Nana Yaw Adu-Sarkodie, M.D., MPH

Adu-Sarkodie, Nana Yaw

Hometown: New York City, NY

Name of Undergraduate Institution: Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at City College of New York

Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Biomedical Education

Name of Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine

Residency and Fellowship Programs: LSU – New Orleans Family Medicine Residency & LSU –  New Orleans Geriatric Medicine Fellowship

Favorite Quote:

Ezekiel 25:17 – Jules Winnfield – Pulp Fiction

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the
Inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men
Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will
shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness
for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children
And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious
Anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers
And you will know
My name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”

Contact Info: Email:

Additional Links:

IG: @dr.yawza     

Book: In The City by Nana Yaw Adu-Sarkodie, MD

Merchandise Store: MiYaw & Co.

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

I currently serve as the Deputy Director for Geriatrics and Extended Care at the Baltimore VA. I am at the end of my ten-year goals and it is time to set new goals.  My decision to go into Family Medicine was based on what I thought the ideal physician was; someone who saw patients and their families from the “womb to the tomb”.  I caught the ER bug along the way, but found my true calling in Geriatrics.  Family Medicine – Geriatrics training allows for opportunities to practice in all arena’s – inpatient, outpatient, home care, academic, research, private, concierge, etc.

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

If I could go back and chat with that guy, I would tell him don’t change a thing. All my experiences, both the good and the bad, have led me to this point. I’m not sure what a change in the past would do to my present future.  I would however advise that he be wiser with his relationship with Sallie.

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

I would advise them to join SNMA to be surrounded by like minded students who are following a similar career path.  The relationships forged during my service to SNMA has been invaluable; have become colleagues.  More importantly, they have become lifelong friends. Secondly, I would advise them to join the professional organization of their interested field. For me it was the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Geriatric Society.  These two organizations represent the interests of my specialty. On the institutional level, they should join the interest groups on their campuses as well and take every opportunity to shadow a physician. This experience may be an eye opener to some about their chosen profession.

What is a major challenge you have had to overcome and how did you do so?

Major challenges have been taking standardized tests. I have had to take all my USMLEs, with the exception of Step 2 CS, at least twice. I am very proud of the fact that I only had to take my certification for Family Medicine only once!  Learning from one’s mistakes is key and very important. Medicine is a lifelong pursuit, and you have to keep studying and applying your knowledge.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

What I love most about my job is the variety and ability to solve problems in various arenas.

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

I have a master’s degree in Public Health with a focus in Population and Family Health.  Obtaining this degree has been synergistic to my overall goal of being a Family Physician and has helped me in conceptualizing and implementing health programs for groups as well as individuals.

Can you please walk us through a typical workday?

Interestingly enough, there isn’t really a typical workday as it varies and changes based on the needs of the service. I can schedule my clinical visits around my administrative duties. There is a lot of flexibility since I see patients in their homes. We get to really sit and chat about their issues, meet the family and other caregivers. I have an interdisciplinary team of professionals that allow for the development of a truly comprehensive plan of care and care coordination for the patient.

What do you feel is the most challenging part of your job? The easiest part?

The most challenging part of my job is managing and navigating so many different personalities and priorities while trying to predict short and long range effects of decisions made. The easiest part is the actual patient care.

What has been your favorite memory so far in your career?

We recently celebrated the birthday of a patient who turned 109 years of age.  He actually comes into our geriatric clinic, still sharp as a whip and is a delight to care for.  To be African-American, a veteran and to survive to this age is a phenomenal achievement and deserves to be celebrated!

What do you feel makes your specialty stand out from other specialties?

Well, Geriatrics is a subspecialty and requires fellowship training. You can apply after completing a residency in either Family Medicine or Internal Medicine. I completed Family Medicine.  According to the American Geriatric Society, “geriatrics is the specialty focused on the high-quality, person-centered care we all need as we age.” As the US population, and in fact the population of the world ages and outpaces birth rates, geriatricians will be in more demand. Studies have shown that geriatricians have high job-related satisfaction.  Caring for an older adult in the twilight of their lives is the ultimate form of respect and veneration for our elders who need expert care during this time. I truly believe this is privileged and honorable work. It may not be as “sexy” as other specialties, but I find it hugely rewarding, allows for expertise in various areas, and great work-life balance.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Always keep it NUPISH!

Thank you so much for all of this very insightful advice and knowledge Dr. Adu-Sarkodie! We really appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom and experiences with us! We applaud you for all that you have accomplished in your career thus far and will be continuing to root for you as you continue to ascend to new heights while mentoring the next generation of physicians!

Health Career Spotlights Home Page

Posted on March 24th, 2020