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IU School of Medicine Student Spotlight: Vitalis Osuji


Meet Vitalis Osuji, a new student in the Class of 2021.

1. Tell us about your decision to enter medical school?

I developed a passion for medicine at a very young age, and despite all of the difficulties I have encountered along the way, I have remained steadfast in my pursuit of this goal. I moved to the United States (Boston) in March of 2009, from my home country: Nigeria. This was a fortunate opportunity for realizing my dreams of becoming a physician.

During my time in Boston, I worked to improve my language proficiency, fluency and competence in order to interact more effectively with people. However, it quickly became obvious that these goals were congruent with my interest in community service, which I began in 2010, first as a tutor/ mentor at First Literacy, and then at World Visions, and finally at the Massachusetts General Hospital emergency room. I also engaged in numerous research activities, and all of my experiences have only reinforced my passion for a career in medicine.

2. Tell us about the non-profit you started in Boston

My most significant accomplishment in Boston was the establishment of a non-profit organization called Vital Healing Project, in November of 2016. With help from our partner organizations and over 25 clinicians, we work to educate about and de-stigmatize mental illness in minority populations, while promoting preventive measures of care. Although I serve as founder and president, while I’m away in medical school, this organization is being directed by a team, all of whom are equally passionate about minority mental healthcare. If possible, with some extra time and access to resources, I would like to extend the Vital Healing Project to Indianapolis.

3. What excites you about IU School of Medicine?

Of the other institutions I was admitted into, ​I chose to attend IUSM for many reasons: its rich diversity, new and integrated curriculum, numerous opportunities for community service, and the list goes on. As an incoming medical student, I serve as the chair of 7 Element at IUSM, and therefore had the opportunity to work alongside some awesome second- and third-year medical students earlier this summer. This was factored into my ultimate decision to matriculate into IUSM. I am equally excited to meet my classmates, begin clinic duties, and take advantage of the many research opportunities here at IUSM.

4. Where do you see your medical education guiding you?

I ultimately hope to dedicate my professional career to oncology surgery, a decision that stems from the loss of my father to pancreatic cancer earlier this year. I hope to be able to successfully operate on patients with cancer, while helping to determine life-saving techniques for early diagnosis.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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