AOF Karen J. Nichols, DO LEAD Scholar

Deadline: The 2020 application cycle opens soon.


Effective leaders start as student leaders and as they continue to learn and grow, they too will make a difference and pay it forward. 

The Karen J. Nichols, DO LEAD Scholar will be presented to an osteopathic medical student whose Leadership, Excellence, Achievement, and Dedication are proven in the classroom and community. 

This award recognizes, honors, and encourages osteopathic medical students who show promise and exhibit the foundational leadership skills that will serve them and their communities now and in the future.  

  • Must be an OMS III or OMS IV at a COCA-Accredited College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM/SOM) during the fall of 2020
  • Must demonstrate the following:
  • Must be in good academic standing and/or in the top quartile of their class
  • Dedication to community and the osteopathic profession
  • Demonstrated leadership and its impact within the classroom and community
  • Noteworthy achievements, awards and honors, special projects and extracurricular activities
  • Excellence within multiple disciplines: personal, academic and professional


Application Requirements

  • A completed online application – self nominations accepted
  • A Personal statement
  • Medical school academic transcript (official transcript preferred)
  • Current Resume or CV (should include memberships, osteopathic or other)
  • Letter from the Dean or his/her designee as an official document 
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation/support




This award was established to honor Karen J. Nichols, DO, former president of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and its first female president, an accomplished educator and someone who has served in multiple leadership positions for the osteopathic profession, including six years as a board member for the American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) — Dr. Nichols leads by example and for this reason, it’s only fitting that this award was established and named after her.