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Awoniyi Olumide Awonuga, MD,

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What is your current title and role?

I am an obstetrician gynecologist and a subspecialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. I am Professor, and Division Director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria; then moved to the United Kingdom; and finally to the United States

Tell us about your professional (medical, nursing, allied health, etc.) school?

I graduated from University of Ibadan Medical School in 1979. University of Ibadan is the premier medical school in Nigeria and during my time was modeled along the British Medical training. Training was excellent, a fact that is attested to by what graduates from that medical school have achieved all over the world.

Tell us about struggles and challenges in achieving your goal and how you overcame?

Upon graduation from medical school, I proceeded to complete a one-year internship and youth service, then started, and completed a 6-year residency in Ob/Gyn at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. I moved to the United Kingdom in in 1986 and completed a second Residency and a higher specialist training (Ob/Gyn). I also completed fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) in the United Kingdom (Kings college Hospital in London and at Birmingham women’s Hospital in Birmingham). I am an accredited Specialist in Ob/Gyn in the United Kingdom and a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FRCOG). I moved to the United States in 2000 and completed a third residency in Ob/Gyn in 2003. I later completed a second Fellowship in REI at Wayne State University 2013. Upon completing fellowship in REI, I also completed scholarly training in the Women’s Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Career Development Program of NIH/NICHD. In total, I did residency in Ob/Gyn thrice and fellowship in REI twice to get to where I am today, all because I moved from my country of birth, Nigeria, to the UK and now the United States. It is because of my past training and writing that I was able to move from an assistant professor in 2010 when I graduated from fellowship training in REI to a full professor in 6 years in 2016. It has been a long struggle but it is worth it.

Please share with us about your family and your support group?

I am supported by my family and many friends, too numerous to mention here. In particular, I have tremendous support from my spouse, who has been an inspiration, my rock and my confident over these long years. My two children one of whom is a board certified vascular surgeon also support me whenever I need them.

Please share a memorable experience from your training that has stayed with you till today.

What I needed to do to train as a reproductive endocrinologist and fertility specialist in the United Kingdom. I had to do this as an unpaid trainee for a few months

Please share a memorable teaching moment.

Memorable teaching moments are when my students receives accolades and awards for their hard work

Please share a highlight from your practice/current role.

A highlight was when a patient with several subfertility issues and rejected by local REI practices became pregnant following treatment

What do you like and dislike the most about working in healthcare?

What I like is seeing patients get well and get pregnant from treatment. What I dislike is seeing patients fail in their treatment especially when they have had multiple treatment attempts.

What are three things that you are grateful for?

1. Grateful to God for my health. 2. Grateful for my family and friends, for keeping us safe and healthy. 3. Grateful for God’s guidance over these  several years

What excites you outside medicine?

Spending time with my family 

What advice do you have for students interested in healthcare?

Be focused, never allow failure to discourage you and keep your eyes on the goal. Persevere and always believe in yourself, that you can and will succeed. Never listen to those who say you cannot do it.

What do you think the student of today needs to be successful in matriculating and graduating from professional school (medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy)?

Hard work and align yourself with students of like minds

How would you advise or guide students to develop leadership skills, community outreach experience, research opportunities and clinical shadowing?

Get a good mentor and seek opportunities in research facilities. If you can afford it, volunteer and get into programs that you like even without remuneration. You never know what could happen when people see your commitment and hard work.

How can we support and guide students to achieve good grades and be successful in standardized exams?