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Oyinlola Oshinowo
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - New York

Oyinlola Oshinowo

OMS-II

Future Goals: My passion has always been global health, social justice, and women's health. Because of this I'd like to believe I'll end up doing something with Ob/Gyn, Primary Care, and/or Infectious Disease. Outside of medicine I'd love to be involved in politics, introducing legislation that protects ALL Americans, and since I'm a huge Warriors fan, having season tickets so I can see them on a regular basis would be incredible! 

Minorities in Medicine who have inspired you: Nailah Thompson, DO is a physician I had the privilege of interacting with this past year and she truly changed my life. Not only is she a black female DO (which already had me sold) but she created a unique model aimed specifically to help battle hypertension with the African American community by creating a clinic specifically for this population out in Oakland, California. She saw a need in our communities and instead of waiting for someone to help us, she did it herself and I can only hope to create something as monumental as she did!

Describe a hardship you’ve faced as a minority student pursuing medicine: Sometimes I believe people hear hardships and if they have not had a specific tragedy, they do not remember or think they've endured anything. What I have been through is not one mere moment where I can look back on and say "that was a true hardship," but a collection of micro aggressions that chipped away at my confidence and self-assurance. When classmates confuse you with the only black female doctor working in the department, or professors make derogatory remarks about your ethnic group—you can only help but feel isolated. But once you realize they are projecting their own insecurities and prejudices on to you, life becomes a bit easier as you continue to climb to places that "someone like you" was never meant to ascend to.

Advice for URMs who want to pursue medicine: I would say first and foremost know yourself. This journey is one that can cause you to feel completely worthless if you are constantly using another person's markers to analyze yourself. If you know medicine is what your heart desires, do not let anything or anyone, that includes family and friends, tell you your dream is not possible. You get in your lane and stick to it until you have Dr. in front of your name.

How do you feel empowered in your community? My community is the reason I get out of bed and go to class when I have no desire to. The joy on my people’s faces when they hear the I am in the process of becoming a physician is remarkable. I cannot count on my hands how many times I have been told, "Thank God, we need more of us in medicine," and I just smile. I know that we have a long way to go before we are truly represented in the medical profession in an equal way, but knowing that Black people are still so completely marginalized by our health system means I have work to do to give back to those who have given to me.