An indigene of Anambra state –Nteje, Oyi to be precise –a father, husband, doctor, professor, executive, philanthropist, leader, researcher, teacher and author.
In the past month everyone in the Nigerian medical space and beyond has heard the name, unless of course you’ve been living under a giant rock. In my opinion, certain moves are big enough to shift even the biggest of boulders, but for those firmly buried in the depths of oblivousness, a recap: On the 1st of August, 2022, Prof Phillip Ozuah shattered stereotypes and left jaws agape when he succinctly wrapped up the sod-turning ceremony being conducted by the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan with a handsome donation of a million dollars. Yep, you read that right.
The donation was given primarily towards the ongoing new hostel project and received with varying degrees of awe, disbelief and gratitude by members of faculty and the student body alike, many of whom have now developed a sort of fangirl crush on him, up to the point of coining a pathway in his honour, the components of which we’ll now be examining.
Step 1: Attend the University of Ibadan Medical School
There may be arguments, there may be comparisons, there may be grumblings, but deep down everyone knows the truth. UI med is clear. The fact that the man of the hour himself hailed from here is no coincidence. If you have younger ones planning to study medicine, best send them here. Despite her shortcomings, no one else quite does it like the first and the best. Prof Ozuah also interned at the University of Nigeria teaching hospital Nsukka, before going on to the next step of the pathway.
Step 2: Jand for your post grad programs
Soon after obtaining his MBBS, Prof left Nigeria to pursue a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Southern California. He also obtained a PhD in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He then completed his Pediatric Internship and Residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore, and his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Southern California, School of Medicine.
Step 3: Get into administration
Prof practiced medicine for 34 years before becoming president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Montefiore Medicine in 2019, thus taking on the responsibility of Montefiore’s 13 member hospitals and 300 clinical locations, 7.5 million annual patient encounters, 10,000 physicians and 53,000 employees generating roughly $8 billion annually revenues. I guess it’s clear now why he pursued an education in leadership and administration.Under his watch, Montefiore Health System has scaled the top 1% of the nation’s hospitals, and the organization’s children hospital was recognized as one of America’s best.
Step 4: Research!
It is worthy of note that Prof Ozuah also leads the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a premier center for research, medical education and clinical investigation in the US of A. The organization receives more than $200 million in research awards from the NIH yearly and boasts of a repertoire of 800 M.D. students, 190 Ph.D. students, 120 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and 250 postdoctoral research fellows.
Step 5: Be a philanthropist
This one features towards the end of the list for obvious reasons. You have to have successfully completed the previous steps before you can effectively perform this one. Nevertheless, droplets make oceans. Prof Ozuah’s history of philanthropy started long before the one that made all the waves, and you know what they say about givers never lacking. One of his notable philanthropies is the scholarship he granted to every school-going child of his village, Akamanato, Ifite Nteje. The scholarship was broad enough to cover all students from nursery to secondary school level and catered to tuition as well as stationaries, uniforms and bus fares. Talk about a human angel.
Step 6: Own a YouTube channel
If you search Ozuah on YouTube you might be surprised to find a certain channel called The Balance with Dr. Ozuah where our dearest benefactor talks about health and wellness in short informative videos. However, only six episodes have been released so far, the last being over three months ago, so I guess Prof might be a little busy for social media. Still, you could give it a try like he did.
Step 7: Marry and be happy
Time and again you have been told, now the evidence speaks for itself; behind every successful man is a happy home. Prof is happily married to Dr Theresa Ozuah, a paediatrician who also works at Montefiore Medicine. They are currently blessed with 2 sons, Philip junior and Piers, and a daughter named Phoebe.To all of you, “love na scam” people, I hope this serves as a shining light on your errors. Do try to make amends.
In addition, I should probably mention that it is rumoured that our benefactor concluded his secondary education by the tender age of 14. So maybe I should also include being a genius as a step, or perhaps I should chalk it up to a sprinkle of grace. After all, how else does an African immigrant go on to become the man that Prof Ozuah is today?