Michael Bamimore developed an interest in becoming a doctor as a young boy in Nigeria, witnessing many people in his community getting sick and dying from diseases that are treatable and preventable.
Bamimore was raised by his grandparents in Nigeria from the age of six to 13. His father, Emmanuel, a civil engineer, moved to the United States when Bamimore was two years old. His mother, Juliana, a nurse, moved to London when he was six years old. Bamimore was 13 when he and his younger brother Daniel moved to New Jersey to join their father.
Now, the biology graduate from Belleville, N.J., will attend the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine after his May 2017 graduation.
When Bamimore started college at another university in 2012, his grades were low, and he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to fulfill his dream.
“I gave myself an ultimatum that if I didn’t do well enough to be a pre-med student, I would follow a different path,” says Bamimore.
After transferring to Rutgers–Camden in 2013, Bamimore got a second chance. The small classes and attentive faculty were better suited for him. He got serious about school, and with the help of fellow students and faculty, he excelled. “I was living on the same floor as people who had similar aspirations and were taking the same classes that I was taking,” says Bamimore. “These guys were acing their classes, and after studying with them, many times, I started to notice significant changes in my grades.”
When he had trouble with a class, he sought help at the campus Learning Center, which offers tutoring and peer-led review sessions. His GPA jumped from 2.3 to 3.8.
His positive experience at the Learning Center led him to tutor fellow students who needed help with classes. In his last two years at Rutgers–Camden, Bamimore worked at the Learning Center, tutoring more than a dozen topics, including anatomy and physiology, biology, general chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, nursing chemistry, math, and psychology.
“Teaching all of these classes has also helped me to become a better and more versatile student,” says Bamimore. “Working there has somehow helped me to develop a very important aspect that I will most definitely need later in life as a physician – a good bedside manner and the ability to empathize with my patient’s dilemmas.”
Bamimore was a researcher with David Salas de la Cruz, an assistant professor of chemistry, and Eric Klein, an assistant professor of biology. Bamimore credits Salas de la Cruz, Klein, and Paul Moré, a lecturer in mathematics, with helping him reach his goal of attending medical school. “They gave me the resources I needed to be successful in my academic career,” says Bamimore, who hopes to become a brain surgeon.
He plans to return to Nigeria in the future to establish a hospital and help to revolutionize health care in the country, hoping one day he will be able to work with local and state governments to start a health-care system that would provide health care for anyone who needs it.
“Bringing a change to Nigeria’s health-care system is not just about giving back,” says Bamimore. “Most importantly, it is about providing the most basic human need to the ones who need it the most.”