Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Name of Undergraduate Institution: University of Notre Dame
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Science Pre-Professional
Name of Medical School: Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine
Residency and Fellowship Programs: Howard University Hospital (Ophthalmology) and Central Valley Eye Medical Group (Neuro-Ophthalmology and Oculoplastic Surgery)
Favorite Quote: “Strive to be of value, not of importance.”
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I finished my fellowship training earlier last year. I chose my career path because of my mentor during training. In Ophthalmology there are many different specialties and as a resident you get the opportunity to rotate through them all. During my rotations, I not only observed how I felt in the operating room during the cases, but also how comfortable I was communicating with the patients in the clinics. Most importantly, I observed my mentor. He was incredible. He was tough on you in the OR but he absolutely loved his job. My mentor, Dr. Earl Kidwell was the first black Oculoplastics attending at John Hopkins University. He is a phenomenal person and trail blazer. His love for his work and teaching was contagious. Because of him, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my career and I am incredibly blessed today to be able to practice what I love.
If you could go back and have a chat with your 1st year postgraduate self, what would you tell her?
That the path may not be straight, but you will get to your goal. I think that many of us Type-A personalities want everything to go in that perfect straight line. Life is not that way. I’ve faced many triumphs and failures in my career and my path has not been the straight one, but it has been successful by God’s grace. So you aren’t the traditional student, or maybe your grades aren’t perfect, it’s OK. You will be OK and you will make it. I know that right now all you can see is what is happening in the moment, but if you take a step back and take a look at the big picture, all things do work out for good.
What advice would you give to a professional student looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
- Work hard.
- Do not give up hope.
- Make connections early.
- Find a mentor early.
- Tell everyone about your dream. One day the right person will listen.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
The fact that I get to bless people daily that have no way of ever blessing me back.
What gives you the greatest motivation to get up every day to go to work?
My patients. I am very privileged to practice in a diverse community with diverse needs. The pathology is great here because you can’t treat every patient the same and that’s the best part. Every patient has their own unique story to tell, but you have to be willing to listen. Who knows? By just listening you might be able to save their life in another way.
We really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to share some of your wisdom and advice with us Dr. Abugo! It is really great to hear from your perspective and I’m sure that your words will resonate with the readers of this post, just as they resonate with all of those you mentor. Thank you for all that you do!
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Posted on January 21st, 2018