Medical student receives prestigious Nickens scholarship

Third-year medical student Elaine Khoong has received a prestigious Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

She is one of six U.S. medical students awarded a $5,000 Nickens scholarship, which recognizes leadership in efforts to eliminate inequities in medical education and health care.


At the School of Medicine, Khoong helped run an outreach program that brings medical students to classrooms in St. Louis public schools to encourage interest in medicine. Through this initiative, she organized a field trip so high school students could experience life as medical students. Students looked at histology slides, learned surgical knot-tying techniques and worked in a simulated patient-care setting.

She also helped create a mentorship program that pairs medical and graduate students with local high school students. This program fosters continued interest in science throughout high school, prepares students for college-level science classes and encourages students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Additionally, Khoong served as chair of the School of Medicine’s public health interest group, which organizes health screenings and nutrition courses for St. Louis residents. She also is part of a team investigating whether it is feasible to implement a program in local barber shops to educate African-American men about their risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.