Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa, a Psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto, Ontario, has been named as one of the country’s 50 most influential people.
The Physician came in 37th on the 2022 Maclean’s Power List, which is a ranking of the 50 influential Canadians.
Chika, a daughter of Nigerian immigrants, graduated in 2020 and was the sole valedictorian of her class, and was also the only Black woman to receive the honour in the school’s 179-year history according to the Power List.
Also, she is an accomplished spoken-word artist who has competed nationally as a slam poet, and a video of her 2017 poem Woman, Black has been viewed more than 12,000 times on YouTube.
An elated Oriuwa said she spoke at her old high school in Brampton and had a young Black woman tell her that she wanted to be a doctor “because you did it, and you’re just like us’.”
“To be able to inspire them is so incredible for me,” Oriuwa said.
In August last year, toy maker Mattel selected Oriuwa for its Barbie Role Models program as one of six women working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic to be immortalised as a Barbie doll.
Mattel had noted that the six role models have made a positive impact in their communities, inspiring current and future generations.
She is credited to have advocated against systemic racism in healthcare, which has been further highlighted by the pandemic.
In an interview, Chika said “It was such a full circle moment for me, as a young girl who played with Barbies and always really wanted to see myself reflected”
“Not only as a child who wanted to be a physician, but as a young Black girl.”
The psychiatry resident says she chose the field because it has “some of the most marginalised patient demographics in medicine.”
Upon her graduation, Dr Oriuwa became the first Black woman to be selected as sole valedictorian for University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine.
First published in Nigerian Canadian Newspaper Canada, https://nigeriancanadiannews.ca/?p=142754