The Student National Medical Association (SNMA), has recognized Temi Ogunleye, a third year student at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM), as a National Future Leadership Project Fellow. In a letter to BCOM, SNMA Advisor Priscilla M. Mpasi, MD, wrote, “Temi Ogunleye has impressed the organization with outstanding demonstration of potential leadership skills and has initiated a national leadership project that mirrors the excellent leadership and professional skills he has developed during his time at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine.”
The SNMA is the nation’s oldest and largest student-run organization focused on the interests and concerns of minority medical and pre-health students and the needs of all underserved communities. The National Future Leadership Project (FLP) offers students opportunities to gain leadership skills and receive mentorship from national SNMA leaders.
Ogunleye was born in Nigeria and moved to the U.S. at the age of five. He comes from a family of health care professionals and he became interested in sports medicine after sustaining injuries as a football player. He plans to become an orthopedic surgeon.
Ogunleye, who founded the SNMA branch at BCOM, said, “I want to eliminate the stigma that SNMA is club for black students. SNMA is for everybody. Our mission is to develop culturally competent students, and you don’t have to be African American or Hispanic or a minority to fit into that. We will all practice medicine in different cultures and societies and with different patient populations. SNMA highlights how, as physicians, we interact with all types of patients.”
For his National Leadership Project, Ogunleye is working with other students from around the country to raise awareness about osteopathic medicine, particularly among minority pre-medical students. At the SNMA annual conference next April, his team plans to present a video of student testimonials on osteopathic medicine and osteopathic manipulative medicine. Ogunleye is currently looking for BCOM students to record 30 second to one minute testimonials about what osteopathic medicine means to them or why they chose to come to an osteopathic school. Videos can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and, if selected, the testimonial will be played at SNMA’s annual conference and on various social media platforms.
As an FLP Fellow, Ogunleye participates in weekly webinars covering topics such as diversity in medicine, and business budgeting and finance. He said, “This program is preparing us for what it will be like to be a physician of color. It has really matured me by showing me how to run an organization from the bottom up and how to work with various people and bring them together to promote a common goal.”
Ogunleye has been invited to attend the National Leadership Institute in January, which will be held at Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. In April, he will be recognized as an FLP Fellow at the 2019 Medical Education Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He will also have opportunities to participate in live leadership workshops and gain in-person leadership training.
Ogunleye said, “I am humbled to be chosen as an FLP Fellow. They only select 10 medical students and 10 pre-medical students from across the country, so for my name to be picked out is truly an honor.”