Doctor of Medicine, Justin Chukwudi Olewuezi became the first Nigerian to graduate from Siberian State Medical University in Tomsk, Russia.
In an exclusive interview with PUNCH online, Olewuezi revealed that few Nigerians and Africans come from elsewhere to this part of Russia, preferring the western part of the country.
Dr. Olewuezi’s trip to Russia began in Nigeria at the Air Force Comprehensive School in Enugu.
After passing the United Tertiary Matriculation Examination twice conducted by the Joint Admission Matriculation Board and obtaining 247 and 260 respectively, without being admitted to a Nigerian university, he decided to look abroad.
He said that with the help of his mother, he was able to make his dreams come true.
Olewuezi said, “I always wanted to study abroad and obviously do something on my own at Air Force High School, Enugu. So after failing twice even with JAMB scores of 247 and 260 respectively, I decided to study abroad. So after talking to a Russian-trained doctor (Dr. Okere, then a medical student), I decided to go for it.
“My trip to Russia actually started at a polytechnic university, Tomsk Polytechnic University, where I studied Russian language and some science subjects also in Russian language. Then I moved to Siberian State Medical University, Tomsk (@ssmutomsk).
Arrival in Tomsk
Dr Olewuezi says he has to thank his sister for her wisdom and her decision to buy him a winter jacket as he entered the country in early winter, which can be quite extreme in the country .
Be the first Nigerian to attend Tomsk University
He said, “Yes I am. In fact, many Africans did not pass through this city 6-10 years ago and most African / Nigerien students preferred to study in the western part of Russia.
“My university was founded in 1888, so it’s 133 years old.”
Dr Olewuezi is not only the first Nigerian at the Siberian State Medical University in Tomsk, but he also achieved the highest marks in the university.
“I graduated with a 5.0 cgpa grading system in 5.0,” he said.
Medicine chose it
In one of his Instagram posts, Dr Olewuezi revealed that medicine was not his original career path, but that the profession had chosen him.
Asked about this post, he said: “I was in a technical / science course in Air Force high school, but later realized that engineering was not for me. (I wasn’t really into math and extra math) so when it came time to fill out my JAMB form, I decided to go with human anatomy.
“I asked my mother for advice, and she told me why not go and get some medicine, that I shouldn’t be afraid of anything. I was afraid of the competition on the other hand. And since then, I’ve been thinking about becoming an oncologist. So, in a way, medicine chose me.
Jollof rice and Russian grandparents
Stressing that the city of Tomsk is a city for students, says the new doctor, the city is “a really friendly city for local and international students.
“My experience has been quite memorable. I made good friends, especially with the locals, and I think the nicest people on earth are Russian grandparents😊.
“I have also had both pleasant and less pleasant experiences in my clinical practice. The food here is quite different from ours, but there are ingredients to make “Naija jollof”.
Thanking his mother, who is now retired, for her success, Dr Olewuezi, who is the last of three children, said his mother understood the importance of education and was ready to go the extra mile to educate her children .
He said: “My older brother is a city planner and a city planner with a doctorate and my sister is a civil engineer with a master’s degree in education. My family is not rich, so you can understand how hard my mom had to work to get me to study medicine. My mother is the story of my success. She is now retired. “(Sic)