Janet Nwaukoni, DO '21 May 17, 2021
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Upon graduation, Janet Nwaukoni, DO ‘21, will begin her journey at The McGaw Northwestern
Family Medicine Residency at Lake Forest in Illinois. This step in her medical journey
is just the first of Ms. Nwaukoni’s many goals. She has big goals. Goals that take
a lifetime to achieve. But she’s committed to achieving those goals because, for her,
this is God’s calling for her life.
“Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, I saw healthcare disparities from a very young age. My
mother was a nurse technician and she would often come home and share stories from
her day. It wasn’t uncommon to hear stories of patients who’d pass away from complications
of preventable health conditions,” shared Ms. Nwaukoni. As a first-generation Nigerian
American, Ms. Nwaukoni knew very early that she would pursue medicine, with the ultimate
goal of helping the communities she was raised in.
Before graduating from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York with a bachelor of science
in biology and society and a minor in global health, Ms. Nwaukoni did extensive research
into medical schools. One of her advisors suggested she consider osteopathic medicine. With a lifelong passion for advocating and empowering young girls and women, one
of Ms. Nwaukoni’s personal goals is to pursue international healthcare, working with
the World Health Organization (WHO) to create a standardized clinic model for women
and children. She also desires to continue her research on the APOL1 risk variant
in women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus of African ancestry. With this in mind,
Ms. Nwaukoni knew that additional skills from an education in osteopathic medicine
would be very beneficial when working in underdeveloped countries.
Throughout her time at PCOM, Ms. Nwaukoni has been actively involved in a number of
organizations and volunteer initiatives with the College and in the Philadelphia area.
Ms. Nwaukoni was an active member of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA).
She also developed a summer volunteer trip to Ghana for first-year medical students
to teach osteopathic medicine to the local Ghanian community. Throughout the COVID-19
pandemic, Ms. Nwaukoni served with the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium and volunteered
her time to initiatives such as COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration as well
as community outreach.
Graduating from medical school is one goal Ms. Nwaukoni can now cross off her list.
When asked what advice she would give to a student who is starting their medical school
journey today, Ms. Nwaukoni shared, “Keep your eye on the prize and avoid comparison.
Make sure you have a tribe behind you that can check-in and keep you grounded; you
cannot get through medical school by yourself, so ensure that you’re surrounded by
people who will love you, encourage you, and challenge you to become the best version
of yourself. Never be too afraid to reach out when you need help!”
Ms. Nwaukoni is the daughter of Joyce and Stephen Nwaukoni. She is a native of Brooklyn,
New York with strong family roots from Ogwashi-uku, Nigeria. Outside of medicine,
Ms. Nwaukoni is a doting plant mom, fitness enthusiast and lover of Christ. She has
also started her own company called “Bless Up” which creates personalized encouragement
gift boxes for special events in a person’s life.