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Fisher passes torch to Saggio After 24 years as Alpha Omega Alpha faculty Councillor

For the past 24 years, Assistant Dean of Continuing Education and Professor of Medicine, Melanie Fisher, M.D., MS.c., has served as faculty Councillor of West Virginia University’s School of Medicine Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

WVU School of Medicine Professor and Vice Chair for Pediatric Education, Renee Saggio, M.D., has been named by Chancellor and Executive Dean, Clay Marsh, M.D. as her successor in the role. 

Dr. Fisher said she’s loved working with so many students over the years, but felt the time was right for someone else to be given the chance to serve.

“I’m very pleased that Dr. Saggio will be taking over the role. I know she’ll do a wonderful job and she’s a dear personal friend. I know the students will benefit from her guidance,” Fisher said.

“It's really been an honor for me to work with these motivated and hardworking students. We always try to promote a sense of service and community. We emphasize being the best you can be for your patients- from knowledge through compassion. It's been very inspiring for me personally to see the newest doctors continue to grow in that way,” Fisher said.

Reflecting on her time in the organization, Fisher said that AOA learners have developed great new initiatives over the years to serve the community and fellow students.

“We give suggestions and I always try to support the students, but it's really their organization. I'm there to advise them, support and encourage them. They've done everything from community service projects to developing different mechanisms and programs that support the younger medical students. I honestly can't take credit for any of it. I've been involved for a long time, and it's been my privilege to do that,” Fisher said.

Fisher grew up in New York, but ended up in West Virginia for medical residency after she received her M.D. degree from the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine. She said she was impressed with WVU Internal Medicine’s residency program, but also felt drawn to West Virginia.

“I've always felt WVU was a very supportive, friendly place where people care about each other,” Fisher concluded.

AOA is the only national medical school honor society and eligibility requires academic rank in the top quartile of the class. The organization was established to promote scholarship and research in medical schools, encourage a high standard of character and conduct with medical students and graduates, among other reasons like service to the community.

“I am so pleased and honored to be asked to step into the role of AOA Councillor. Over the years, we have all seen how dedicated Dr. Fisher has been to the students’ and organization’s pursuits. If I could do a fraction of what she has helped accomplish during her tenure, I will consider that a success,” said Dr. Saggio. “This is a very wonderful group of students not only for their academic achievements but also for their sense of dedication, duty and service. I am very much looking forward to working with them and seeing what projects they develop.”

For more information about the organization at WVU, visitαωα-honor-medical-society/.