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School of Medicine Columbia

Alumnus Greg Ogunnowo, M.D., earns Cleveland Clinic Fellowship appointment

Greg Ogunnowo, M.D., has earned a prestigious Cleveland Clinic Fellowship in cardiovascular medicine. Ogunnowo is a 2016 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia.  

Ogunnowo completed his residency in internal medicine at Washington University/Barnes Jewish Consortium in St. Louis, Missouri, where he also served one year as a hospitalist and an instructor before accepting the fellowship with Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic has been named the No. 2 hospital in the nation and the No. 1 hospital for heart care in U.S. News & World Report’s “2020-21 Best Hospitals” rankings.

Since his time as an undergraduate student at Georgia State University Honors College, Ogunnowo has had a keen interest in research, including immunology. That interest grew to include cardiology, specifically in outcomes research, which seeks to understand the end results of particular health care practices and interventions.

“My interest really developed after learning about cardiology physiology from Dr. L. Britt Wilson while I was a student at the UofSC School of Medicine,” Ogunnowo says.

During his residency, Ogunnowo developed an even greater passion for cardiology and a desire to help some of the sickest patients during his time working in the Critical Care Unit.

“Some of the things I saw in the intensive care unit made me interested in outcomes research.”

Ogunnowo took part in a an institutional transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TVAR) quality database and also took part in the analysis of an institutional retrospective specialty balloon angioplasty database.

“In looking at the safety and efficacy of TVAR and specialty balloons, we need to understand how interventions are affecting patient outcomes,” he says. “The best question we can ask as doctors is ‘are we making a difference.’”

“As a doctor, we like to fix things, and if we can make discoveries in medicine, we can use those discoveries to help people. But sometimes the best course is to take care of people and watch to see if the interventions actually have good outcomes,” he adds.

After completing his internal medicine residency, Ogunnowo also gained wider experiences as a hospitalist, including working with patients infected with COVID-19 as well as with bone-marrow transplant patients.

“As a hospitalist, I developed my diagnostic skills and further developed my clinical intuition. It was an amazing opportunity for growth and I now feel confident practicing independently. It gave me exposure to a wide array of medicine that I would not have seen working only as a cardiologist,” he says.

Ogunnowo, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Nigeria, says his mother and father stressed the importance of education as he was growing up.

“In our household, it was expected that you always do your best,” he says. “My mom was a nurse who worked nights, but she and my dad were always a constant presence in helping with homework and making sure we were ready for school.”

He also gives credit to his education at the UofSC School of Medicine.

“The only reason I have made it as far as I have is because of my attendings, my teachers, and the training I received at the School of Medicine,” he says.

Ogunnowo advises anyone considering a career in medicine to be diligent. “It’s a long road; a marathon, not a sprint,” he says. “You have to trust what you learn in medical school and give it your all in residency.”

He adds that curiosity is a requirement in medicine. “The moment you stop asking why or digging deeper, you stop improving as a doctor. Keep your curiosity and that will take you far.”

By Margaret Gregory ( | Posted Sept. 18, 2020

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