Remembering Dr. Laura D. Nist

Published April 02, 2023


Dr. Laura D. Nist, a much loved and respected neuromuscular specialist at Loma Linda University and long-standing AANEM member, passed away on February 13, 2023, after a year-long battle with lung cancer.

Dr. Nist completed her medical degree and neurology residency at Loma Linda University (LLU) School of Medicine and the LLU Medical Center. During her clinical neurophysiology fellowship with Lawrence (Larry) Phillips at the University of Virginia, she and her husband lived in an old log cabin.

After her fellowship, she returned to LLU Department of Neurology where she served in many academic and educational roles, including the Neurology Associate Chair for Education, Neurology Residency Program Director, Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship Program Director, LLU School of Medicine LIFE Communities mentor, Medical Student Clerkship Director, Chair of the Neurology Academic Committee, Director of the Electrodiagnostic Laboratory, and Director of the ALS Clinic. A long-standing member of the AANEM, she served on the EDX SAE (as chair from 2018-2021) and the EDX Lab Accreditation committee.

Dr. Nist had a profound influence on the lives and careers of many neurology residents, fellows, and medical students and was a role model for empathy and compassion. Her superb clinical skills were treasured by patients and colleagues. She was honored by Loma Linda University Health with the inaugural Wholeness Service Award in 2007 and the Loma Linda University School of Medicine Distinguished Service Award in 2022. Despite these leadership and academic accomplishments, she is most admired for her gracious personality and being a strong advocate for women in medicine and the LGBTQ+ community. She is survived by her husband Phil Nist, PhD, a Philosophy Lecturer at Cal State San Bernardino, and her three children Sofia, Conner, and Calem.

The Laura D. Nist Educator & Humanitarian Award was created to celebrate the lasting impact Dr. Nist had on her patients, students, residents, fellows, and colleagues. This annual award is granted to an LLU recipient who embodies the characteristics of Whole Person Care. If you wish to support this fund, please donate to the Dr. Laura Nist Award.

Obituary submitted by: Bryan Tsao, MD (Dr. Nist's colleague at LLU)