UCSF Fresno Spotlight: Uzoma Dmitri Ezeuko, MD

UCSF Fresno People Spotlight: Uzoma Dmitri Ezeuko, MD

UCSF Fresno’s success and growth are a direct result of the dedication and inspiration of our faculty, staff, residents, fellows, students, alumni, partners, donors and friends. In each issue of Focus, we introduce you to the people who contribute to the greatness of UCSF Fresno through informal interviews.

This month, please meet Dmitri Ezeuko, MD, third-year resident in the Family and Community Medicine Residency Program.

What is your name? Nickname?  

My name is Uzoma Dmitri Ezeuko, MD. Typically, I go by my middle name Dmitri.

What is your hometown? Where did you go to school? High School? Undergrad? Medical School?

I was born in Nigeria. I lived there until I completed high school at Nigerian Turkish international College. After that, I relocated with the family to Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. I completed undergraduate education with a bachelor’s in Psychology at MacEwan University, Edmonton. I earned a medical degree from Ross University.

Where are you in your residency training at UCSF Fresno? Program and Year? 

I am currently a PGY3 resident in Family and Community Medicine.

Why did you decide to train at UCSF Fresno? 

My interview with UCSF Fresno Family and Community Medicine was the most authentic of all my interviews. In addition, being in the Central Valley, which is driving distance to many places and outdoor activities, was a major boost as well.

Why did you become a physician? Why did you pick your specialty? 

I hate to sound cliché, but ever since I can remember, I never wanted to be anything else. I never saw myself as anything else other than a doctor. There was no big moment in life that made me decide. I just knew deep in my being that medicine was for me. 

I picked family medicine because of the versatility.  

What other specialty do you deliver a laboring mom, care for baby and manage a septic adult all in one shift, then volunteer on the sidelines for a high school football game? And it is just another regular day. 

In addition, I love the idea of being able to hone down on the preventative aspect of medicine (i.e., lifestyle), which I believe is severely lacking and family medicine provides me with the tools to address that. 

What are your plans after completing residency? 

I am keeping my options open. However, I would love a setting where I am able to have a steady balance of inpatient and outpatient medicine. 

What, if any, obstacles did you encounter on the path to becoming a physician? What advice do you have for students who are interested in becoming doctors? 

Phew! That is a whole thesis of obstacles. However, one thing I would say is that it is doable and very rewarding. The passion for the profession is the major driving factor.

My advice for upcoming student doctors is focus on one step after the next and before you know it, you’ll be at the finish line. 

Live every moment and work to enjoy the journey as much as the anticipation of the destination. 

Above all, never let your self-care and sanity suffer. Nothing and no one in this world are worth that. Always make time for yourself and loved ones.  It is on you to define your reasonable boundaries to be the best version of yourself. Your patients would thank you. After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup. 

The zombie apocalypse is coming. Which three people from UCSF Fresno would you pick to be on your team and why?   

Oh boy. OK, first person I’d pick based on people I know would be Marie Mihara, MD. I’d need her smartness and wilderness survivability. We know that is a requirement.

Second person would potentially be Luis Cruz, MD, for his wittiness.  I need the laughs, and someone to lighten the mood like “calm down, it’s not that serious.”

Third person, hmm that’s tough. Possibly M. Shoaib Khan, MD. He knows everything about everything, medically and life wise. I feel like at least one attending would be needed. A voice of reasoning if you must, and to keep the medical knowledge alive. 

You put me in a tight spot. Should’ve said a team of 10. Now I must face the blowback of the ones I did not pick!

What do you like to do in your off time?  

​ I love grilling, hiking or anything that puts me out in nature. I like travelling when time and funds permit. Occasionally, I Netflix binge and I say Netflix as a blanket for all streaming services. Lastly, I enjoy mindless trash TV.

What is the most important thing you would like people to know about you? Or what else would you like to add about you, your background, family or career?  

I want people to know some of my many life philosophies:

In this life, control what you can and is necessary, and work to stress not on what you cannot. At the end of the day, many of our fears and worries do not exist in the now, but our perceived doom, which most times is not as bad as the eventual reality. 

In everything you do, strive for open-mindedness while not losing thyself, as well as control of the ego. Those two things would solve most problems we as humans face, in my humble opinion. 

Part of Newsletter: Focus on UCSF Fresno, Spring 2023