Even as a young child in kindergarten, Uyi Aisueni had grand ambitions, which fell nothing short of becoming a prominent physician making a huge impact on patients’ lives. He remembers being in awe of his family physician and thinking how amazing it would be to dress in scrubs with a stethoscope. He announced to his parents that he was going to become a doctor.
Recently, the Ross University School of Medicine Class of ’21 graduate reached a critical milestone in realizing those ambitions. He matched into a family medicine residency program in his hometown, at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
“I always had a strong interest in the field of science,” says Dr. Aisueni. “Ever since grade school, I have been doing everything I can to immerse myself in medicine—from volunteering to shadowing to working various healthcare-related jobs.”
After graduating from Texas Tech University with a degree in biology, Aisueni, 29, pivoted from his physician aspirations and spent a couple years working as a quality control technician at a petrochemical plant and a medical scribe at an outpatient surgical clinic. He admits that he unsuccessfully took the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) a couple times.
The third time was the charm and Aisueni found himself excelling during basic sciences at Ross where he was involved with Phi Delta Epsilon, Student National Medical Association (SNMA), and various family medicine organizations. That was followed by two years of rotations at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, Calif., where he completed all his clinical rotations.
“At Ross Med, I was able to tap into all the resources I needed to help me when I was struggling, and they were extensive,” says Dr. Aisueni. “I would tell other Ross Med students to never give up because there is so much help there if you need it. Just don’t be afraid to ask.”
Committed to giving back, Dr. Aisueni is involved with the Boys and Girls Club, tutoring children and teens who live in underserved communities—similar to where he hopes to one day run his own practice.
An experience caring for a middle-aged woman who came in for her annual checkup really spoke to Dr. Aisueni about his calling to care for others.
“She was very uneasy when I first walked into the room, and I remember getting down on her level and just asking her to tell me what was going on,” he says. “She shared her story, and I listened. She had gained a significant amount of weight over the last year and was not following the doctor’s recommendations because she had lost her job during COVID-19. She felt overwhelmed and stressed. In hearing her story, I was able to give her the care she needed. I was able to make some lifestyle modifications along with adjusting her medications. She told me that she appreciated me taking the time to listen to her whole story instead of judging her for not being compliant. I learned that day that no two patients are alike, and it’s important to consider all aspects of a patient’s background before deciding on a treatment plan.”
Looking forward, he says, 10 years from now, “I hope to establish a clinic in an underserved community for patients who look like me.”