Remarks from the AOA Induction Ceremony

Last night, I was the keynote speaker for my medical school’s Alpha Omega Alpha induction ceremony. If you’re interested in what I had to say, I put a version of my remarks on my YouTube channel.

(Running time: 17:13)

  • As usual, even though I’m sharing this talk with a wider audience, it was specifically intended for the group in the room – which consisted primarily of our new AOA inductees and their parents, friends, significant others, and even a few children.
  • The sentinel paper on racial disparities in AOA membership is this one from JAMA Internal Medicine in 2017. (There was a follow up paper in 2021 showing socioeconomic disparities as well.)
  • As I pointed out, several schools have suspended their AOA chapters – most notably the Icahn Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the University of California – San Francisco. I still believe that AOA is redeemable… but it’s noteworthy that Icahn suspended their chapter only after several failed efforts to improve equity in the selection process. Make no mistake, inequity is an existential threat to AOA. The organization and its individual chapters will either fix this problem… or they’ll cease to exist.
  • I briefly mentioned a few things from history and/or my background. Follow the links if you’re interested in learning a little more about the 1893 Richlands lynching; Confederate mascots in southwest Virginia; photos from the Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’ rally; redlining maps in Norfolk; the Barringer building at the University of Virginia (with a photo of the basement wards); or ‘Massive Resistance’ and school closure in Virginia.


On the Flynn Effect and Merit in Medicine

The Last Lecture (2021)

The Last Lecture (2022)

The Residency Selection Arms Race, Part 2: Anatomy of an Arms Race