Amesika Nyaku, MD
- Winner of several teaching awards as an Intern
- Animal and gardening enthusiast
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"As an intern, I feel a true sense of patient ownership, so doing medical reading has gotten much easier. When I get NEJM in the mail, I put it in my bag and read it on commute to and from work. I also try to read a few of the key articles that are mentioned during teaching rounds and various conferences."
NU stresses a friendly educational environment. What do you think makes a great teacher?
- Setting clear expectations of what skills/knowledge one wants the pupil to obtain.
- Recognize areas of deficiency in the student (through personal assessment of the student as well as eliciting the student’s perspective).
- Tailoring lectures/demonstrations to address these gaps.
- The ability to provide simple, rational frameworks for the student to use to approach problems.
Why did you choose to become an Internist?
Internal medicine best fits my personality: I’m rather gregarious and I love hearing a person’s life story. History taking and clinic visits are privileged opportunities to get insight into the lives of people who I might ordinarily just pass by as a stranger in the street. Additionally, I have a strong desire to decrease the health disparities that affect racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities in our communities. Many of the illnesses that these groups are disproportionately affected by fall under the auspice of internal medicine: cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
The Veterans have a special place in my heart and the VA system is definitely marking the frontier in comprehensive primary care. I have my sights on looking at opportunities to use a Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship to further explore the barriers that limit many Veterans from fully partaking in the comprehensive care system that is available to them.
My grand scheme is to work with an academic center to provide primary care for the underserved and develop community based programs to increase health literacy.
Tell us more about your background.
I am originally from Houston, Texas. My father is from Ghana and when I was 8 years old, I moved there for one year with my family. I went to school in Ghana and got to enjoy being with my father’s family nearly every day.
However, once I came to Chicago for undergrad at NU, I’ve never been able to leave. I really love the relaxed, collaborative atmosphere ethos of Northwestern!