Karen J. Nichols, DO, MA, MACOI, FACP, CS-F, is the Chief Executive Officer for Nichols Leadership. She previously served as the Dean of Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (MWU/CCOM) in Chicago from 2002-2018. She was appointed the first Chair of Internal Medicine at Midwestern University/Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (MWU/AZCOM) in Glendale, Arizona, in 1997, serving until 2002. Dr. Nichols practiced internal medicine and geriatrics in Mesa, Arizona, from 1985-2002 and is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine in both specialties.
Dr. Nichols graduated from the University of Health Sciences-College of Osteopathic Medicine, now Kansas City University - College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri. She completed her internship and internal medicine residency at what is now Tulsa Regional Medical Center. Dr. Nichols holds a Master's degree in Management with a Specialty in Health Care Administration from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
Dr. Nichols has received the highest awards bestowed by the AOA, AACOM, and the Arizona and Illinois state osteopathic societies. She holds nine honorary degrees. She has served as President of the AOA, ACOI, and the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association and was the first woman to hold all those positions. Dr. Nichols was one of the first four DO's elected to the ACGME board and was elected the Chair of the board, serving from 2020-2022.
Dr. Nichols teaches nationally and internationally on end-of-life care, physician leadership, and women leaders in medicine. Her book "Physician Leadership: The 11 Skills Every Doctor Needs to be an Effective Leader" was recently published. She lives in Mesa, Arizona, with her husband Jim, and when not on her busy speaking circuit, is an avid reader and dotes on their delightful and growing extended family.