Student Spotlight – Ihuoma Emenuga


Quickfire Questions

Name: Ihuoma Emenuga, MD, MPH
Year: First
Campus: Baltimore
Company: City of Baltimore & Johns Hopkins Community Physicians
Title/Role: Medical Director & Hospitalist Physician
Hometown/Current Town:  Glenwood, Maryland
Alma Maters: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London
University of Nigeria
Favorite Baltimore/College Park Area Restaurant: Panera
Favorite Baltimore/D.C. Area Tourist Destination: National Museum of American History, Washington D.C.
Favorite Travel Destination: Sousse, Tunisia
Favorite Book: David & Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell
Grit, by Angela Duckworth
Favorite Movie: A Beautiful Mind
Favorite Song/Artist: Hills and Valleys/Tauren Wells
Currently Binging on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon: N/A (Aside from the news, I rarely watch TV)
Dream Job: As a physician-executive, managing a health system large enough to make an impact on the healthcare landscape.
Favorite Podcast: Freakonomics, Hidden Brain
What’s your Guilty Pleasure? What can’t you live without? Piping hot tea, fresh lemon and generous honey with a large slice of apple pie or chocolate cake

Let’s Get to It

You work for the City of Baltimore. Can you tell us a little about your job? As the Medical Director for the Bureau of School Health, I oversee more than 200 clinical staff who provide health services in Baltimore City Public Schools and School Based Health Centers (SBHCs). What we are trying to do through our school health program is level the playing field for students by providing health services and as many wraparound services as possible. The importance of social determinants of health is well known. As providers of healthcare in schools, we recognize this unique opportunity to engage with students and mitigate their exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). We now know that a child’s ACE score is positively correlated with chronic health challenges in adulthood.

Did you know when earning your MPH and MD that you wanted to pursue this (business) career? No, I did not. Being a physician has always been more than a job to me. As far back as Medical School, I recognized that medicine had become not only my passion but was pivotal to my life’s calling. I truly believed I had found my niche in Public Health when, during my MPH, I took my first Health Economics class. Over time, however, I could not shake my growing frustration with the inefficiencies in the healthcare industry. I was unable to ignore what I perceived as the trade off between patient-centered care and cost saving – I knew we had to find the intersection of business and medicine; we had to find a way to curb the rising health care costs without compromising certain aspects of patient care, most notably the patient experience. I embarked on a mission to find that sweet spot, and that mission led me to Business School.

How do you see your MBA fitting into your future career plans? My MBA is providing me with insight into other industries: successful strategies, lessons learned, etc. As I gather the information, I am constantly taking notes, triaging potential interventions, shortlisting options, developing and honing my game plan. I find that I am being prepared to take on the challenge of cost-effective, patient-centered healthcare.

What’s been your best learning experience so far while earning your MBA? Financial Accounting and Strategic Management were both truly transformational for me. Prior to this, my exposure to accounting was limited to my yearly tax visit with my CPA. After taking both courses, I began to think about businesses and corporations in an entirely different way.