Azeez Abiodum started his medical career in his native Nigeria as an internist and completed his Internal Medicine Residency Program in the United States, thereby becoming an MD. He obtained his certification in 2005 and has been practicing in Maryland ever since.
Coming from a well-to-do family in Nigeria, his parents instilled in him the value of education and his parents were very supportive of him. His pursuit of a degree in medicine was made even stronger when his mother died of cancer. After obtaining his medical degree in the US, he returned to his native Nigeria to give back to the people by doing volunteer work in poverty-stricken communities, which lack proper medical services.
One of the most unforgettable people he met in his career is the great Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela inspired him to continue his volunteer work for as long as he possibly can. He goes back to his native Nigeria once a year for two weeks to do volunteer work.
What was your favorite subject in school?
I have always been interested in the sciences. Some of my favorite subjects in school were biology and human anatomy. Understanding the human body is essential in understanding its mechanism; how it works, the things that may affect the body and how they affect them. I believe that understanding all these things make us better equipped to deal with diseases, prolong human life and make its quality a lot better.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a clerk in our family store in Nigeria. My parents owned a store in Nigeria selling basic commodities to people. I would spend my after school hours and weekends there, helping my mother and attending to people. I would say that those days spent at the store taught me a great deal about people and about life.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
As a little child, I have always had an inclination to medicine. I always loved the sciences and I always had my highest grade in my science subjects. The death of my mother due to cancer pushed me to pursue medicine. I want to help people who are sick, who knows maybe even one day find a cure for AIDS and other diseases wrecking havoc on people’s health.
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
My years spent as an internist in Nigeria and as a doctor in the United States helped prepare me for the rigors of work here in Maryland. Sometimes you have to work during ungodly hours of the morning and you are running here and there but the relief on people’s faces is more than enough to convince me that I am in the correct field.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
There are so many days at work which make me very happy to be a physician but one of them stands out among the rest. A crying mother came with her son who had been exhibiting plenty of symptoms, however, until then nobody could tell what was wrong with the child. The mother had been so concerned for her son’s health as they have been to various doctors and have done numerous tests.
Fortunately, we were able to discover what was wrong with the child just in time and gave him the care and medicines he needed to recover. I am happy to say that now he is a healthy boy who happens to also have an interest in medicine and helping the sick.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I keep myself motivated by reading books about self-improvement. I keep myself motivated by reading the news and as long as there are diseases in the world with no cure, I will be motivated to get up every morning and do my work. For as long as I can contribute to making a person’s health, I will be motivated.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
The kind of business ideas that excite me the most are those that have something to do with helping the less fortunate. I admire companies which are making it a goal to provide the people with their basic needs and those who give back to the community in every way they can. I believe that as citizens of the world, it is our responsibility to help those who are less fortunate than use. We can be business savvy people without losing our conscience.
Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
Well, I do not really consider medicine a business. I do not really consider caring for sick patients a business, so no I don’t think I have used any unorthodox techniques to get people to come through my door.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
Aside from being a doctor, what I consider as one of my greatest achievements in life is going back to Nigeria and being a volunteer physician in poverty stricken communities. In Nigeria, there is a huge percentage of people who have no access to medical services and often they die from simple diseases which could have been easily addressed have they had access to decent medical services.
Being able to help gave me a feeling of fulfillment and it made me love my job even more. It vindicated my decision to pursue a career in the medical field.
What wisdom would you have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
When I was just starting out I often thought about giving up. Medicine is a difficult field and it is only for people who are serious about spending sleepless nights and years studying. I was so caught up in my lessons that I forgot to take some time off for myself. I would like to tell my younger self to still be serious about my studies but to take the time to have a break and still enjoy life.
Azeez Abiodun maintains a personal blog at https://azeezabiodunmd.wordpress.com/. You’ll find tips for healthy living, travel, and more.