On March 3, 2011 New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of New York Institute of Technology received an honored guest, Karen J. Nichols, DO, MA, MACOI, CS President, American Osteopathic Association. Dr. Nichols addressed over 550 students, staff and faculty in the Riland Auditorium.
Dr. Nichols talked about the AOA-Your Professional Family - Working Together as a Team. After the meeting Dr. Nichols was a guest at luncheon at the de Seversky Mansion with over 40 student leaders that represented all 26 student organizations, class officers and the Student Government Executive Board. Joining Dr. Nichols on this visit was Kaitlin Baril, Project Coordinator for American Osteopathic Association.
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA), on July 17, 2010, installed Karen J. Nichols, DO, an AOA board-certified internal medicine physician, as its 114th president as well as its first woman president.
Dr. Nichols, a resident of Oak Brook, Ill., began her career as a medical technologist at Phoenix General Hospital. After serving as chief technologist and president of the Arizona Medical Technology Society, she sought her next career challenge by beginning medical school at age 28. Dr. Nichols earned her osteopathic medical degree at what is now the Kansas City (Mo.) University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her internship and residency training at the former Oklahoma Osteopathic Hospital in Tulsa.
Following training, Dr. Nichols worked her way up to chief-of-staff at Mesa General Hospital in Arizona. During her tenure, she established end-of-life care guidelines after an elderly patient requested his physician turn off the ventilator keeping him alive.
After 17 years of treating patients, Dr. Nichols made another career change in 2002 when she became dean of the Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (MWU/CCOM) in Downers Grove, Ill., which had 166 students in its 2010 graduating class. As dean, she encourages her students to take an active role in their new profession.
Dr. Nichols has been a member of the AOA since 1981 and a member of the AOA Board of Trustees since 1999. She is also a former chair of the AOA Department of Government Affairs and the AOA Council on Palliative Care Issues.
Aside from her AOA responsibilities, Dr. Nichols has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Institute for National Health Policy Review; as president of the American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI); president of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association (AOMA); and as a member of the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society (IOMS).
Dr. Nichols has received many honors and awards including Fellow of the Institute of Medicine-Chicago; the first AOMA Physician of the Year; IOMS Physician of the Year; AOA Mentor Hall of Fame Inductee; the Outstanding Achievement Award from the MWU/CCOM Alumni Association Board of Governors; recipient of the IOMS Distinguished Service Award; and the Clinician of the Year from Mesa General Hospital interns and residents.