Election to Alpha Omega Alpha is a distinction that accompanies a physician throughout his or her career. Especially for the younger physician, the society provides a forum for the exchange of ideas as well as a source of valuable contacts. Members can be elected as a student, house officer, alumni or faculty of an affiliated institution, or by virtue of distinguished achievement in any field related to medicine, on a honorary basis.

Elections in the first four categories are carried out by the individual chapters. Chapters elect undergraduate members from students in their last two years of medical school. Scholastic excellence is a key criterion, but not the only one for election; capacity for leadership, compassion and fairness in dealing with one's colleagues are also to be considered. Students who are in the top academic quartile of their class are eligible for election, but the number elected may not exceed one-sixth of the graduating class. The students elected to the society are men and women who have compiled the requisite high academic standing and who, in the judgment of the members of the local chapter, have shown promise of becoming leaders in their profession. As noted above, opportunities exist for later election to the society of those not selected as undergraduates.