2018 AOF Karen J. Nichols, DO, LEAD, Scholar Award

October 8, 2018

The Karen J. Nichols, DO, LEAD Scholar Award recognizes outstanding osteopathic medical students whose Leadership, Excellence, Achievement, and Dedication are proven in the classroom and community. The AOF is proud to name Alyssa M. Ritchie, OMS IV, as the 2018 winner of this prestigious award.

Student Doctor Ritchie graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina Wilmington before enrolling in the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine-Dublin. 

As a leader, Student Doctor Ritchie has worked to promote mental health awareness, represent medical student perspectives at national physician meetings and advocate for the unique value of osteopathic medicine. She has served terms as National Public Relations Representative on the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents and President of the OU-HCOM student government association. 

She feels particularly driven to help increase diversity in health care teams, especially women in leadership positions. “By saying ‘yes’ to leadership opportunities, celebrating the successes of others, and mentorship of the next generation of physicians, I hope to contribute to the breaking down of barriers for minorities in the medical field,” she says.

Student Doctor Ritchie prioritizes service, making time to give back to her community and fellow students. “Throughout my medical school career, one of my greatest pleasures has been being a mentor for the next generation of physicians. [It] reenergizes me and sparks the interest of those who will be the bright, future leaders of our profession,” she says.  She volunteers with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, local community garden, and Ronald McDonald House. Her prior awards have included OU-HCOM’s Outstanding Group Leadership award and Celebrating Women’s Female Leadership Award.

Of Student Doctor Ritchie, Wayne R. Carlsen, DO, OU-HCOM Vice-Dean, says, “being a servant leader, in my opinion, is a trait that holds the most value, as it can and will radiate into almost all other facets of life. Alyssa epitomizes the words servant leader.

Alyssa M. Ritchie, OMS IV