however, a student can be reelected for additional terms at the discretion of the SLC. The SLC will have a faculty advisor who is a member of the Student Affairs Committee.