Motivational Personality of the Week – Dr. Ola (Orekunrin) Brown


Dr. Ola Orekunrin is a British-Nigerian healthcare entrepreneur, who hails from Ilawe-Ekiti in Ekiti State, Nigeria. She was born, raised and trained under the care of foster parents (with her sister) in Lowestoft, United Kingdom. She is the Founder and Managing Director of Flying Doctors Nigeria Limited, the first and only full air ambulance service in West Africa.

  1. With a passion for medicine, she studied at the University of York in the UK, graduating at the incredibly young age of 21 as a qualified doctor. For her postgraduate studies, she specialized in pre-hospital and trauma care.
  2. Her rise in the field of medical studies took her to Japan as a result of her being awarded the MEXT Japanese Government Scholarship. There, she conducted clinic research in the field of regenerative medicine at the Jikei University Hospital.
  3. After graduation, Dr. Ola worked with the National Health Service, United Kingdom. However, the catalyst for a major life and career decision came when her sister became very ill on holiday whilst staying with relatives in Nigeria.
  4. As a helicopter pilot with specialized training in aviation medicine, she pioneered the first air operated Emergency medical services in Lagos, Nigeria – Flying Doctors Nigeria Limited. Dr. Ola was motivated to start the organization after the loss of her sister and to improve medical services in Nigeria.
  5. The death of her sister and the circumstances that caused it, broke Ola’s heart, so she left her job and took the decision to move to Nigeria where she could try to make a difference to the lives of other patients and improving healthcare in the country.
  6. Undaunted by difficult challenges of doing business in Nigeria, she successfully established Flying Doctors in Lagos. Flying Doctors Nigeria Limited is a 100% Nigerian indigenous company which provides urgent helicopter, air plane ambulance and evacuation services in Nigeria and other countries across West Africa.
  7. Ola is a member of both the American Academy of Aesthetic Surgeons and the British Medical Association. Dr. Ola has also lectured on entrepreneurship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  8. She has received several awards and recognition. In 2012, she received ThisDay Awards (Contribution to Health in Africa) 2012, The Future Award as ‘Entrepreneur of the year 2012’, and in 2013 NewsDirect Awards as ‘Outstanding Female CEO of the Year 2013’. In February 2018, she received “Extraordinary Business Achievement Award” at the Silverbird Group’s annual award held in Lagos, becoming the youngest person ever to win the prestigious award at age 30 and the only woman in the last decade. Dr. Ola is also a TED fellow and has been honored by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a Young Global Leader, in 2012.
  9. Ola is married to David Brown and currently resides in Lagos State, where she is considered a national expert of disaster medicine and pre-hospital care.
  10. Her company, Flying Doctors Nigeria Limited has been featured on various local TV and radio stations as well as the BBC and CNN.


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