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Oyebisi Jegede, MD

Attending Physician, Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Belvis

Fighting Disease, from Nigeria to the Bronx

A few years after earning her medical degree in her native Nigeria, Dr. Oyebisi (Bisi) Jegede decided she wanted her career to focus on improving the treatment of HIV and other infectious diseases. Immigrating to the United States in 2002, she earned a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology at the Cleveland Clinic, spent several years as a researcher in labs that were trying to develop new drugs for HIV and hepatitis C, then served a residency in internal medicine. Eventually she moved to New York for a Masters in translational science—the application of laboratory discoveries to patient treatment—at The Rockefeller University. “I wanted to do clinical studies to develop new therapies and also have the flexibility to be able to practice medicine,” she says. “The best of both worlds.”

In 2017, Dr. Jegede’s long road led to NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Belvis, where a position for an infectious disease specialist had been open for some time. It was a good fit. “The central thing to me—and I wrote this all the way back in my graduate school application—is that health care should be affordable and accessible to everybody. At that time in Nigeria, a lot of people were dying without care so that is how I got interested in working in a public health system.”

At Belvis, Dr. Jegede has quickly become known as a kind-hearted doctor who has an exceptional way with patients. “What’s important to me is getting people to buy in to their care,” she says. “To do that, my approach is to speak to them in a way they will understand — less jargon, more straightforward information, what the prognosis will be with and without intervention and what they can do to make things better. Once people understand what is at stake, whether it is an HIV patient or a diabetic patient, they’ll be the one to tell you, ‘This is what I’m doing.’ They take ownership and if they make progress that’s their achievement.”

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