Meet Olurotimi Badero, the Nigerian doctor who is the world’s first fully trained heart and kidney specialist

Right now, the world has only one fully trained cardio-nephrologist (heart and kidney specialist) and he just so happens to be from West Africa.

Olurotimi Badero is the world's only combined heart and kidney specialist doctor (Jackson Free Press)

Olurotimi John Badero was born in Lagos, Nigeria to Chief Eliab Olufemi Badero and Stella Taiwo Badero.

His father was a tailor who later became a typist and administrative manager at Scoa Motors while his mother worked as a secretary with Barclays Bank in the early 1970s.

Becoming the world’s first and only fully trained certified cardio-nephrologist (Combined Heart & Kidney Specialist Physician)

Badero attended St. Mary’s Private School in Lagos before receiving his secondary school education at Federal Government College Odogbolu, Ogun State. After completing his undergraduate studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, he enrolled in the Medical School.

He went on to work at General Hospital Isolo in Lagos state before relocating to the United States. Describing the challenges that came with the move, Nigeriandoctors quotes him as saying, “I drove the cab during the day, and I prepared for my exams at night. I did not have money to buy books, but I used the library. I remember a time I had to eat only bread for 3 days. I learnt very early in life that a goal without a plan is only a wish and that there is no testimony without a test. The only time that success comes before work is in the dictionary. I also learnt from my dad the value of hard work, as well as, perseverance and not letting the moments define you but defining the moment by embracing the challenge.”

He eventually passed the U.S National Medical exam for foreign-trained doctors and completed a three-year internal medicine residency training at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center in 2004.

Dr Badero later got into the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta where he earned his speciality degree in nephrology and hypertension. Working in this field made him realise that he needed to do more.

Explaining his desire to Financial Nigeria, he said, While I was in training at Emory University School of Medicine as a kidney specialist… I quickly found out that the commonest cause of death for the patients that died was heart disease and not kidney diseases. And we were doing a great job taking care of these patients but ultimately they died from a disease I didn’t have much control of as I would have loved to.”

Dr Badero added, “That was a challenge I had to embrace being someone, whose decision to be a physician was to make a difference. I realized it was very difficult for me to make that difference, albeit we were taking care of patients and they were living longer. So that set the stage for me to decide if I wanted to explore ways of becoming more effective. I started toying with the idea of going back to specialise in cardiology because I really wanted to get to the bottom of the problem.”

This realisation took him back to SUNY Downstate Medical Center where he completed a three-year fellowship training in cardiovascular medicine in 2009. He was accepted into Yale University three years later where he completed these fellowships with distinction: interventional cardiology, peripheral vascular medicine and peripheral vascular convention.

Dr Badero specializes in seven different areas of medicine. In his words, “By training, I specialised in internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, invasive & interventional cardiology, nephrology and hypertension, interventional nephrology & endovascular medicine, nuclear cardiology as well as peripheral vascular interventions. Putting all that together, I would like to think of myself as an interventional cardio nephrologist as well as a peripheral vascular interventionalist. Altogether, I spent ten years of continuous post-graduate medical training which I later found out was unprecedented.”


Dr Badero has received several awards including a Congressional award for outstanding medical career and service to humanity. He has been recognized by the United States where he was recently named as one of the top interventional cardiologists in the country. His achievements have also been recognised by the United Kingdom and Africa. 

When he’s not practising medicine from his full-fledged medical practice in Brooklyn, New York or travelling the world teaching others, he serves as the assistant pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Vine Chapel in Jackson, Mississippi.


Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: