Courtney Weathersby Bagayoko, M.D.


Hometown: Monrovia, CA

Name of Undergraduate Institution: University of Southern California

Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology

Name of Medical School: University of Virginia School of Medicine

Residency Program: Wake Forest Department of Dermatology Co-Chief Resident

Favorite Quote:Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – MLK

Contact Info:  For students interested in dermatology, they can email me at

Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?

I am currently a 4th year resident physician at the Wake Forest Department of Dermatology. I became interested in dermatology during my 3rd year of medical school at the University of Virginia. In the midst of clinical rotations, I spent 1 week during Thanksgiving vacation working in the dermatology clinic. I fell in love with the specialty. After deciding to apply, I spent a month at Wake Forest during my 4th year. During this time, I did research in ethnic hair and scalp disorders with Dr. Amy McMichael, which was even more intriguing and inspiring.

If you could go back and have a chat with your 1st year postgraduate self, what would you tell her?

I would tell myself to “Keep up the hard work.” During my first and second year of medical school, I worked very hard. I lived in the library and studied intensely. I vigorously prepared myself for Step 1 and subsequently did well in all of my clerkships. It was hard work upfront, but it paid off in the end. It was a small sacrifice to make early on, which has turned out to be very rewarding.

What advice would you give to a medical student looking to pursue a similar path as yours?

I would tell young professionals to find good mentors. These are people who will go out of their way to go-to-bat for you and open doors for you. I would also tell them to prepare themselves. My father-in-law, Dr. Diola Bagayoko, who is the Chair of the Physics Department at Southern University, constantly speaks to us about the Power Law of Human Performance which states one should deploy the efforts needed on a consistent and persistent basis to learn and master any topic.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Dermatology is a fantastic field. There are so many different paths that one can choose within the field. There is complex medical dermatology, surgical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, lasers, dermatopathology, ethnic skin dermatology and hair and scalp dermatology. I enjoy complex medical dermatology and ethnic skin and hair.

Do you have another professional degree? If so, how has it impacted you?

I have a Masters in Science in Molecular Physiology. I did my research thesis on core stability and its contribution to ACL tears in young female athletes. I did this during a time in which I thought I would get a PhD in biomechanics. I decided to go to medical school instead. I think this made me a more competitive applicant, but it otherwise did not help me very much.

What gives you the greatest motivation to get up every day to go to work?

My greatest motivations are my 18-month old twins Nawali and Ella. I want to set a good example of the importance of hard work.

How do you manage to balance your work life and your romantic relationship (and family life, if applicable)?

I was lucky enough to meet my husband while I was in medical school. I was a first year medical student and he was a third year orthopedic surgery resident. He, more than anyone else, understands the great sacrifices that I had to make in medical school and continue to make while in residency. He understands the commitment you need to have to make it through residency successfully. Because he has been through the process before, he is my greatest mentor and cheerleader.

Who are some of your favorite musicians? Favorite books? Shows? Movies?

I adore Beyonce.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share who you are with us Dr. Bagayoko! Your presence in the medical field is really inspiring and is also proof that with hard work and patience, it is possible to achieve your goals! 

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Posted on January 30th, 2017

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