We all love DrBimpe’s inspiring story at Women’s Sphere. Sit back and get motivated.
I was born in Montreal, to a General Surgeon father and an educator mother. They met in Lagos as students, and had an adventurous spirit, with hopes of studying abroad, and going back home to make Nigeria healthier and more educated, in their respective fields.
A year after my birth and with degrees and certifications in hand, my parents moved back “home.” We lived in Ilorin, Kwara State for 7 years. I had an idyllic childhood with memories of friends and family surrounding us at school, work, and home.
When I was eight my father decided that it was best to move back to Canada. This time, we would be moving to Kapuskasing Ontario, a small town 10 hours north of Toronto.
The town was tiny. It was cold. We were the only Nigerians in town and for at least a 100km radius. Our attempts at blending in as the new kids were thwarted by the fact that nobody looked or sounded like us. For our first Halloween, we wore snowsuits under our costumes because we had never experienced cold like this before. My Mom was a de-facto cultural ambassador, pulled into every career day and ethnic day at school.
My parents made sure we had dinner together as a family every night. It was our chance to vent, commiserate, rally, and plan for the next day.
I loved school. I loved to learn. I loved to push myself. As an extroverted introvert, I excelled at subjects where I could just put pen to paper. I wrote the SAT in the tenth grade because a few other students were writing the exam with hopes of securing hockey scholarships in the United States.
I wrote the SAT and scored very well. This motivated me to write the SAT 2. I registered and used money earned from my job at a local coffee shop to buy a bus ticket. The test was only offered in Toronto. I was the last student allowed into the exam room and as they were out of seats, I had to sit facing the other examinees. Unfazed, I read quickly and answered questions, circling the bubbles as quickly as I could.
I got a large envelope in the mailbox. Could it be? I opened it, with tremulous fingers, and the booklet said, “Welcome to Yale.”
I had a wonderful 4 years there where I met amazing people. I interacted with President’s children, and was taught by Nobel laureates. I studied abroad at Oxford, a wonderful experience that sparked my interest in travel. From there, I pursued a Master’s in Public Health at Columbia University. Living in New York City as a 21-year-old was beyond exciting.
I then went to medical school in Ottawa, residency in Hamilton, fellowship at Harvard and I’m now a Plastic Surgeon who is board certified in Canada and the United States. I am the Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at Southlake Regional Health Center. My practice is varied, and I perform breast reconstruction surgery, hand surgery, and cosmetic surgery.
What I know now is that you have to dream big. You have to ignore your own self-doubt. You have to run your own race and chart your own course. It is lonely at the top. Keep your few friends and family close. Keep the faith.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr Bimpe and her amazing family. I worked along side her father for many years. This is a well deserved honour Bimpe, congratulations. Well deserved.
Congratulations on all your accomplishments at such a young age. You come from a remarkable family and I so admire your parents. I live in Kapuskasing, the mother of Al and Marc Proulx. You may remember them from KDHS.
I know your dad and have met your mom. More decent, hard working, gentle, people you will never meet. I had a lot of respect and trust in your father as a surgeon and as a person. I wish the whole town had become aware of how unfairly and unjustly he was treated before leaving us. I wish him well in his retirement. Congratulations again to you and to all your siblings who all succeeded thanks to a wholesome upbringing!
Congratulations Your parents must be so proud of you
Keep up the good work
Your dad was out doctor and we miss them so much
I love your article, this is so awesome. hopefully you still write something like this! Bobbette Zebedee Dixon
Definitely, what a great blog and revealing posts, I definitely will bookmark your site. Best Regards! Lynelle Dar Casper
I like reading an article that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment! Zara Tannie Wichman
Congratulations on all your successes. You deserve every one of them!
My parents lived next door to your family on Edgerton and could not have asked for better neighbors.
I went back to school when I was 38. It was very difficult and ran into a lot of barriers and prejudice. I overcame and fought through them, paid a high price, but I had a dream to fulfill. I worked with your father in the Or at times as a student and he allowed me to do many thing with patients and taught me to be respectful of all patients under anesthesia as you are their advocate and protector. He also told me that “ if you are kind to the tissue, the tissue will be kind to you”. I carried that with me in my nursing profession for the duration of my ICU career. We live in a large city and have for a very long time so I could pursue my dream . I have always been grateful to your father for all his help, teaching and kindness. Your parents are the exception to the rule and raised wonderful, talented children who have made the most of their skills for the betterment of society. Be proud of yourselves for what you have all accomplished. Thank you all. I am so happy for you.