Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) student Adedayo O. Jobi-Odeneye, MPH, ’23, has lived in a variety of international settings. Born in New Jersey, she lived in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as a child, then studied and worked in Korea, Nicaragua, and Switzerland. Now back in the U.S. and living in Virginia, she recounts how her experiences influenced her interest in global public health and health equity.
“I’ve been a healthcare consumer in several different kinds of healthcare systems—the Nigerian system, where people are turned away if they cannot pay; the U.K. system, which has universal healthcare but still has issues with access; and the U.S. system, which is privatized, but inaccessible to many due to socioeconomic status. This gave me a robust understanding of the wide disparities in healthcare access, quality, and affordability, depending on the country you live in,” says Jobi-Odeneye.
Compassion and curiosity gave her purpose
When asked about her interest in medicine, Jobi-Odeneye credits her innate desire to help people. An inquisitive child, she remembers her parents recalling her questions to the pediatrician, asking about tools and procedures used to examine patients during office visits. As she pursued her university-level education, her interest in global health, health systems, chronic and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), patient advocacy, and innovative health technologies grew. The result was an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering and a master’s in public health, a diabetes research internship at the World Health Organization, a research associate position at the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM), then finally, medical school at RUSM.
An opportunity to author research
Prior to starting at RUSM, she served at ICHOM, where she led the development of an international standard set of patient-centered outcomes for hand and wrist conditions. While there, Jobi-Odeneye collaborated with a working group of international physicians, research scientists and patient advocates to co-author two papers. The first, “Development of an international standard set of outcome measures for patients with atrial fibrillation: a report of the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement atrial fibrillation working group,” was published in January 2020 in the European Heart Journal. The research paper made recommendations to help institutions monitor, compare, and improve the quality and delivery of chronic atrial fibrillation care.
The most recent paper, “A Standard Set for Outcome Measurement in Patients With Hand and Wrist Conditions: Consensus by the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement Hand and Wrist Working Group,” was published in The Journal of Hand Surgery, in October 2021. The research documents the principles, process and results of the creation of the ICHOM standard set for hand and wrist conditions. The outcomes-based measurements support clinical decision making, quality improvement, and ultimately reduce the cost of healthcare. “This research proposes standards for important health outcomes, that if measured, will improve quality of patient care, eliminate overspending, and unnecessary process measures,” says Jobi-Odeneye.
The present and the future
Jobi-Odeneye continues her passion for public health at RUSM, co-founding her own student organization, the RUSM Public Health Interest Group, with fellow classmates. “The mission of the group is to cultivate an understanding of the relevance between public health and medical practice, so physicians can use the core principles of public health as a tool to improve their practice. We take that philosophy out into the community as volunteers when we can.”
Jobi-Odeneye has taken advantage of all that RUSM has to offer—from taking leadership positions to using the peer tutoring service. She was also a pilot member of the RUSM Mind and Body Medicine Program (MBM), and functioned as an ambassador, co-leading her own group to teach mind-body techniques to fellow students. “Medical school is academically and mentally demanding, and I wanted to share techniques I have learned for coping and stress management,” says Jobi-Odeneye. This experience inspired her to create an Instagram account with a mission to normalize discussions about mental health struggles faced by medical students and create a supportive online community.
In the midst of studying for the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step 1 and getting ready for clinicals, Jobi-Odeneye hopes to be board certified in Family or Internal Medicine, and practice in either the U.S. or U.K. “With my focus on global health, practicing medicine abroad is always something I wanted. I also want to continue my interest in biomedical engineering, medical science innovation, and public health. I’m a huge supporter of primary care as a tool to deliver quality healthcare and want to combine that with my public health background.”
For the moment, Jobi-Odeneye wants to experience the different opportunities that her degree at RUSM can bring. “I want to understand the difference between life as a hospitalist and a doctor in private practice. Most of all, I want to be part of a movement for change in the healthcare system to mitigate accessibility issues in healthcare. It’s the reason why I wear the white coat.”