The American Osteopathic Foundation is proud to recognize Karen J. Nichols, DO as the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient.

Dr. Karen J. Nichols is a prominent figure in the field of Osteopathic medicine, renowned for her exceptional contributions to healthcare, medical education, and leadership. With a career spanning several decades, Dr. Nichols has made significant strides in advancing the Osteopathic profession, empowering women in medicine, and promoting patient-centered care.

Dr. Nichols is a graduate of Kansas City University-College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) with a DO degree and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from KCU-COM. She has a master’s degree in management with a specialty in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University.

She has served as President of the American Osteopathic Association, President of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association and President of the American College of Osteopathic Internists and was the first woman to hold all of those positions. Dr. Nichols was one of the first four DOs elected to the board of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, completing an eight-year term and serving as Chair from 2020-2022.

One of Dr. Nichols' most significant contributions has been in the realm of Osteopathic medical education. She has held several academic leadership roles, including serving as the Dean of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University. In this capacity, she played a pivotal role in shaping the education of future Osteopathic physicians, emphasizing the importance of compassion, empathy, and patient-centered care in their training.

"Dr. Nichols’ contributions throughout her three decades of service to the profession, will serve as foundational pillars upon which future generations of students, practitioners, educators, and community leaders will build their understanding and practice of Osteopathic medicine, “ said Dawn Tartaglione, President, AOF.

Dr. Karen J. Nichols, DO, is a trailblazer and a visionary in the field of Osteopathic medicine. Her lifelong dedication to patient-centered care, medical education, and empowering women in medicine has made her a true icon. As a leader, educator, and advocate, Dr. Nichols continues to inspire and shape the future of healthcare, leaving an enduring legacy for generations to come.

The American Osteopathic Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award, established in 2006, is given to an individual whose extraordinary accomplishments and service bring a sense of pride to the Osteopathic profession and achieves greatness through integrity, commitment to service, generosity to others, and community involvement. This distinguished accolade was conceived with a clear purpose: to pay homage to those exceptional individuals whose unwavering dedication and pioneering efforts have not only propelled the field of Osteopathic medicine forward but have also left an indelible mark on its principles, practices, and legacy.