Dr. Olurotimi Badero, hails from Isonyin-Ijebu in Ijebu North-East area of Ogun state. He is the Executive Director, Cardiac Renal & Vascular Associates, USA. He is an interventional cardiologist, nephrologist and peripheral vascular specialist. He is tipped as the only Doctor in the United States, perhaps in the world to have full specialist training and certification in nephrology and cardiology.
He speaks on his childhood, experience and the health care system in Nigeria.
By training, he is a specialist in internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, invasive & interventional cardiology, nephrology and hypertension, interventional nephrology & endovascular medicine, nuclear cardiology as well as peripheral vascular interventions. Putting all that together, Dr Badero says he would like to think of himself as an interventional cardio nephrologist as well as a peripheral vascular interventionalist. Speaking about how he came about all this extensive training, the young Doctor said it is as a result of the things he had to go through in the United States and also because of his personal quest for knowledge. Hence he started from one specialty to another, and kept looking for answers.
In his words, “I have a passion for patient care; and a passion for creativity. When you put that together, a rare opportunity is born. The ability to make a difference between sickness and health is one of the greatest forms of wealth and that doesn’t stop as long as you continue to strive to get better. For me, it was just a continuous process of trying to get better, staying the course and finding the things that really define who I am and what I really want to do to make a difference in people’s lives. I’ve always been a competitive person right from childhood. I attended St. Mary’s Private School where I skipped 4th grade due to my academic performance; and then Federal Government College, Odogbolu, Ogun State, for my high school education. In my fifth year, I, alongside some students, won a nation-wide science quiz competition in the country and that heralded a quest for professional dominance. That marked the beginning of a journey for me. One that will eventually lead me down the path of medicine. I gained admission into University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) to study medicine. I really didn’t want to study medicine, but my dad, who was a great man, wanted me to be a physician.
When I graduated from medical school, I moved to the United States where I began my specialist training, first in Internal Medicine at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, in Brooklyn which was a three-year programme. Following the completion of my programme, I proceeded to Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, for a two-year Fellowship in nephrology and hypertension. Following completion of my Nephrology training, I returned to State University of New York Downstate Medical Center for another three years of Fellowship training in cardiovascular medicine. Upon completion of my general cardiology training, I gained admission into the prestigious Yale University School of Medicine for two fellowship training in invasive & interventional cardiology as well as peripheral vascular intervention, a fellowship training I completed with distinction”
Elaborating further, Dr Badero added; “I then returned once again to State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn for yet another year of fellowship training in interventional nephrology, dialysis access care and endovascular medicine. Altogether, I spent ten years of continuous post-graduate medical training which I later found out was unprecedented. I currently specialise in seven different areas of medicine. I am a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a Fellow of American College of Cardiology, a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology, and a Fellow of the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions”.
On his personal motivation for the pursuit of this incredible professional excellence, Dr Badero opined, “I learnt very early in life that a goal without a plan is only a wish and that there is no testimony without a test. The only time that success comes before work is in the dictionary. I also learnt from my dad the value of hard work as well as perseverance and not letting the moments define you but defining the moment by embracing the challenge. For example, the first-ever black neurosurgeon in the United States was a Nigerian. The man who discovered the post-concussion syndrome amongst NFL (U.S. National Football League) players is also a Nigerian. Nigeria has produced very brilliant minds, not only in the field of medicine, but also in science and technology, music, arts and in other fields. That is always refreshing to see and hear about. I believe there are a lot of other young people in Nigeria today who are doing marvellous things that the country needs to recognise. And there are Nigerians that will still do greater things than we have done. We shouldn’t only hear about the negative things Nigerians do but recognise the good things they do as well because that’s a platform for motivating the younger generation.
I currently hold certifications in six different specialties in medicine.”
On health care in Nigeria, Dr Badero quipped; “It’s not that we don’t have the capacity to put the infrastructures in place, but after we put the infrastructure, there has to be a transfer of skills and knowledge. The first major laboratory and diagnostics centre in Lagos was put together by Indians, not Nigerians. We have the technical skills, the knowledge base, and the patient population but there has to be a way to facilitate skills and knowledge transfer from doctors who have learnt the skills to manage these conditions. Without that happening, we are only a shell of ourselves. We have to rise together as a nation, both the private and public sectors, and put health into consideration because health is wealth. Life expectancy in Nigeria is probably around 52. In the United States, it is around 78. If a lot of Nigerians are not living beyond their early 50s, it tells you the workforce is shrinking. I learnt a while ago, if you want to go fast you go alone but if you want to go far, you go together”.
Credit: FINANCIAL NIGERIA MAGAZINE