Ngozi Ivunanya Okoro, M.B.B.S.
What attracted you to gastroenterology?
"Gastroenterology was a natural for me. I was one of those children whose first words after "mama" and "papa" was "why?". For as long as I can remember, I have been driven by the desire to learn, to understand and to work out how things fit together. Gastroenterology with its blend of cognitive and manual skills, encompassing all forms of pathology and its constant evolution is the best fit for me."
What attracted you to the Mayo Clinic for residency training?
"I was born and raised in Nigeria and as a medical student read about the wonderful work and cutting-edge research taking place at Mayo Clinic. I have always wanted to train with the best minds in my field of choice. Mayo Clinic has been number one in Gastroenterology for two decades and counting. Every day I marvel at the quality of trainees, the strength of the faculty, and the amazing care that we provide our patients."
What makes the Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology fellowship unique?
"The fact that the emphasis is on the trainee makes it unique. Everything is set up in such a way that at the end of your fellowship, you can stand and be heard in the field of your choice. Our education is enhanced by the amount of time spent with different staff who are all leaders in their field and the core curriculum which is tailored towards building and enhancing your knowledge base."
Anything surprise you about Mayo's program?
A pleasant surprise was the fact that you have a dedicated research year in your second year of fellowship. You interview several excellent mentors and make your choice as to who you work with. During that year, it is your choice to pursue a master's program or take courses designed to attain a certificate in clinical research. All this is geared towards providing you the necessary tools for a career in academic gastroenterology."
What is living in Rochester like for you?
"The people who live here make Rochester what it is - a meeting place for people from all over the world who are here for their training. I have made some of my best friends here ... relationships that I will cherish forever."
What does your future look like right now?
"The sky is the limit for me. I believe I can go anywhere and do anything ... become whatever I want to be."