Olurotimi Badero learnt from an early age to set his own standard. Even though he was remarkably brilliant in school while growing up, his father instilled in him the need to be exceptional in all areas. That motivated Badero to practice medicine even in the face of doubts from colleagues and still make a difference.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria and currently living in the U.S., Olurotimi Badero is the only doctor in the world to have full specialist training and certifications in both cardiology and nephrology. In other words, he is the first and only person in the world to become a combined heart and kidney doctor.
Olurotimi Badero was named among the top interventional cardiologists in the United States, the Nigerian genius currently holds certifications in six different specialties in medicine. “By training, I specialised in internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, invasive & interventional cardiology, nephrology and hypertension, interventional nephrology & endovascular medicine, nuclear cardiology as well as peripheral vascular interventions. Putting all that together, I would like to think of myself as an interventional cardio nephrologist as well as a peripheral vascular interventionalist,” Badero told Financial Nigeria in an interview recently.
Interestingly, the 47-year-old’s journey to the world of medicine began in Nigeria at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Osun state, where he first studied medicine. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University, he enrolled in the school’s medical program and graduated in 1997. He subsequently moved to the United States to attend the State University of New York, where he completed specialty training in internal medicine in 2004. Two years later, Olurotimi Badero earned his specialty degree in nephrology at Emory University in Atlanta. But as he began to treat patients in this field, he realized that he wanted to do more than that.
Furthermore, while he was in training at Emory University School of Medicine as a Kidney specialist, he found out that the commonest cause of death for the patients that died was heart disease and not kidney disease. This fact then informed his decision to be a heat specialist, due to his passion of being a physician that makes a difference. Thus, Olurotimi Badero returned to earn his specialty degree in cardiology in 2009. Three years after, he was accepted into Yale University, where he earned three more specialities: interventional cardiology, peripheral vascular medicine and peripheral vascular convention.
With these qualifications,Olurotimi Badero has now become one of the interventional cardiologists to reckon within the U.S., a field in medical practice that has fewer African-Americans and blacks. His achievements have also caught the eye of many medical organizations, including the Association of Black Cardiologists, which presented Badero with an award for excellence in cardiology in 2008.
Today,Olurotimi Badero is the Executive Director of Cardiac Renal & 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 U.S.A. Olurotimi Badero would never forget how challenging it was when he first moved to the U.S. and decided to pursue medicine. Having to survive, he had to join his uncle’s cab driving business as a driver while many laughed at his dream of wanting to become a doctor in the U.S.
According to Olurotimi Badero “I drove the cab during the day, and I prepared for my exams at night. I did not have money to buy books, but I used the library. I remember a time I had to eat only bread for 3 days. It was tough, I wanted to leave America, but I said come what may, I will take that exam. I could not afford remedial classes, and this was an exam of three parts that people fail regularly and normally retake several times. The failure rate than for that exam was about 90%”.
However, Olurotimi Badero’s determination pushed him ahead and today; he is using his exceptional skills to improve lives in his community. In his words “I learnt very early in life that a goal without a plan is only a wish and that there is no testimony without a test. The only time that success comes before work is in the dictionary. I also learnt from my dad the value of hard work, as well as, perseverance and not letting the moments define you but defining the moment by embracing the challenge.”