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Eleonora Akker

Eleonora Akker, MD, FACP

Director of Medical Education
NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health

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Training the Next Generation of Physicians

Dr. Eleonora Akker’s family history in Ukraine set her on the path to her future in the United States. Dr. Akker’s grandmother and her two sisters all graduated early from medical school to serve as doctors in Ukraine during World War II, and both of her parents were also physicians. “I was inspired from early childhood by all of them – their daily sacrifices and stories of being there not only for patients but anyone in the community who needed medical help or advice,” she says. 

Now Dr. Akker herself is an inspiring teacher and mentor for doctors serving residencies and fellowships at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health. As a third-generation physician, she is driven by a passion for passing on her knowledge and experience to the next generation of physicians in her adoptive country – and continuing to learn while teaching them. 

Dr. Akker graduated from the Crimea Medical Institute in 1990 and practiced in the former Soviet republic of Moldova before emigrating to New York in 1997.  After completing a second medical degree at New York Institute of Technology’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and practicing at Staten Island University Hospital for seven years, she joined South Brooklyn Health (then Coney Island Hospital) in 2009. 

Dr. Akker established herself as an excellent teacher so quickly that within months she was asked to be the founding program director of a transitional-year residency program that has since graduated more than 70 residents. She later added an osteopathic internal residency program. 

Dr. Akker took on additional leadership roles, eventually rising to director of medical education in 2021. Over these past three years, she has worked tirelessly to develop and sustain six residency programs and five fellowship programs, playing a major role in creating research opportunities for residents, fellows and medical students to publish and present their work in national journals and conferences. 

“From day one at SBH, after seven years of training and working in a private health system, it felt like being a part of the family –  and it still feels that way,” Dr. Akker says. “There are challenges in taking care of our diverse patient population but these challenges bring out the best in our teams. I love to see the satisfaction of the patients, their families and resident-physicians. To me, it is priceless.”

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