Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award

Past Recipients:

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

2016 Edward D. Harris Professionalism Award

Download the announcement and checklist

The award

This award recognizes and honors outstanding faculty and programs with the best practices in medical professionalism education. Up to three one-time awards of $10,000 will be given based on a national competition.


Alpha Omega Alpha seeks nominations for ongoing programs in medical schools and/or affiliated institutions that represent best practices in the teaching and learning of medical professionalism. Programs should:

  • Include medical students, residents, faculty, and/or practicing physicians
  • Show evidence of effectiveness
  • Show evidence of sustainability
  • Be exportable to other medical institutions


The professional values and responsibilities of medicine must be taught, learned, and practiced to fulfill medicine’s covenant of trust with patients and society.

Physicians’ personal responsibilities are detailed in the Medical Professionalism Charter of the American College of Physicians and the American Board of Internal Medicine, which lists three fundamental principles:

  1. the primacy of patient welfare
  2. patient autonomy
  3. social justice

To fulfill these principles, physicians need to:

  • Demonstrate professional competence
  • Be honest with patients
  • Maintain patient confidentiality
  • Maintain appropriate relations with patients
  • Improve quality of care
  • Improve access to care
  • Work for a just distribution of finite resources
  • Maintain scientific knowledge
  • Maintain trust by managing conflicts of interest
  • Demonstrate professional responsibility

These professional behaviors must be learned and practiced by all physicians. The teaching of medical professionalism is thus of utmost importance to the profession of medicine.


Faculty and programs at medical schools that have an active chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha are eligible. Institutions affiliated with medical schools with an active AΩA chapter are also eligible.
Medical schools whose nominee has won the Professionalism Award are not eligible to submit another nominee for three subsequent years.

  • The award will be paid to the awardees or the program’s institution.
  • Leaders of the programs will be required to attend a medical professionalism retreat sponsored by AΩA in Chicago in September 2016, to describe their programs and discuss them with others in the field. (Expenses will be paid by AΩA.)
  • Attendees will author and submit papers for a monograph on the teaching and learning of medical professionalism to be published by Alpha Omega Alpha within 18 months of the retreat.

Application to the AΩA councilor

The councilor and his or her selection committee will submit one nominee to the AΩA national office. The application to the councilor must be received by April 1, 2016, and must include:

  1. The completed checklist. Download the checklist.
  2. A letter of nomination from the dean of the medical school (maximum 2 pages), commenting upon the program’s quality and effectiveness, and describing how it enhances professionalism among medical personnel.
  3. A description of the program (maximum 5 pages), including:
    • Purpose and background
    • Categories of participants
    • Length of program
    • Syllabus
    • Implementation details
    • Effectiveness measures
    • Sustainability measures
    • Exportability measures
  4. Biosketch(es) of the program leader(s)

Only one nomination per chapter will be submitted to the national office. Nominations must be submitted to the school’s AΩA chapter councilor by April 1, 2016, for evaluation and review before submission to the national office.

Application to the AΩA national office

In addition to the items listed above, by May 1, 2016, the councilor must include:

  1. A letter of endorsement to the AΩA national office.

All materials must be submitted as either a single PDF or a set of PDFs in the format listed on the checklist. All materials must be submitted in one e-mail. Multiple submissions or incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

Questions should be addressed to Dee Martinez at or (650) 329-0291. E-mail the nomination to Dee Martinez at by midnight May 1, 2016, PDT.

Awardees will be notified on or about June 15, 2016.

Updated on August 25, 2016.

© 2016 Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society