Ijeoma Opara, MD
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Wayne State University
Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency, Wayne State University
Attending Physician, Wayne State University Physician Group, Wayne State University

Dr. Nnodim Opara received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSUSOM) and is a graduate of Detroit Medical Center (DMC)/WSUSOM Internal Medicine-Pediatrics combined residency program, after which she served as Chief Medical Resident. Currently, she is a double-board certified Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at WSUSOM, Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency, and attending physician with Wayne State University Physician Group.

She is the founding director of an innovative initiative and curriculum “Health Equity and Justice in Medicine” for internal medicine, internal medicine-pediatrics, and pediatrics residents which combines critical reflection, community engagement, scholarship, and advocacy to address social and structural determinants of health and health disparities. She is Chair of the SEMCME committee on social determinants of health education and the Detroit Medical Center Graduate Medical Education Center for Quality Improvement, social determinant of health section.

She is also co-founding director of Wayne State University Global Health Alliance, a multidisciplinary organization created to unify university and regional global health practitioners and create a collaborative community of best practice in global and urban health. She co-created and co-directs the Global Urban Health & Equity curriculum (GLUE), an innovative interprofessional comprehensive certificate and competency-based global health curriculum. She provides clinical care to a chiefly underserved population, supervises resident clinics, and teaches inpatient and ambulatory medicine. Certified in Clinical Teaching by the Stanford Clinical Teaching Program and an inaugural fellow of the Academic Leadership Academy of Wayne State University, she is passionate about medical education, mentoring a number of residents and medical students in wellness, work-life integration, academic, and career development. Her areas of academic interests are in health equity, justice, social and structural determinants of health, global health, and interprofessional education.

A lead investigator in multiple interdisciplinary multi-center local and international research projects, she focuses on understanding how resilience can be leveraged as an asset to improve community health outcomes and convergence implementation science in effective professional development in structural and social determinants of health, health equity, and social justice of health professional trainees. A certified facilitator in cultural competency (cultural humility and microaggressions) and certified in Global Leadership by the American College of Academic International Medicine, she imbues every endeavor with her philosophy of ethical, culturally humble, patient-centered, evidence-based, high value, compassionate care and prioritizes attention to social determinants of health, disparities, and equity as part of a comprehensive approach to patients.

She has a long history of leadership in service to the African immigrant and African American communities and co-founded Africans in Medicine, whose mission is to unite African medical professionals to further the health interests of Africans living on the continent and in the Diaspora. Committed to activism and advocacy, she serves as a member of the Wayne County Medical Society public health committee and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health’s Network of Academic Advisers to improve policy development and US support for global health and international development. She also partners with multiple community based organizations to uplift the health of disenfranchised She is recipient of “Most Engaged Physician” award given by the Detroit Medical Center in recognition of her excellent track record in community service, collaboration with colleagues, and advocacy. She has also received “Faculty of the Year” award, given by the internal medicine-pediatrics residents to the faculty member who best embodies the aspects of great clinician educator, including mentorship, teaching, and humanism in medicine. Her hobbies include music, dance, theater, and writing. She is wife to Nkemjika and a proud mother of 3 beautiful girls: Ugochinyere (6 years old) and Oruebubechi (4 years old), and Chimamanda (2 years old).