Eleven inducted into national honor medical society

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The South Dakota chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha inducted eight students, one faculty member, one alumnus and one resident at an induction banquet in Sioux Falls, S.D., on May 6. It was the 33rd new member installation of the Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota’s chapter. Alpha Omega Alpha is the only national honor medical society in the world.

Seven students from the Class of 2010 were inducted: Kimberly Harer of Hoven, S.D., Seth Harrer and Ross Miller of Sioux Falls, S.D., Carrissa Pietz of Yankton, S.D., Travis Scharnweber of Pierre, S.D., Emily Winterton of Rapid City, S.D., and Jesse Young of Mitchell, S.D. One student from the Class of 2011, Halie Vosler of Spearfish, S.D., was also inducted.

Alpha Omega Alpha is organized for educational purposes and aims to promote scholarship and research in medical schools through the encouragement of a high standard of character and conduct among medical students and graduates. The University of South Dakota chapter was granted its charter from the national organization in 1978. Members of Alpha Omega Alpha at The U must rank in the top 25 percent of their graduating class with no more than one-sixth of potential graduates elected for membership.

Students elected to the society are judged to have shown potential to become leaders in their profession. Scholastic excellence is not the only criterion for election; integrity, capacity for leadership, compassion and fairness in dealing with colleagues are considered to be of equal significance.

In addition to students, the chapter elects up to one faculty, one alumnus and one resident each spring. Charles Kopriva, M.D., was the alumnus elected. He is a 1963 graduate of the Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota. Paul Bunger, Ph.D., dean of medical student affairs for the Sanford School of Medicine, was the faculty member elected. The resident elected was Elizabeth Wheatley, M.D, a second-year family medicine resident in the Sioux Falls Family Medicine Residency Program.