What do those letters and degrees mean?

M.D.

Doctor of Medicine (M.D. or MD, from the Latin Medicinae Doctor meaning “Teacher of Medicine,”) is an academic degree for medical doctors.

In the United States, the M.D. degree is the oldest and most common medical degree held by physicians and surgeons. The M.D. degree is typically earned in four years.

Admissions to medical schools in the United States is competitive, with less than one half of the approximately 35,000 applicants matriculating to a medical school. Before graduating from a medical school and achieving the degree of Medical Doctor, students have to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and both the Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills parts of Step 2.

Following the awarding of the M.D., physicians who wish to practice in the United States are required to complete at least one internship year (PGY-1) and pass the USMLE Step 3.

Most, in order to receive Board Eligible or Board Accredited status in a specialty of medicine such as general surgery or internal medicine, then undergo additional specialized training in the form of a residency. The length of residency can vary from 3 years for fields such as family practice, pediatrics or internal medicine to 7 or more years for fields such as plastic surgery and neurosurgery.

Those who wish to further specialize in areas such as cardiology, interventional radiology, or microsurgery then complete an additional fellowship which lasts from 1 to 3 more years.

M.P.H.

The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) is a professional master’s degree awarded for studies in areas related to public health. In the United States the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredit schools of public health through a formal review process.

MPH is usually a one or two year program, with many students already possessing an advanced degree. In some countries the MPH program is only available for medical graduates (MBBS or equivalent), those without the medical degree can join the Master of Medical Science in Public Health program.

Dr. Granzow’s M.P.H. degree has an additional specialization in Health Systems Management.

F.A.C.S.

Members of the American College of Surgeons are referred to as “Fellows.” The letters FACS (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon’s name mean that the surgeon’s education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation, and have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the College.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice. It is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.

The American College of Surgeons admits to its Fellowship only those surgeons whose professional activity is devoted to surgical practice and who agree without compromise to practice by the professional and ethical standards of the College.

In evaluating the eligibility of applicants for Fellowship, the College investigates each applicant’s entire surgical practice. Requirements for Fellowship include certification by an American Surgical Specialty Board which is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties and which is appropriate to the applicant’s specialty practice, a current appointment on the surgical staff of the applicant’s primary hospital with no reportable action pending, a current practice that establishes the applicant as a specialist in surgery, interest in pursuing professional excellence both as an individual surgeon and a member of the surgical community, and ethical fitness as well as professional proficiency as determined by an appropriate College Credentials Committee.

A.O.A.

Alpha Omega Alpha, commonly referred to as AΩA, can be thought of as the “Phi Beta Kappa for medical schools.” As the only national honor medical society, its mission, developed over the past one hundred years, has been to recognize and enhance professionalism, academic excellence, service, and leadership within the profession.

Criteria for and restrictions upon election to AΩA are detailed in the Constitution. These elections occur each year in the 124 chapters within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the American University of Beirut. In 2006, as in other recent years, close to 3100 medical students and a much smaller number of faculty, resident, and alumni members were elected. Since its founding in 1902, more than 100,000 members have been added to the rolls.

Membership in Alpha Omega Alpha is reserved for the top students in a given medical school class year at graduation..

Dr. Granzow is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and graduated in the top 10% of his medical school class.