Vanessa Nwaozo, M.D.


Hometown: Austin, Texas

Name of Undergraduate Institution: University of Houston

Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: When I initially started college, I was a Biomedical Engineering major. Not only was the field fascinating to me, I thought it would make me a competitive medical school applicant and keep me up to date with health technology. But I was soon to find out that Biomedical Engineering was far from my life's passion. LOL. I was interested in healthcare from the start. Promotion and prevention. After realizing this, I later switched my major to Health with a minor in Biology so that I could make sure I met all my required premed prerequisites.

Name of Medical School: Meharry Medical College

Residency Program: UT Houston Internal Medicine – Pediatrics

Favorite Quote: “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” – Oprah Winfrey


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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 Med-Peds resident. This is my final year of residency and I couldn't be more excited yet nervous at the same time. I decided to pursue medicine because I have always liked helping people and investigating/solving problems and my natural aptitude for the biological sciences made it a natural course for my life to take.

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

If I could go back in time, I would tell my former self to not be so hard on myself and to not be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but more so a sign of reflection and action. You realize that there is something wrong and something needs to be done, but you may not know exactly what that is or how to go about it. This was 2009 – 2010. My “gap” year. I definitely did not know how to navigate it well, but I am thankful to family, friends and mentors that did not allow me to be forgotten.

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

Go for it with all you got! That is the only way to get anywhere and to be the happiest with yourself in the end.

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

A major challenge I have had to overcome are the patients that do not want me as their doctor. At first, it was super hurtful to believe that people would not want me to be their doctor simply because of my gender or race, but when I thought past that I saw the tremendous opportunity I was charged with. I was charged with being an “agent of change” and I take great pride in that.

What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to residency?

Start as early as possible and make sure you have multiple people look over it. You want to put your best foot forward.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is educating. I want all my patients to be knowledgeable about prevention, their disease and their treatment. Empowering them in this way lets them take charge of their health.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and pearls of wisdom with us Dr. Oma! You are very much appreciated by me and those who will come across this feature! Best of luck to you as you finish up your residency program and advance further in your career!

Health Career Spotlights Home Page

Posted on March 3rd, 2018

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