Olayemi (Yemi) Solumbi, M.D. (MED ’09, I-1 ’10, DERM ’13)

sokumbi

Olayemi Sokumbi, M.D.

Board Member

(originally published in 2016)

Director of Dermatopathology

Departments of Dermatology and Pathology

Assistant Professor

Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee        

“The nature of the people at Mayo reinvigorated my dedication to excellence. It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given — the need to be better, discover more and be better for patients.”

 

  • Fellowship: Dermatopathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • Residency: Dermatology, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education
  • Medical School: Mayo Clinic School of Medicine
  • Undergraduate: St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota
  • Native of: Lagos, Nigeria

Why did you decide to pursue medicine?

I grew up in a developing country that lacked adequate health care — access, tests and medications. I saw people suffer because of that. I saw the role medicine could play in alleviating those challenges. My father had heart failure, and I accompanied my mom to clinics to have his medications adjusted. I saw the hope she had every time we visited a doctor. She thought a doctor would make a difference in his condition. I recognized that if I were the doctor, I could be the one giving hope to someone. I was a big dreamer.

We had a family member who had settled in Minnesota and came to visit us in Nigeria. He told my parents about the opportunities. As a teenager, I moved to Minneapolis to live with that family. My parents sacrificed having me nearby to let me have a better life.

I majored in biomedical sciences in college and applied to various medical schools. I read about and saw Mayo Clinic School of Medicine as a citadel of great medicine. I couldn’t believe when I was accepted.

What was your initial impression of Mayo Clinic?

Mayo was beyond my expectations. It was everything I’d read about — unparalleled quality of care with every person dedicated to making a difference. This impressive place was a little overwhelming at first. I wondered how in the world a girl from Nigeria who dreamed so big could fit in. But I did fit in thanks to some of the kindest, most caring people I’ve ever met.

How does Mayo Clinic influence your practice?

My time at Mayo made it easier for me to remain wholeheartedly dedicated to providing outstanding care to patients the way my mentors taught me.

What valuable lesson have you learned at Mayo Clinic?

Mayo made a young dreamer an even bigger dreamer. I realized the realm of how impossible things become possible. The nature of the people at Mayo reinvigorated my dedication to excellence. It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given — the need to be better, discover more and be better for patients.

What do you contribute to the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association?

I hope my diversity of thought, experience and enthusiasm for Mayo Clinic and what it represents will translate into making greater connections and developing stronger relationships as we reach out to other alumni.

What do you do in your spare time?

I enjoy reading books, traveling, and spending time with my husband and our 3-year-old daughter.