Award Winner Dr. Nikki Campbell, '96, '00 MD
in November 2008
Dr. Nioaka “Nikki” Campbell, ’96, ’00 M.D., received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award at the 2008 Homecoming gala and awards banquet in November. The award is presented to a graduate of the past 10 years who has excelled in his or her chosen field.
Dr. Campbell is currently director of residency training at Palmetto Health/ University of South Carolina School of Medicine. She has received multiple awards for her clinical work during residency and was also the recipient of the School of Medicine Distinguished Young Physician Alumni Award.
“I teach, train and administrate young physicians who are pursuing a career in psychiatry,” Campbell explains. “It is a four-year program, and we have 24 resident physicians total. As an assistant professor, I also serve within the medical school as the coordinator of the substance use disorders curriculum. I give lectures and moderate small group discussions.”
In her clinical work as a doctor, Campbell is the interim medical director for the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Specialty Clinics, Department of Neuropsychiatry & Behavioral Science, which provides care to adult, adolescent and child patients for their mental-health needs.
Hailing from Lugoff, South Carolina, Dr. Campbell says there was never any doubt she would be a Gamecock.
“My parents were Gamecock scholarship supporters through the athletics program since I was born,” Campbell recalls. “From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to be a Gamecock and attend Carolina upon graduating high school. There was never another consideration.”
Similarly, Campbell knew at an early age what she wanted to do for a career.
“I had dreams of being a doctor as a child, like many kids do,” Campbell recalls. “Yet it wasn't until my first semester at the Honors College when I met with my advisor, Jim Stivers, that I felt the excitement and encouragement to pursue that dream. His support and guidance removed any hesitancy I may have had, and I never looked back.”
Campbell finds a lot of satisfaction in her work, including the ability to teach other physicians how to care for patients with empathy and respect.
“Far too often the stigma of mental illness is a hindrance for patients to seek or receive care,” Campbell says. “Training excellent psychiatrists for our community is a way to change the perception of the public and our patients regarding mental-health care. Watching these doctors graduate from the program as their training director, I feel a sense of accomplishment in changing our community one physician at a time.”
Reflecting fondly on her days as a student at Carolina, Campbell enjoys supporting the University through membership in the Alumni Association.
“I remember walking on the Horseshoe with my friends, last-minute studying in the library or science buildings, cheering for the Gamecocks at the football games and singing in the women’s choir,” Campbell says. “As an Alumni Association member, I feel connected to the grass roots of the University. I feel like it’s my way of staying connected and continuing to show my love as a Gamecock.”
Nikki and her husband, Tony, recently became the proud parents of daughter Arin Nicole Campbell, who was born last month.