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Nurudeen lucky osumah

Nurudeen Lucky Osumah, M.D., MBA


University of Connecticut  


Emergency medical resident




As a first-generation student, he sought an understanding of the business of medicine, then found his “vibe point” in the emergency room. 

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    Emergency medicine schedules run 9 to 10 hours a day. Work in the Intensive Care Unit can involve shifts up to 24 hours long. Lucky says that makes maintaining social balance difficult. He may work six or seven days in a row, get one day off, then work another week straight. It’s so busy and by the time I get home I’m just so tired that I just eat and fall asleep and wake up and do it again.” 


Lucky credits the UConn residency’s wellness program for helping him (and the other residents) keep it together physically. “Besides that, activities run by the residency or just organized by friends who say ‘Hey, want to go to the movies or hang to on our patio?’ Sometimes it’s things that aren’t based in the program that keeps our program pretty tight-knit, so you’re never going to be stressing. 

Bearing Bad News 

Because the residents are the primary point of contact for the patient, they provide updates to the patient’s family members, whether it’s good or bad. “It’s a critical skill that we have to learn in the emergency department,” Lucky says. “There are times when I have patients who unfortunately pass away. I will see them in a high resuscitation pod, meaning that it’s a big critical care pod where patients who are the sickest go first. I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s try to, you know, bring them back.’ And despite working on this for 20 to 30 minutes, they’re not coming back. So the residents have to deliver the bad news to the family members, because we’re the primary point of contact for the patient. 


“As a resident, you’re like, ‘Now I have to go tell the family the news.’ Now they’re asking what happened, why didn’t the patient make it, what cause have caused it, and could we have done anything else.” Lucky takes a deep breath. “You have to try to be diplomatic in what you’re saying, to try to give them comfort and relief for their loves ones.” 


How does he cope? “The first couple ones, you know, I was panicking. I didn’t think I could do this. Then I got through it. Over time, you just get more used to the fact that you have to deliver these important conversations. No matter how far along you are in training, you’re still going to feel for them. But you now that you yourself have a job to do, and you did everything you could, an so you can’t dwell on it, you have to just keep moving forward. I can think of all the people who died under my care. I still remember them. I remember them.” 

Try This! 

 Colleagues share these experiences — and that’s a major assist. “You should think about how you feel,” Lucky says. “You shouldn’t just suppress it and ignore it. You should be able to say, this sucks, I had a patient who died. My colleagues will say, “I’m so mad that we couldn’t save this patient.’ That’s a way of coping, saying ‘I’m frustrated with what happened.’ Everyone offers, ‘If you want to talk about it, let me know,’ so you’re never going through these emotions alone. 


The relationship between attending physicians, residents, and students is not always what it should be. “Not every resident or attending is the nicest to their medical students. I remember my experiences all too vividly.” For this reason he makes special efforts to treat his own students with respect and kindness.  “I try not to get upset at the medical students or undergrads for what they do, because they’re learning. I try to put myself in their shoes. I’m not going to make them look dumb, I’m not going to try to make their lives stressful. If you’re going to be doing this, I want you to feel read to learn and eager, not stressed out of your mind that you’re going to get verbally assaulted or feel like you’re not competent enough to be there.”

As a Black man, Lucky says he hasn’t come across overt racism. “Maybe some subtle hints like ‘Oh great, I guess I have you, I guess I’m going to have to make do with what I have.” We have affiliate groups that make sure if there are any racist or derogatory remarks that it’s pretty much being dealt with. And usually by the time they leave, the patient is like, ‘Well, I’m glad you were the doctor I got to be with, because you’ve made me feel a lot better, though I wasn’t sure of you at first.’ I choose to let it go and try to move on.” 

Late Bloomer

Has it impacted Lucky’s career to have studied for his Master’s in Business Administration first, before going to medical school? 

“Looking back at my entire life, I always knew what I kind of wanted to do, but it’s never wrong to figure that out later in life, to figure out what you want to do. Now I like to be a mentor for people. It’s easier when one person knows what they did and how to get there, and can tell everyone who’s coming up, there are the mistakes and pitfalls I made. Your experience matters to the people who may also want to follow in your footsteps.” 


the schedule


Try This! 


Bearing  Bad News 

Late Bloomer 

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