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Chudi Mgbako, DPM ('08) and Obinna Mgbako, DPM ('04)
Two hardworking and close brothers, Dr. Chudi Mgbako and Dr. Obinna Mgbako, are NYCPM’s Featured DPMs for autumn 2019. Dr. Obinna Mgbako completed his undergraduate degree in Computer Science at New York University while Dr. Chudi Mgbako studied Information Systems at Pace University. Obinna graduated from NYCPM four years before Chudi started his podiatric education in 2004. Both were interested in taking part in the health-care field in some way when they decided to take pre-medical courses in college. Their father was a psychiatrist and helped them explore other fields of medicine. Both the then-students had interests in sports medicine and were impressed by the wide scope of practice involved in podiatry.
Upon attaining their doctorates, both physicians completed three-year surgical residencies; Dr. Obinna Mgbako attended the Morristown Memorial Hospital program in Morristown, NJ from 2004 to 2007 and was blown away by the vast array of surgeries that the residents were participating in. There was “… great case diversity and the residents themselves were competent and held great responsibility by acting as first assists in many surgical cases.” Dr. Chudi Mgbako attended the Montefiore Medical Center program in Bronx, NY from 2008 to 2011, where he was able to see a variety of pathologies. He selected it for his residency because of its emphasis on wound care and its extensive rear foot and ankle training.
During their time at NYCPM, both brothers were involved in various extra-curricular activities, most notably as players in the NYCPM basketball team during the Tennessee conference, and as volunteers for many health fairs in Harlem. Both doctors advised first- and second-year students who are still in their pre-clinical years to continue to focus on their studies and get through these first two pivotal years to set up a foundation that can be worked on in the clinic.
In their clinical years, both Obinna and Chudi Mgbako felt that NYCPM’s clinical exposure prepared them well; they saw a variety of people with different backgrounds and issues who were facing both simple and complex diseases. This type of experience helped both brothers gain the confidence they needed to talk to patients, listen to them, and develop a solid health care plan for their patients. “It’s [the clinic] where everything started,” stated Dr. Chudi Mgbako.
Dr. Obinna Mgbako advised students in their clinical years to continue to study hard and update themselves on new science, medicine, and technology by reading journals and articles. “Don’t be afraid to speak up during externships, and don’t be afraid to volunteer or stay late. Always try and be there the earliest. Always be willing to spend more time at the particular program,” he said.
Both doctors currently practice at the Foot and Ankle Specialists of New Jersey, with branch locations at Rahway, Union, Westfield, and Morristown. The two other doctors in their group practice are also NYCPM graduates, Dr. Krupa Patel and Dr. Yu-Ching Chi. Their practice offers a wide variety of foot and ankle care including treatments for plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, corns, warts, ingrown toenails, heel pain, gout, heel spurs, athlete’s foot, ankle injuries, neuroma, sports injuries, and poor circulation; Dr. Obinna Mgbako calls it, “Podiatry 101 plus more.”
When asked what it is like working with his brother, Dr. Obinna Mgbako stated, “I am a proud brother to say the least. We don’t necessarily have the same office hours together but when we have ground rounds as a practice, we discuss the particularities for a patient. We love each other and that’s what comes first and everything else flows from that.” Dr. Chudi Mgbako also described the benefits of working in a group practice because “you can bounce ideas off each other and you can consult about different issues.” He also stated that it was important to branch out and communicate with other doctors in your community who might be sources referrals. “Podiatry is a growing medical field and a lot of our contemporaries don’t understand the scope of practice we have in regards to the foot and ankle, so it is up to us to meet those other health professionals and show them that we are qualified,” he adds.
Both physicians explained the importance of empathy and honesty when trying to become a successful DPM. “You should get into this field if you want to provide a service for your community and want to help people,” explains Dr. Chudi Mgbako. Dr. Obinna Mgbako added that the most rewarding aspect of being a DPM is the positive impact you have on someone’s life and the ability to make someone feel better than they did before treatment. Both also stressed the importance of maintaining a proper work-life balance. Dr. Obinna Mgbako makes sure to spend quality family time with his wife and two young sons and Dr. Chudi Mgbako enjoys his free time with family, friends, working out, and leading a healthy lifestyle.
Drs. Obinna Mgbako and Chudi Mgbako are both brothers and doctors who practice podiatry because they want to give back to those in need of care. Their close bond with one another and with their community helps drive their successful practice.
By Henna Akbarzai, Class of 2022
Ⓒ New York College of Podiatric Medicine 53 East 124th Street New York, NY 10035