Meet ex-CBN Governor, Sanusi’s son who is a Heart Surgeon

Dr. Michael Sanusi to Asabeafrika…’My Dad is a very balanced individual’

Dr.  Michael Sanusi is an adult and Paediatric Surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons as well as
the West African College of Surgeons.
He obtained his MD in 1990 from University
of Ibadan
, Nigeria. He relocated to the USA for his surgical training and became a general Surgeon in 1999,
gradating at the top of his surgery residency class with honors from the
UCLA/Drew University Medical Center in Los
Angeles
, scoring in the top 98% percentile in the US General Surgery Board
Examinations. Dr. Sanusi worked as a
General Surgeon in the United States of America and Nigeria before returning to
train as an adult and Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon at State University of New York/Maimonides
Medical Center and Emory University/Children Healthcare of Atlanta.
He is a US board certified in General and Thoracic Surgery.
Dr. Michael Sanusi is the first born of ex-Central Bank of Nigeria Governor and veteran
economist, Mr. Joseph Sanusi. He is
presently one of the 5 best heart surgery experts who work at the Nigeria’s
most equiped Heart Surgery & Cardiovascular Hospital, Tristate Heart & Vascular Center at Backcock University,
Ilisan-Remo, Ogun state—South West Nigeria. Your Africa’s Number1 Celebrity
Encounter blog, Asabeafrika recently
cornered him at his office in Ilisan during a facility tour of Tristate Heart
& Vacular Center (THVC)
Enjoy the excerpts.

Dr. Michael Sanusi’s boss, Professor Kamar Adeleke, CEO, Tristate Heart & Vascular Center (THVC)

Can you tell me a bit about you sir?
My name is Doctor
Michael Sanusi
. I am a Paedratic & Adult Cardiothoracic Surgeon and
I deal with much of vascular and heart surgery as well.
What do you like about your job?
Well, I like
the fact that I help people to gain back their hope to live it all over again.
The mere fact that people come into the theatre in near death condition and I
am opportune to be one of those who can offer help through my practice gives me
enough joy. I enjoy what is involved because it takes a lot of planning and a
lot of structural adjustment and finally a good work.
How many years have you been practicing?
I have been
a heart surgeon since 2006. 

“The mere fact that people come into
the theatre in near death condition and I am opportune to be one of those who
can offer help through my practice gives me enough joy”

Dr. Michael Sanusi with a team of Nigeria’s Media Executives & his Colleagues at Tristate Hearts & Vascular Center

Where did you get your knowledge,
sir?
I went to
secondary school at King’s College, Lagos. I went to Medical School in UI
(University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital). I did General Surgery at  Martin Luther King/Druw UCLA Medical Center
in Los Angelles. I studied Cardiac
Surgery
at the State University of Brooklyn in New York  and Paediatric Cardiac Surgery at Emory
University
in Atlanta Georgia, USA.
What about work experience?
I started
practice in 2006 and I first worked at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia and later got a job with
University
of California
at San Francisco
before I was invited to work with Lagos State University Teaching Hospital
in 2009. I worked with LASUTH until 2014 when I joined Tristate. It has really
been a wonderful and exciting decade of practice.

“I am intrigued by the heart. I am
intrigued by how it works. I am intrigued by the fact that the heart can be
harmed today and the delicacy of having to repair it. The heart is a very, very
delicate part of the human body”

Dr. Michael Sanusi to Asabeafrika…’My Job is to treat the Heart’

Really, when you wake up every
morning and you remember you have one or two hearts to treat, how do you feel?
What I enjoy
about the job is one, I like helping people to restore health to their hearts.
I am intrigued by the heart. I am intrigued by how it works. I am intrigued by
the fact that the heart can be harmed today and the delicacy of having to
repair it. The heart is a very, very delicate part of the human body. It is the
most precious part after the brain and if you are to really enjoy the use of
the brain, you must also take cognizance of the fact that the heart is
precious. My job is to repair the heart. My job is to give the heart the
benefit of functioning well and perfect. My job is to treat a sick heart. It is
the best job in the world and that is what we do at TRISTATE. We are the
heart doctors. We treat people’s hearts from our heart.
Your dad the former CBN Governor, Mr.
Jacob Sanusi was a great economist. Why did you decide to choose health to
dad’s Profession?
Immediately
I got into school I started studying medicine. I used to do holiday jobs when I
was in secondary school and I felt that working in a bank or in an office was
too cold and too official. I wanted something that would keep me on my foot,
busy and I found that in medicine. I never intended to sit in one room and
remain on same spot from 8-5. I wanted something that would challenge my
intellect, something that will challenge my creativity and that I happily found
in medicine. For dad, he saw nothing wrong in my decision to study medicine. I
am fulfilled.

Dr.
Michael Sanusi in a group photograph with Asabeafrika’s Gbenga Dan
Asabe, Dr. Tosin Majekodunmi, Professor Kamar Adeleke, Dr. Olukunle
Iyanda and Dr. Bola Oyesola

Are you dad’s scion?
Yes, I am.
How will you describe him as a
person? Did he ever spank you as a child?
My dad is
well balanced. He could be gentle with you and he could as well be turned other
way round depending on how good you are willing to collaborate with him. Dad
appreciated manners, good discipline and intelligence. Just give him your
corporation in terms of seriousness and dad will be a diplomat but if you are
not going to be serious with studies, then, you get the other side of him. Dad
is a balanced person, he is not too gentle to his children that you will get
spoilt and become a liability but he is diplomatic enough to support your drive
for diligence, hard work and good manners. Dad cherished good manners. 

“In the long term, government should
promote and establish a health insurance scheme for the citizen. Government
should ensure that every single Nigerian has medical insurance for both the
good and bad days. For government to achieve this there must be a legislation
to back it up”.

What are those things he taught you
that are today timeless and ingrained in you?
He taught us
the fear of God honesty and compassion. Like I said dad cherished hard work.
You can’t stay around him without a sense of duty. You must be serious. You
must be determined for success.
What about mum?
My mum Mrs.
Abigail Sanusi
is a retired teacher. She used to work with Lagos State
Government under the Ministry of Education. She is a very humble and
disciplined woman. She taught us ethics.
How many of you in the family?
We have 5 of
us, two men and three women. I am the first born.
Are you married?
Yes, I have
a happy family with four lovely girls. I am proud of my kids.
Do you have hobbies?
Not at all;
I used to play squash but it has been over 4 years I played squash last. I am
busy with my job and my job has actually taken the place of my hobby.
Which country is your favorite
holiday spot?
That will be
USA. 

Dr.
Michael Sanus (L)i & Colleagues, Dr. Tosin Majekodunmi, Professor
Kamar Adeleke, Dr. Olukunle Iyanda and Dr. Bola Oyesola

As a Paedratic and Adult
Cardiothoracic surgeon who studied and worked in the USA, how do you think
Nigerian Government can help solve the problem of cardiovascular death which is
now rampant among the elites?
I think in
the short term Government both at state, local government and national level
could help to sponsor patients who are victims of heart illness. Government can
provide sponsorship for patients. In the long term, government should promote
and establish a health insurance scheme for the citizen. Government should
ensure that every single Nigerian has medical insurance for both the good and
bad days. For government to achieve this there must be a legislation to back it
up. We need a law from the National Assembly to enforce every Nigerian to
either pay N1000, N500 or N250 every month into a certain health security
account. This pool of fund will serve as security for those who need emergency
heart surgery or any other debilitating situation that warrants such amount of
money. Out of 100% of Nigerians, 5% will always be sick; this insurance will
serve as emergency fund. Of course, everyone must pay a certain amount at the
end of every month. Both the ill and the healthy ones so that when a taxi cab
owner who has no huge savings in any bank is ill and need a heart surgery we can
always take from this pool of funds and take care of the person. We have
situations where even high grade officers like Professors are ill and they need
emergency treatment and there is no funds to prosecute the treatment and in
most cases, this people die. In all advanced countries of the world, health
insurance policy is an integral part of social engineering.  Not all the time you will expect the
population to be ill but for the few who are ill from time to time, a strong
health tax policy will help them. A national health insurance policy will serve
as a lasting panacea. Now, I learnt government is trying to sponsor kids from 0
to 5 years, I mean kids with hole in the heart, but we can do pretty more than
that. All we need in Nigeria is a national health insurance scheme and the rest
will be history.
(For Consultation with Dr. Michael
Sanusi & his team, Visit Tristate Cardiovascular Institute, Babcock
University Teaching Hospital, Ilisan-Remo-Ogun State—Nigeria. Or call: +234
-701-875 -7530, +234-807 -401- 2039, +234-807-100-0900. Or simply visit
www.tristatecardiovascular.com)

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