One of Time magazine’s “2021 Next Generational Leaders”, Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa is a medical trailblazer spearheading change in healthcare and beyond. She is an accomplished physician, spoken word poet, and advocate for racialized and marginalized populations. Oriuwa draws on her personal and professional experience to share insight and actionable strategies into transformative leadership, mental health and wellness, and igniting change to build a more equitable future for all.
Currently a resident doctor in psychiatry at the University of Toronto (U of T), Oriuwa is a graduate of the University’s Faculty of Medicine. When she arrived as an incoming medical student to find she was the only Black student in her cohort, she channeled this disappointment into action, becoming a vocal advocate for improving disparities in Black health and confronting institutional discrimination.
Since then, Oriuwa has become the first Black woman to be named sole valedictorian of the department and has spoken at numerous national and international events on the topics of DEI, leadership, mental health, and her journey as an underrepresented minority in medicine. Oriuwa was also an ambassador and educator of U of T’s Black Student Application Program, where she saw the faculty admit the largest group of Black medical students in Canadian history.
In addition, Oriuwa is a professional spoken word artist. Working under the Hamilton Youth Poets, she has earned her place as a national slam poetry finalist twice. In 2017, she released her renowned slam poem “Woman, Black” and in 2018 published her seminal article In My White Coat, I am More Black than Ever for FLARE magazine’s Black History Month campaign. She has also been featured on CBC’s The National, CTV News, CP24, Toronto Star, Time magazine, and TODAY, amongst others. She is slated to release her first memoir with HarperCollins in 2023.
A recipient of numerous prestigious awards and honours, Oriuwa was named on Maclean’s Power 50 List in 2022 and was recognized as one of Best Health Magazine‘s “2020 Women of the Year”. She was also recently honoured in Mattel’s #ThankYouHeroes campaign alongside five other women with a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll made in her image to commemorate her contributions as a frontline healthcare worker.
In addition to her medical degree, Oriuwa has a master’s degree in Health Systems Leadership and Innovation from the University of Toronto. She also serves on Indigo’s board of directors, using her expertise to inform their efforts in advancing equity and curating spaces of wellness and inclusion.