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 2024: The AAMC Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.

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.


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