dr chika stacy oriuwa

Toronto’s most inspiring women of 2020: Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa

For our annual showcase of the city’s most inspirational women, we are highlighting the outstanding achievements and barrier-breaking accomplishments of Black women in Toronto.

The Doctor

Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa is a physician who graduated from the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine in the spring. She was the first Black woman to be named the sole valedictorian of her graduating class, as elected by her classmates. She is currently continuing her training in psychiatry. She is also a poet and was recently named to Indigo’s board of directors. 

By Trevor Young | DEAN, TEMERTY FACULTY OF MEDICINE, U of T

We ask many things of doctors. Not only do we expect them to be scholars and scientists, but also to mindfully serve the public interest.

Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa’s passionate advocacy and committed humanitarian work do exactly this. When Dr. Oriuwa began her medical studies at U of T’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine in 2016, she was the only Black student in her class. She has spoken about the challenges and stresses this caused her.

But rather than be daunted by this, she was determined to help address the chronic under-representation of Black communities in the medical profession. Dr. Oriuwa used her skills, which include persuasive leadership, to help us launch the Black Student Application Program. This year, more than 20 Black students entered the first year of our MD program.

When Dr. Oriuwa graduated this spring — with both a medical degree and a master’s degree in health system leadership and innovation — she was elected valedictorian by her classmates. Dr. Oriuwa has ceaseless energy and a gift for poetry. She is involved in many organizations, including the editorial board of Healthy Debate and Indigo’s board of directors, in addition to continuing her training in psychiatry.

Dr. Oriuwa brings creativity, compassion and insights to her roles, as well as a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

See our full list of Toronto’s most inspiring women of 2020 here. 

Article exclusive to TRNTO