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12635 E. Montview Blvd., Suite 270
Aurora, CO 80045
P: (720) 859-4149
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E: info@alphaomegaalpha.org

Fellow in Leadership

Past Recipients:

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

Download the announcement and checklist

2020 Alpha Omega Alpha Fellow in Leadership

Alpha Omega Alpha is pleased to announce its 2019 AΩA Fellows in Leadership

Deborah DeWaay, MD—Associate Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida;

Jeffrey McClean, MD—Program Director Neurology Residency; Medical Director, Neurodiagnostic Technician Program; Site Director, Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center; Traumatic Brain Injury Consultant to the United States Air Force Surgeon General; Neurology Consultant to the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General; and Chief of the Medical Staff, Wilford Hall Medical Center and San Antonio Military Medical Center

Roy Strowd, MD—Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Section on Hematology and Oncology, and Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Assistant Professor, Translational Sciences Institute, Wake Forest School of Medicine; and Adjunct Faculty Advisor, Johns Hopkins School of Education, Master of Education in Health Professions Program.


To recognize and support the development of outstanding mid-career physician leaders.


Leadership in medicine, medical education, and health care is more complex in the 21st century than ever before. The medical profession and the country are in need of leadership that is inspiring, insightful, engaging, and humble—leadership that both understands and represents the needs of patients, physicians, medical educators, and trainees.

Because of their unique knowledge of the practice of medicine and understanding of medicine’s core professional values, physicians are ideally suited to serve as leaders in this unprecedented period of change.

AΩA Fellows will spend one year honing their leadership skills and expanding their knowledge base in the areas of:

  • Leading from within—Creating access to a broader range of ways of being, thinking, and acting to become more effective in dealing with the challenges for which the usual solutions are inadequate. Unlike most existing programs that teach leadership by imparting someone else’s knowledge (a third-person approach), this Fellowship emphasizes creating leaders using a first-person “as-lived/lived-through” methodology.
  • Servant Leadership—Based on specific core values, ideals, and ethics, effective, sustainable, and excellent leadership is based on core professional and personal values and a commitment to servant leadership.

The five essential components of the AΩA Fellow in Leadership are:

  1. Self-examination, the "inward journey," leading from within;
  2. A structured curriculum focused on topics related to leadership, including an understanding of the relationship between leadership and management;
  3. Mentors and mentoring;
  4. Experiential learning to broaden the perspective and understanding of leadership as it relates to medicine and health care; and
  5. Team-based learning and developing communities of practice.


Mid-career physicians who provide outstanding leadership within their organizations. Applicants must be active members of AΩA. The Applicant’s mentors, and all AΩA members in the application packet who are AΩA members must have active status.

Nominations must be made by the senior executive of the physician’s organization.

Nominations must be submitted to the local AΩA Chapter Councilor or to a Chapter Association chair if affiliated with a medical school. If the applicant’s organization has no affiliation with a local medical school, the applicant may upload the submission packet directly through the AΩA website at http://alphaomegaalpha.org/Leadership.html.

Only one nominee will be accepted from a Chapter, private/community hospital, or organization. A list of chapters and associations with contact information is available online at http://alphaomegaalpha.org/Leadership.html.

If an AΩA Councilor applies for this award, the dean of the medical school must appoint another AΩA member from the Chapter to manage the nomination process to avoid any potential conflict of interest. The Dean and Councilor must notify the AΩA national office of the temporary appointment.

The Fellowship

Recipients will receive $25,000 funding to be used for further development of their leadership skills through a specific year-long project. The fellowship may not be used for salary support for either the Fellow or institutional mentors. AΩA does not pay indirect costs. The award may be used for attendance at leadership development courses and resources related to the Fellow’s project, or other expenses related to leadership development approved by AΩA.

Submission Requirements

Applicants must provide a detailed description of how they will use the funds to further their pursuit of leadership development. Applications must include:

  • A nomination letter from the senior executive (e.g., the Dean, CEO or equivalent) in the medical school or organization.. The senior executive is expected to serve as one of the two mentors for the candidate, and thus his/her role in mentoring should be noted in the nomination letter. The nomination letter (maximum two pages) should include:
    • The nominator’s reasons for nominating the applicant;
    • The applicant’s personal and professional qualifications for the nomination, including specific examples emphasizing leadership; and
    • The nominator's role in mentoring the applicant.
  • Description of a leadership experience/project that will broaden the applicant’s perspective on leadership related to health care and medicine. The project should provide the applicant the opportunity to define a problem or need, identify barriers to addressing the problem, and design, implement, and complete an achievable plan. Sustainability of projects will be important in the evaluation process. Preference will be given to scalable projects with the potential for a broad impact on medicine, medical education, health care, or other important challenges.
  • Designation of at least two mentors who will assist the applicant in completing his/her project, serving as role models, offering advice as needed, and introducing the Fellow to key individuals either within or external to the organization.

    At least one mentor must be at the senior leadership level of the applicant’s organization. This may be a Dean, Chief Executive Officer, or the President of an association/organization that has a regional or national presence. Mentorship must be ongoing throughout and after the year.

    Mentors should provide the Fellow access to high-level administrators and leaders. Mentors should commit to the mentoring plan and to allocating time to support the Fellow’s ongoing leadership opportunities after completion of the Fellowship.

  • A commitment letter from the chief executive officer of the applicant’s institution detailing the institution’s explicit commitment to the Fellow (maximum four pages). The letter must include:
    • A commitment to provide protected time of at least 25% for the applicant to complete the Fellowship activities. Protected time must include AΩA’s orientation and leadership course to be held in July; bimonthly AΩA teleconferences, and time for the Fellow to meet with his/her AΩA mentor. Institutions must commit to providing full coverage for the Fellows’ duties during this time, in addition to the ongoing protected time.
  • A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s direct supervisor (maximum two pages) that comments on the applicant’s qualifications for the Fellowship, including leadership qualities and potential. The letter must acknowledge the institution’s commitment to protected time and transfer of specific responsibilities to allow the applicant to complete the Fellowship. Letters that indicate matching funds and a clear career path leading to greater leadership responsibilities will be considered evidence of strong institutional commitment.
  • A proposal from the applicant (maximum six pages) laying out the applicant’s plans to fulfill the essential components of the Fellowship:
    • Self-examination;
    • A structured curriculum focused on topics related to leadership;
    • Mentor(s) and why they were selected; and
    • A project proposal detailing how the project will advance the applicant’s understanding of the principles of leadership and what leadership skills the project will enhance.
  • A personal statement from the applicant (maximum two pages) that summarizes:
    • Prior leadership experiences, including specific personal examples (successes, challenges, and failures) and lessons learned;
    • The applicant’s goals for the Fellowship;
    • The applicant’s leadership goals following the Fellowship and long-term; and
    • How the applicant envisions making a difference in the profession of medicine through leadership.

  • The applicant's biosketch (maximum four pages).
  • A letter from each mentor (Maximum two pages each) outlining:
    • A commitment of time for mentoring, and support for ongoing leadership opportunities after the Fellowship is completed;
    • The mentor’s reasons for wishing to mentor the applicant; and
    • The mentor’s assessment of the applicant’s leadership qualities, with specific examples.

  • The mentors' biosketches (maximum four pages each).
  • Recommendation letter from the Chapter Councilor or Association Chair, if applicable.

    Application requirements

    Applications must be submitted electronically through the AΩA website using the Online Submission link below, by March 2, 2020, and must include a completed checklist (see attached).

    Online Submission
    Submit Application

    Requirements for Fellows and their Mentors

    • Fellows are required to attend a four-day Fellows’ orientation meeting in Denver, Colorado in July 2020.
    • At least one of the Fellows’ mentors is required to attend the orientation Sunday through Tuesday.
      • Travel expenses including lodging and meals for Fellows and mentors will be covered by AΩA.
    • Fellows will be required to attend the AΩA Board of Directors annual meeting in October 2021 to present their projects and experiences. Travel expenses including lodging and meals will be covered by AΩA.
    • Fellows must participate in a defined and structured curriculum focused on topics related to leadership in medicine, such as AAMC Executive Development, the Harvard Macy program, ELAM® at Drexel Universtiy College of Medicine, or FAIMER®. The cost of the leadership training will be paid from the Fellow’s $25,000 award.
    • Fellows will meet with their AΩA Faculty Liaison on at least a bimonthly basis.
    • During the fellowship year, Fellows will be encouraged to create a community of practice with each other, as a vehicle to encourage peer-to-peer mentoring and sharing of experiences.


    March 2, 2020 Deadline to Submit Application through the AΩA website
    May 4, 2020 Announcement of AΩA Fellows in Leadership
    July 1, 2020 Program begins
    July 2020 AΩA Fellows in Leadership Orientation, Denver, CO

    Questions about this program should be directed to Libby Appel at libby@alphaomegaalpha.org or 720-859-4149.

Updated on September 17, 2019.