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Herbert W. Nickens Award

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Deadline: Friday, April 1, 2022 at 11:59 PM

The Herbert W. Nickens Award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to promoting justice in medical education and health care equity in the United States. Dr. Herbert W. Nickens was the founding vice president of the AAMC Division of Community and Minority Programs, now Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion. Dr. Nickens’ passionate leadership contributed greatly to focusing national attention on the need to support underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities in medicine.

The awardee receives the Nickens Award and a $10,000 prize. The awardee will also present the Nickens Lecture at Learn Serve Lead 2022: The AAMC Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN.

Learn about Dr. Herbert W. Nickens’ contributions to academic medicine in Reflections on Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Medicine commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Nickens award.

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Herbert W. Nickens Award

AAMC supports Dr. Nickens’ belief that a multidisciplinary approach is needed to address inequities in health. Nominees from a wide range of fields are encouraged, including medicine, dentistry, education, law, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social and behavioral sciences. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Exemplary contributions to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a focus on promoting social justice and health equity in the health professions.
  • Evidence of accomplishment through an interprofessional approach and/or collaborative practice.
  • Contributions have had a significant national impact on vulnerable and/or underrepresented populations, above and beyond one’s own institution.
  • Demonstrates standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

The nomination packet must include:

  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae, including current address.
  • One (1) nomination letter that explains the nominee's qualifications for the award by:
    • Highlighting specific work in the United States to promote social justice and health equity in the health professions; and
    • Including at least two (2) brief testimonials interwoven into the letter that support their contributions to promoting social justice and health equity in the health professions.

Note: The letter must be doubled-spaced, have one-inch margins, and be written in Times New Roman 12-point font, and must not exceed six pages.

The committee will not review additional materials.

Completed nomination packages should be submitted on the award nomination site by Friday, April 1, 2022 at 11:59 PM. Late nominations will not be considered.

The Herbert W. Nickens Award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to promoting justice in medical education and health care equity in the United States.

Nickens Award recipients come from a wide range of fields including medicine, dentistry, education, law, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social and behavioral sciences. 

Judith Salmon Kaur, MD, is the 2021 Herbert W. Nickens Award recipient. As one of the only practicing Native American medical oncologists in the United States, Dr. Kaur leads a national conversation to recognize cancer as a major unaddressed health disparity in Indigenous communities in the United States and internationally.

Learn more about previous recipients.