By Adeyemi Ayeku
Nigerians are definitely world changers. It’s an innate feature that has been proven on countless occasions. In this piece, The Transverse took turn to expound on the life of a genius – Olurotimi John Badero. He has made Nigeria proud for being internationally recognized as the world’s first and only fully trained cardio-nephrologist (heart and kidney specialist).
Badero is a Nigerian-American physician, interventional cardiologist and interventional nephrologist. He is a native of Isonyin-Ijebu, Ogun State, but born in Lagos, Nigeria, to the family of Chief Eliab Olufemi Badero and Mrs Stella Taiwo Badero. His father was a tailor who later became a typist and administrative manager at SCOA motors. His mother worked with Barclays Bank as a secretary in the early 1970s.
Badero was diagnosed with measles at the age of 4, which almost claimed his life. Two years earlier, he lost his 11-year-old sister, Olufunmilola Abosede Badero to Bronchopneumonia – pneumonia involving many relatively small areas of lung tissue.
Badero obtained his medical degree at the Obefemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. Finishing there, he completed his internship year at OAU Teaching Hospitals Complex at Ile-Ife. He worked at the Isolo General Hospital, Lagos to fulfil his one-year service requirement with the National Youth Service Corps.
Upon successful completion of his NYSC, he relocated to the United States where he completed three years of internal medicine residency training at State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York. Adding to his work experience, Badero was accepted at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta where he completed a two-year fellowship training in nephrology and hypertension. But as he began to treat patients in this field, he realized that he wanted to do more than that.
“While I was training at Emory University School of Medicine as a Kidney specialist, I quickly found out that the commonest cause of death for the patients was heart disease not kidney diseases… I didn’t have much control of as I would have loved to. That was a challenge I had to embrace, being someone whose decision to be a physician was to make a difference” he disclosed to Financial Nigeria.
He thereafter returned to SUNY Downstate Medical Centre to complete a three-year fellowship training in cardiovascular medicine, which he completed in 2009.
Not willing to settle for these experiences and being one who is always thirsty for knowledge and advancement in one’s career, Badero proceeded to spend another three years in Yale School of Medicine where he completed a fellowship in Invasive and Interventional Cardiology; and another in Peripheral Vascular Intervention.
According to him, “Altogether, I spent ten years of continuous postgraduate medical training which I later found out was unprecedented.”
With these rare qualifications and expertise, Badero has now become one of the interventional cardiologists to reckon with in the United States – a field in medical practice that has fewer African-American and blacks.
His achievements have also caught the eyes of many medical organisations, including the Association of Black Cardiologists, which presented Badero with an award for excellence in Cardiology in 2008.
He accepted a position as an interventional cardiologist at Centre Mississippi Medical Centre (CMMC) in 2011. There he performed the first radial coronary angioplasty in CMMC history and treated nephrology patients for two years without additional pay, according to Rising Africa. That same year, he did a one-year fellowship in interventional nephrology and dialysis before forming Cardiac, Renal and Vascular Associates in 2013.
Today, Badero is the Executive Director of Cardiac Renal and Vascular Associates, the Medical Director of St. Joseph Hospice and he is on the global Advisory Board of the therapeutics experts on Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis, Merck Pharmaceuticals, USA. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians; a Fellow of American College of Cardiology; a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology; and a Fellow of the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions.
Interestingly, Badero didn’t actually plan to be a Medical Doctor, but was acting on the interest of his dad when he chose Medicine and Surgery at the point of gaining admission. But the world doesn’t care. His is a life of one who didn’t want to study Medicine to being a specialist in seven different areas of Medicine.
Dr. Badero is a recipient of many awards, which include interalia: The Association of Black Cardiologists scholarship Award for Best Cardiology Fellow in the United States; the 2014 Mississippi Healthcare Heroes in the state of Mississippi; and was named one of Jackson, Mississippi’s best surgeons.