Oladare (Dare) Olatoye, M.D.: Doing his part to ensure medical knowledge is passed down to the next generation of learners

When Oladare (Dare) Olatoye, M.D. (ANES ’18, PAIN ’19), Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, learned he’d received a Teacher of the Year award from the Mayo Fellows’ Association, some of his colleagues learned at the same time. One in particular, Susan Moeschler, M.D. (ANES ’09, PAIN ’11), is pals with Dr. Olatoye’s mother — an administrator at a charter school north of the Twin Cities and former middle and high school teacher. Dr. Moeschler texted Toke Olatoye the Teacher of the Year award info about her son.

“She sent me a long text about how proud she was of me,” says Dr. Olatoye. “I was raised in a family with this incredible teacher with a strong dedication to her school and students. I saw that passion on a day-to-day basis. It was an inspiration to me. Throughout my professional journey, I’ve been inspired by great teachers and mentors and gathered qualities and traits from each one of them and combined them with mine.

“While the impact and importance of research and clinical reasoning cannot be overstated, that knowledge ultimately needs to be passed down to the subsequent generation of learners. To do that, we need effective teachers and educators. I find joy in the opportunity to be part of that. I am also proud to work for an institution such as Mayo Clinic, where education is one of its overarching shields.”

Dr. Olatoye’s journey to medicine started when he was growing up in Nigeria after the untimely death of his father. “That experience ignited my passion to pursue a career in medicine and continues to shape me as a health care provider.”

His family, including his mother and sisters, moved to the Twin Cities when Dr. Olatoye was 16, in search of better opportunities. As a college student at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Olatoye participated in Mayo Clinic’s SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) program. For six weeks, he worked in the lab of Marina Ramirez-Alvarado, Ph.D. (MMED ’02), Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, focusing on amyloidosis. After graduating from college, he returned to the same lab and worked there for two years before attending medical school.

After completing medical school at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Olatoye returned to Mayo Clinic for anesthesiology residency and pain medicine fellowship. “I’ve been in and out of Mayo Clinic for the last 10 to 12 years,” he says. “It practically feels like home.

“While I’m incredibly humbled by the opportunities that have come my way so far, along with the chance to practice medicine at the best hospital in the country, migrating to a new country with family was not always easy. My first few months in Minnesota were filled with challenges including limited resources and being homeless for a period of time. Fortunately, through the grace of God and faith, we had a chance encounter with a church and its pastor, Gregory Boyd, who essentially stepped up and adopted my entire family. I owe him everything. Simply put, he has been there to help me navigate this journey. When I graduated from medical school, Greg and his wife flew to Baltimore to watch me walk the stage. The loudest voice I heard in the back of the room was from him. Honestly, had I not come across him, I wouldn’t be where I am. Besides Greg, I have met several other incredible individuals who have helped me along the way. I’m humbled in so many ways and try to pay it forward in everything I do.”

Dr. Olatoye says the Teacher of the Year award leaves him feeling humbled, overwhelmed and honored. “I’m pleased that my efforts in the last year were recognized. I’m glad the passion I have for education is evident via my interaction with residents in the clinical setting. Knowing there are so many talented educators in my division and department makes this award even more special and humbling. I’m constantly learning from all my colleagues and incorporating techniques and knowledge they’ve provided to me. This award is one of the most rewarding experiences of my young medical career. I’m inspired to continue doing my best to educate trainees.”

Comments from trainees

  • “Dr. Olatoye is an amazing consultant who goes above and beyond to teach students. He dedicates time to ensure that residents rotating through the inpatient pain service have the tools needed to succeed. He meets with each resident prior to joining the service to ensure they’re oriented and understand responsibilities. Given that he trained at Mayo, he understands this is not an easy service to manage. Therefore, he advocates for proper use of the service by others in the hospital and ensures resident well-being is taken into account.”
  • “He cares a lot about making rotations worthwhile. He singlehandedly made the pain rotation a highly valuable learning experience. His weekly Zoom teaching is engaging and fun, and his teaching skills are unmatched. You can reach out any time for anything, and Dr. Olatoye will be there to support you. I feel comfortable discussing any challenges I face, and he is willing to find solutions.”
  • “Once, when he heard a resident needed help, he drove back to the hospital and spent time helping after normal clinical hours.”
  • “Dr. Olatoye embodies Mayo’s three shields. He is dedicated to research and involves residents in projects. I first reached out to him via email as a new intern with no pain medicine research experience, and he was excited to include me and explain his research projects.”
  • “Dr. Olatoye instantly connects with patients and quells preoperative anxiety with his calm, confident demeanor. He is committed to his patients and to educating the next generation of physicians to provide superior care.”

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