What is your current title and role?
Chief Medical Officer, Ernst & Young LLP
Where did you grow up?
Nigeria, West Africa
Tell us about your professional (medical, nursing, allied health, etc) school?
University College Hospital Ibadan, Nigeria. The premiere medical school in West Africa.
Internal Medicine Residency – College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University
Cardiology Fellowships – College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, Cornell University Medical Center, University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Tell us about struggles and challenges in achieving your goal and how you overcame?
I have been blessed with role models in my homeland that taught me the values of upright morals, good ethics, personal discipline and the importance of hard work. These all prepare you to succeed, but more importantly to weather the failures that are inevitable in life. Learn from failures and consider them teachable experiences.
Please share with us about your family and your support group?
Married to Shirley Aluko MD, an internist. One daughter, an entertainment attorney in Atlanta GA. Several nuclear and extended family support members.
Please share a memorable experience from your training that has stayed with you till today?
I have come across nurturing teachers in training, but also toxic ones. I have learned to focus on the reason for me seeking the training and have persevered through adversity while being accepting and appreciative of nurturing support.
Please share a memorable teaching moment.
I have taught several students over the years. It is rewarding when students reach out years later to thanks you for being a part of their success.
Please share a highlight from your practice/current role.
I lead EY’s Center for Health Equity. Along with my colleagues, we seek to make a difference in the industry by providing insight to clients on how to build competencies that eliminate health disparities.
What do you like and dislike the most about working in healthcare?
Like: Being a healthcare provider is a noble profession. It brings value to humanity, each and every day.
Dislike: Fragmentation of health systems, complicated patient journeys, healthcare disparities.
What are three things that you are grateful for?
Good health, my family, the opportunity and privilege to make a difference.
What excites you outside medicine?
Mentoring the next generation. Playing golf.
What advice do you have for students interested in healthcare?
Take time to understand the multiple career options that exist in the healthcare industry, before you decide to go down any specific direction. Seek mentors to give direction and provide guidance.
What do you think the student of today needs to be successful in matriculating and graduating from professional school (medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy)
Discipline, determination and focus on tasks at hand. Empathy for human beings. Time management skills. Perseverance.
How would you advise or guide students to develop leadership skills, community outreach experience, research opportunities and clinical shadowing?
Seek mentors in the spaces you wish to occupy. Engage your community on social, economic and political issues. Reach out directly to clinicians in your network to get advice how to get shadowing opportunities. Be a lifelong learner.
How can we support and guide students to achieve good grades and be successful in standardized exams?
Be readily accessible to our students and provide the required and realistic guidance.