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Funmi Adeleye, 2024 medical student graduate

May 10, 2024

By Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science staff

Learn more about Funmi Adeleye, 2024 graduate of Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, as she reflects on her past, her medical education at Mayo Clinic, and her aspirations for the future.

Hometown: Rosemount, MN
Undergraduate university: Loyola University, New Orleans
Specialty you plan to pursue: Orthopedic Surgery

Funmi Adeleye grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. Her parents were healthcare workers in the community. As many community members could not afford the prohibitive costs of healthcare, her parents would offer care at a reduced price.

She describes her experience growing up, "As a child, I would watch them routinely work long hours to suture wounds, dispense chloroquine for malaria, and provide preventative education. These humble beginnings laid a foundation for my interest in medicine and sparked a desire to restore hope to individuals at their most vulnerable moments."

"Years later, while I earned my MBA with a specialization in healthcare administration at Baylor University," Funmi continues, "I became acutely aware of the disparities in healthcare access and limited resources across different regions. This experience further motivated me to pursue medicine to directly address these inequalities. Combining my upbringing and exposure to healthcare challenges with my insights from business school, I am driven to equip myself with the skills and knowledge needed to better serve patients and contribute to a more equitable medical system."

Driven by her past, passion

As a Black female from Nigeria, Funmi described her motivation as stemming from her deep-rooted passion for uplifting the marginalized — immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities, and underserved populations — out of the systemic barriers that have historically hindered their access to healthcare.

She shares, "I am driven to address the pervasive lack of access to healthcare both here in the U.S. and globally, particularly among those who suffer from treatable conditions that drastically impact their quality of life. My childhood in Nigeria and experiences in the U.S. have deeply influenced my passion for addressing healthcare disparities. My exposure to healthcare inequities drives my mission to advocate for marginalized populations, fueling my passion to make a difference. Having received a solid foundation in my medical training, I am genuinely excited about the opportunity to expand my impact on a larger, more focused scale."

A future in orthopedic surgery

Funmi's identity as a track athlete and her firsthand experience with a knee injury drove her decision to specialize in orthopedic surgery.

"Throughout medical school, I have been drawn to the intricate challenges of musculoskeletal disorders and the potential for personalized care to significantly improve patient outcomes," she explains. "What particularly resonates with me about orthopedic surgery is the immediate and meaningful impact it offers in patients' lives — the ability to restore function and mobility, and provide them with the opportunity to live pain-free."

Looking ahead to her future career as an orthopedic surgeon, Funmi is committed to advocating for equitable access to quality care and pioneering innovative solutions to address healthcare disparities.

Reflecting on the journey

As I reflect on my journey to becoming a physician, I am filled with gratitude for the diverse experiences that have shaped my path and dedication to this profession. First and foremost, this journey would not have been possible without God leading my steps. As I move forward into residency and beyond, my commitment to learning and growth remains strong. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to medical advancements through research and innovation, and mentorship is something that holds a special place in my heart as I hope to inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals.

I also want to take a moment to express my heartfelt thanks to those who have supported me along the way. Without the belief and encouragement of my husband, parents, siblings, friends, faculty, and mentors, I wouldn't be where I am today. Their support, even during moments of doubt, has been invaluable in shaping the physician I have become. I am deeply grateful for their guidance and look forward to honoring their belief in me by continuing to strive for excellence in my medical career.


Learn more about Commencement for Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.