Weatherby Healthcare is proud to count Olabisi Jagun, MD, as one of four 2018 Difference Maker physicians who will represent Weatherby Healthcare on a humanitarian trip to Kenya this August. Funded by a generous grant from the Making a Difference Foundation. Dr. Jagun and her fellow physicians will provide care at Baraka Hospital and spend time training local physicians during their visit.
In 2017, the Making a Difference Foundation provided a grant to send three physicians to Kenya, where they treated more than 400 patients, including delivering a set of twins. On the same trip, non-medical representatives helped build a new school classroom and cafeteria.
“When I heard it about this program, I said, ‘Oh I’m doing this. I hope I’m selected,’” Dr. Jagun recalls. “Now, I’m very excited.”
However, the trip next month won’t be the first time Dr. Jagun will serve on an international medical mission. For the past 10 years, she and her son have volunteered for humanitarian projects in her home country of Nigeria as well as Uganda.
“My son has been going on medical missions with me since middle school. With him, I get the enthusiasm to help and he is very hardworking once he’s in the field,” she says.
“For me, it’s about giving back and bringing awareness to health disparities. It’s a way I can bring some kind of focus to the fact that a lot of people just don’t have access to any kind of medical care. Either they can’t afford it or the centers are too far away. There are too many obstacles between people and their attempts to get healthcare,” says Dr. Jagun, who is board-certified in both nephrology and internal medicine, and has been practicing in emergency medicine for most of her career.
Locum tenens makes it possible
Being able to give back to people in need is extremely important to Dr. Jagun. She strives to volunteer for up to four international medical missions per year, each typically lasting 10 days. Of course, that degree of commitment can conflict with the extensive demands and responsibilities of running a private or group practice. It can be equally difficult for full-time, permanent hospital staff to request so much time off unless they’re willing to use up personal vacation days.
Because she accepts locum tenens assignments almost exclusively, however, Dr. Jagun avoids those scheduling dilemmas.
“Locum tenens is flexible, and that makes it so much easier for me,” she says. “It works better for me and all the things I’m doing in my communities, both abroad and in the United States.”
Still, combining locum tenens opportunities and multiple international medical missions throughout the year demands some clever planning. Dr. Jagun closely confers with her Weatherby Healthcare consultant to book as many short-term assignments as far out as possible.
“I already have my schedule for the rest of the year. Also, everywhere I work, I submit my schedule, which makes everybody happy. I’m happy I can do my missions and the facilities I’m assigned to are happy because they have my schedule many months in advance,” she comments.
Although next month’s trip wasn’t part of her original 2018 schedule, being named as a Difference Maker may end up supporting her other humanitarian efforts.
Not only will Dr. Jagun experience a new practice environment with a new group of peers—similar to locum tenens assignments—but the Make a Difference Foundation grant will cover her expenses. Typically, Dr. Jagun self-finances her trips abroad.
“Because I try to teach philanthropy in medicine, I usually pay the way of medical residents and students to accompany me on our medical missions,” she explains. “When I heard the foundation was paying my way, it was totally unbelievable to me. The money I’m not spending on this trip, I’m ready to use on my next mission to Nigeria. That’s how much of a blessing this sponsorship brings to myself and my son.”