#HereForHer: Physician, mother & children’s book author! Dr. Ekundayo does it all

We’re back for the third installment of our #HereForHer campaign! This campaign celebrates the groundbreaking and changemaking contributions women have made to medicine, and their communities.

So far, we have highlighted two incredible women working in the fields of cannabinoid medicine and neurology. This week, we are highlighting Abimbola Ekundayo, MD. Dr. Ekundayo graduated from Ryazan State Medical University, Russia, in 2011, and then moved to Nigeria for a mandatory service year. She went on to work as a medical officer in a private setting while preparing for medical exams to get registered to practice in the United Kingdom.

After moving to the UK with her family in 2016, she worked in the Accident and Emergency Department for a year and then went on to study toward becoming a General Practitioner. She’s currently in her last year of training.

Finding passion outside of medicine

It’s easy for some people to forget, but doctors are people! When they aren’t busy driving better patient outcomes, they enjoy their hobbies and interests. Hobbies are important stress relievers, which is especially helpful for professionals in careers like medicine.

Many HCPs on Sermo find that music, art, and other creative endeavors help manage their stress and express their individuality. We sat down with Dr. Ekundayo to discuss her passions outside of medicine and hear how she thinks her hobbies enhance her interactions with patients.

Let’s Hear from Her!

Aside from being a doctor, you also write children’s books. Can you tell us about any projects you’re working on? How has this helped enhance your interactions with your patients?

I dabbled into children’s book writing while on maternity leave after having my second son. I had always wanted books with diversity and representation, as well as content to help my kids learn about our culture—especially as we live away from our home country, Nigeria.

At home, we do lots of storytelling and makeup stories to go along with our routine. One day while brushing my teeth, I came up with a story about the tooth fairy which I thought was brilliant. I wrote it and found an illustrator who seems to understand the story; I’m looking to release the book later this year. I still have other stories penciled down, however, in between work, life, and expenses of illustrations, they are on the back burner for now.

I do have a book out on Amazon called Big Hair Day which is about a little Black girl’s hair-making adventure.

How do your medical profession and personal passion projects complement each other?

I would say I can be very childlike in my nature, but above all, being a mum helps my interaction with my pediatric patients as I know what sort of things kids are into.

I would comment on their PAW Patrol outfits and chit-chat with them about how brave they are like some superhero on their jumper or their unicorn ensemble. I also consider a playful approach to examination to make the experience less frightening for them.

Do you have any encouraging words for women who may be looking to find their passion project, but don’t know where to start?

To be very honest, I have dabbled in different things at different stages in my career. As I am now nearing the end of my GP training, I find myself interested in teaching and guiding the next set of GPs—especially focusing on the international medical graduates, as several of us experience difficulties much more than indigenous U.K. doctors. I try to provide direct mentorship to colleagues and share about maximizing potential as a trainee.

I think a good place to start is identifying what difference you would like to make as this would be the fuel to help you continue. Also knowing it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to scale a business. Network with people and follow them on social media as this helps with inspiration. Try to focus on a little each day as you would be amazed at how much you grow. Don’t wait for perfection; just start!

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