Fourth-year Medical Student Olivia Ondigi is Passionate About Saving Lives

Olivia Ondigi’s decision to pursue medicine was based on her own personal experience with the healthcare system.

“My brother’s complicated birth history made me realize that I might not have had a sibling without the great healthcare that he received,” said Ondigi.

From there, her path was decided; she wanted to devote her career to saving the lives of other people.

“At the age of four, my family and I made the move from Minnesota to Kenya,” she says. “So, I spent the vast majority of my childhood in Kenya.”

But when it came time to apply for college, Ondigi knew she wanted to return to Minnesota.

“The University of Minnesota offered an unmatched multitude of opportunities. It’s in a great location, offers top-notch education and the people here are amazing,” she says. “I have made great friendships that will last a lifetime.”

In the future, Ondigi hopes to provide mentorship and guidance for other students from similar backgrounds. 

“I didn’t have a lot of people with similar experiences and background to reach out to for guidance – I wish I had that, and it’s hard to find,” she said.“I want to be a role model and light a path for those that are underrepresented in medicine.”

Ondigi’s passion for helping those within the community makes her long-term goal of working in global health come as no surprise. She aspires to help underserved populations with continuity of care and access to medical care. 

“Being from a community that’s underserved in medicine, I am passionate about making a positive impact and giving back when I become a physician,” says Ondigi.

Share this post

Related News

  • Transplant Expert Becomes Transplant Minnesotan

    Andrew Adams, MD, PhD, has joined the Department of Surgery as a professor and as chief of the Division of Transplantation at both M Health Fairview University of Minnesota hospitals. He brings $11.7 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health focused on developing novel therapies to improve outcomes for transplant patients.

  • Study Analyzes if Telemedicine is Efficacious in Treating Opioid Use Disorder

    Federal and state agencies have temporarily allowed unprecedented flexibility for the use of telemedicine, including audio-only visits, for encounters where opioid use disorder (OUD) medications are prescribed. Cuong Pham, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, is analyzing telemedicine’s efficacy for patients with OUD during COVID-19.

  • Researchers Study Cortisol Levels, Decision-Making in COVID-19 Healthcare Workers

    Alexander Herman, MD, PhD, in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and David Darrow, MD, MPH, in the Department of Neurosurgery, are studying hair samples from frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic to determine how their cortisol levels might correlate with their responses on a multi-armed bandit task.”