Student & Trainee Profiles > Tragedy to Service: An Inspiring Medical Journey at Mayo Clinic

Tragedy to Service: An Inspiring Medical Journey at Mayo Clinic

By Pete Shooner

Campus: Arizona
Hometown: Surprise, Arizona
Undergraduate School: Columbia University
Graduate School: Stanford University
Graduating Year: 2026

IT WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL that Ewoma Ogbaudu experienced the tragic spark that inspired his journey to medicine.

After emigrating from Nigeria when Ewoma was 3, his family grappled with various struggles in the United States, including financial challenges. These hardships shaped him, driving Ewoma to push himself academically throughout childhood, ultimately finishing as the first Black valedictorian of his Surprise, Arizona, high school.

Then, Ewoma’s young cousin died prematurely due to complications from a congenital heart defect. Even then, Ewoma knew the socioeconomic disparities their family faced contributed to the level of care his cousin received.

This formative experience and many more like it — from volunteering with community organizations in disadvantaged areas of New York City as an undergraduate at Columbia, to sharing tears with a Black mother and her son during a rotation as they processed the realities of her breast cancer diagnosis — have reinforced Ewoma’s decision to pursue medicine. Moreover, they continue to inspire him as he begins his master’s in business administration at Stanford this year, with the ultimate hope of leveraging business principles as a physician leader to improve access to healthcare.

He explains that none of this would be possible without the generous scholarship support he received from Mayo Clinic benefactors.

“I didn’t see it as just an investment in me and in my future, but I also saw it as a really strong investment in the marginalized and underserved communities that I want to impact in my future as a physician,” he says.

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