A goal to improve access, a scholarship to get there
“Born in Nigeria, I realize how important access to healthcare is. I received the Graduate Professional Scholarship Program that supports DOs practicing in rural areas and addressing health disparity. It was when I began volunteering and shadowing a DO that I realized I wanted to pursue being a doctor at A.T. Still University. I wanted to be in an institution where I could thrive.”
Championing diversity with a passion to serve
“I came to Kirksville from a large, underserved, underrepresented population in Nigeria. After volunteering in undergrad, I realized being a DO at ATSU was where I wanted to be. I’m very passionate about serving the community and enlightening people about different cultures. ATSU was where I could grow my passion and help to raise diversity awareness at school and in the community.”
Fulfilling a destiny, accepting the challenge
“As an athletic training intern in undergrad, I did my research on being a DO vs MD and realized there is a direct correlation between my personal values and the tenets of osteopathic medicine. Now that I am at ATSU-KCOM, I’m in the right place, even though it’s a challenging curriculum. Yes, you will be challenged, but it’s natural and everyone learns how to excel. If I can make it, you can too.”
Charting a course to med school, and back
“I knew what I wanted to do, but getting there for me involved seeking out the right people like my health professions advisor, and joining the military. Now I’m at ATSU-SOMA, and a member of the Graduate Health Professions Scholarship Program. I have a heart for the underserved because I came from an underserved community and want to return to one – as a doctor.”
From the basketball court to medicine
“I have always wanted to play basketball and be a doctor. It proved valuable to pursue both. Getting to ATSU-SOMA was a combination of experiences on and off the court that introduced me to hard work, teamwork, and community service that today are preparing me well, along with the unique 1 +3 education model that places students in the clinical setting much earlier.”
From Kenya to ATSU in a quest to ease suffering
“After moving from Kenya to Atlanta, I went the non-traditional route from business major to med school. Improving access It was seeing people suffer and wanting to help that motivated me. Googling the best schools, A.T. Still University came up. I wanted to go to the best school, so I started volunteering, shadowing a doctor, and working hard to get there.”
A Different Path, An Enriching Experience
“You have a goal for your path to be a straight line, but I had to take two or three steps backward to take four or five steps forward. It is about the journey, and I grew as a person along the way with the help of my mentors and diverse class in Kirksville (ATSU-KCOM), where I got to know and learn from everyone. It was a very enriching experience.”
Finding Support that Opened New Doors
"Before I got to ATSU, I ended up being in several programs that were not very conducive for me to finish. One of the things that I found different about ATSU was that it was an environment where I didn’t have to feel threatened as a person of color. The professors were nurturing and the College (ATSU-CGHS) was supportive and not competitive. My doctorate has opened doors for me in ways I never expected."
Part 1/2 - Overcoming Challenges and Seeking Mentors
"Balancing sports and academics throughout school was a challenge. It took dedication, focus, and networking to get there. Mentors are key and I met several – both physician and academic – who exposed me to different opportunities. I loved being in Kirksville (at KCOM) and interacting with the community there, which gave me the experiences that have influenced my career today"
Part 2/2 - Building portfolios, networking, and access
"I knew I wanted to be a physician at a young age and that there were many obstacles to getting there. When one door shut on me, I’d open up another one. Because KCOM looks at the whole person, I heeded some great advice from ATSU mentors to diversify my portfolio, get those experiences, and meet people. You never know where one handshake will lead. It takes courage, but you can do it."
Part 1/2 - Giving Back, Service to Diverse Communities
"It’s pretty amazing to give back to my community and treat people of my culture, my heritage. I had completed community service in high school and college, which aligned with ATSU’s mission of service and was one of the admission requirements. It’s not only rewarding but also builds that mindset so when you ultimately become a professional, and leader, you can naturally continue along that path."
Part 2/2 - Diversity, Mentorship, and Overcoming Challenges
"There were a lot of challenges I had to overcome to even think about being a dentist someday. At first, I felt very alone going through this process, and didn’t have any professionals in my family to talk to and ask: How do I get through this? Fortunately I was able to meet a lot of great mentors. One in particular told me ‘I think you can do it, I believe in you.’ Sometimes, that’s all you need."
Diversity, Health Disparities and Osteopathic Medicine
"I was a pioneer in my family, the first one going to college and medical school. I had the support of my family and friends and a good foundation that helped. Don’t be afraid if you don’t see someone in front of you that did it. You have a unique perspective to offer because of where you came from. Your distance traveled is really valuable. It is embraced at ATSU and valued in the communities you will serve."
Healthcare and Diverse Communities
"It’s not easy to become a doctor, but with support from my family and ATSU, I found my way, and on the tough days I can see the end goal. Now, I want to be a leader in healthcare delivery and would like to branch out and maybe go international to help those in need. If you’re from a diverse community and have a strong passion for a medical career, it takes drive, but you can do it."
Caring for Others in Diverse Communities
"In Indonesia, girls go to undergrad and then stop usually – the norm. I found the support I needed to go further, and get to ATSU. I was accepted to three other medical schools but chose ATSU because of the support of the staff and students I received early on. We’re a tight-knit community that’s surprisingly diverse and welcoming. You can get here too."
Women and Diversity in Medicine
"I went to an all-women's college as an undergrad and so I wanted to be in a place that also understood the viability and perspective a woman brings to the medical field that is maybe different or helpful to the community. By never having that be a discriminatory perception in the first place at ATSU, that allows you to think that this place is open, that this place is able to help and will support you along the way."