Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
Future Goals: I plan to specialize in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. As a former collegiate athlete, I have a keen interest in injuries of the musculoskeletal system and the wide variety of age groups that are directly affected. A future goal of mine is to do yearly medical mission trips to my home country of Nigeria.
Minorities in Medicine who have inspired you: I am particularly inspired by three minority surgeons. The first Dr. Myron Rolle, a Rhodes Scholar and former NFL player, who Is now a neurosurgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital. The second is Dr. Antonio Webb, former Iraq combat vet and author of Overcoming the Odds, who is now an orthopedic surgery resident at University of Texas San Antonio Health Science Center. The third is Dr. Bonnie Mason, orthopedic surgeon and founder/executive director of Nth Dimensions Educational Solutions.
Describe a hardship you’ve faced as a minority student pursuing medicine: Being a minority pursuing medicine was not easy. In high school and college, I grew up in towns with populations of about 100,000 people and really struggled to identify and find minority physicians and medical students to serve as mentors for me as I pursued my dream of getting accepted into medical school. It was not until halfway through my first year of medical school that I finally met an African American surgeon. As a result of my experiences, I believe it is absolutely critical for children and teenagers to find mentors early on in life that come from the same walks of life that they do, no matter what profession they chose to go into.
Advice for URMs who want to pursue medicine: My first piece of advice for any URM pursuing medicine is to be confident and believe in yourself. There will be many people that will look at you and think that you are inferior to them and not good enough solely based on external factors, but don’t lose confidence! The second piece of advice is never give up. Whether you are struggling with grades in high school or the MCAT in college, be persistent because there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
How do you feel empowered in your community?
I recently founded an SNMA branch at my institution with hopes of getting more involved in the community. I want to show kids like me that have never had a mentor in medicine that they too can do it. My plan is to target elementary-, high school-, and college-aged children in the southern New Mexico/ El Paso Texas region. I feel empowered in my community because I know I am at a point in my career where I can finally give back.