My name is Ifeoma (pronounced: ee-foam-ah) and I am a new faculty physician at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, located at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus just outside of Denver, CO. Welcome to my professional website; I am so glad you are here!
My life: A bit about me: I am originally from Nigeria (my first name means “precious one”) and grew up in both New York City and southwest Georgia. I claim Georgia as “home” though because I went to both highschool and college there. I’m currently married to a terrific man, Tim Perkins, and we have a beautiful little infant girl who is such a source of both light and joy in our world. When I am not working, I enjoy cooking, writing, running,…. and eating more chocolate than I probably should and fried plantains (obviously not in the same dish!).
My career: I am a dermatopathologist, which basically is a skin pathologist. To become a a dermatopathologist I completed 4 years of medical school (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine), 2 years of general surgery residency (Emory University School of Medicine), 4 years of anatomic and clinical pathology residency (Emory University School of Medicine) and 2 years of dermatopathology fellowship (University of California San Francisco School of Medicine). Whew! 8 years of training in 1 sentence sounds so exhausting now that I read this haha. Needless to say, it’s taken quite a while to get here but I really would do it all over again if I had to. I’ve learned so much from textbook, patients, and colleagues on this journey towards my first professional pathology job out of fellowship…. and I have developed relationships and friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. So all in all, a total win, if you ask me!
My practice: Currently, 1 year into finally being a board-certified practicing dermatopathologist, I can safely say that I really enjoy my job/career! I am so very grateful for the opportunity to serve the general public in this role and I do not take this role or position lightly. I enjoy teaching my residents and medical students as part of my workflow and being an assistant professor in an academic program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine has made this dream possible. I also generally aspire to learn something new everyday… actually I pray for this everyday because I believe optimal medicine is best practiced through a lens of humility and a spirit that is ever willing to grow. Medicine can be complicated sometimes though even with this perspective; some days, admittedly, I really have more tough questions than answers. These questions often are related to more than just “what is the best diagnosis” or “how aggressive is this tumor”. They are related to matters of professionalism and ethics, 2 areas I have spent part of my career exploring. My hope with my work in ethics is to better equip myself and my medical provider colleagues with tools to be in a position to make clinical decisions that are in the best interest of their patients in tough circumstances and that also honor their own good intentions as medical providers.
My site: In this professional website, I hope to chronicle these regular “discoveries” no matter how small or miniscule. So one can expect material about any and all things related to early/junior faculty development in medicine, clinical dermatopathology, and medical ethics. Because I also think work-life balance (if such a thing really exists) is important for the long term health of our personal relationships outside of medicine, our individual mental wellness (avoidance of burnout), and our overall job satisfaction, you can also expect material exploring the landscape of the intersection of all three of these with bits of my own life in the “real world”… including random baby pictures of my daughter, hah.
In al honesty though, I’m hoping this site may serve as a source of encouragement to medical students and students of allied health sciences aspiring to become pathologists or work in anatomic and clinical pathology at some point in their careers. I hope some of the material on this site may serve as a resource at least in some capacity for other medical trainees in answering questions such as: what is the best residency program for me? How do I find a good mentor? When is the “best” time to try to grow our family? Should I accept this job offer? I also hope this site provides perspectives on the ethical dilemmas we occasionally face in pathology to pathologists, non-pathologists, and patients. I hope my fellow pathologist colleagues will find themselves encouraged from my posts about ethics , a reminder that if they have ever experienced an ethical dilemma related to practicing pathology, they are not alone. Lastly, but certainly not least, as much of the general public (I suspect) may not be familiar with the medical specialty of pathology, I hope this site also sheds some light on some questions visitors may have regarding what we do and our important contributions to clinical (and investigative/research) medicine.
Thanks for stopping by; I hope you learn something. I hope I learn something. Here is to growing and learning, together.