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Nigerian Doctor, Olakunle Akinboboye, Appointed First Black Chair Of US Cardiovascular Disease Board

Dr. Ola Akinboboye, Associate Professor of Cardiology at Cornell Weill Medical Center and head of the Association of Black Cardiologists, in his Rosedale, Queens office. (ANDREW SCHWARTZ FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

The US Cardiovascular Disease Board Appoints Nigerian Doctor, Olakunle Akinboboye, Chair Of US Cardiovascular Disease Board

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has appointed a Nigerian doctor, Olakunle Akinboboye, as the chair of the cardiovascular disease board.

It is the first time that the 81-year-old body would appoint a black chair to head the cardiovascular disease board.

Akinboboye will be responsible for certifying all deserving cardiologists in the United States.

Heading the 12 members of the board from all over the country, Akinboboye will carry out periodic knowledge assessments of all practising cardiologists in the US.

Commenting on his appointment, Akinboboye said he is “proud to have the opportunity to chair this very important Board.

“Unfortunately I am taking over the mantle of leadership at a point in time in which many cardiologists are openly revolting because of what they perceive as high handedness of the board over the years.”

Akinboboye said his goal as the board chair is “to work with other board members to come up with assessments for practicing cardiologists that are fair, and not unduly burdensome”.

Richard Baron, president and CEO of ABIM, via a press release, welcomed the new chair on behalf of the board.

He said, “we are honored to have Dr. Berns, Dr. Akinboboye and Dr. Udden—three highly regarded physicians with significant clinical experience to serve the community in their disciplines and across specialties to offer more choice, relevance and convenience as they help to set the standards for excellent patient care”.

Here are a few things to note about the doctor.


Akinboboye received his medical degree from the College of Medicine at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and later finished his internal medicine residency and part of his cardiology fellowship at the Nassau County Medical Center, State University of Stony Brook.

He has masters degrees in public health from Columbia University and business administration from Columbia Business School.

He completed his fellowship in cardiology with two years of dedicated training in nuclear cardiology and advanced echocardiography, when he moved to Columbia University.


Certified in cardiovascular disease, hypertension and sleep medicine, this won’t be his first board appointment. Akinboboye serves as chair of the clinical trials committee of the organisation and also on the international board of governors of the American college of cardiology as the liaison for Africa.

He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, the medical director of Queens Heart Institute/Laurelton Heart specialist in Rosedale, Queens, New York and a past-president of the National Association of Black Cardiologists’ (ABC).

The doctor won an award for “exemplary professional services and outstanding contributions to cardiovascular medicine” while serving as president of the Ibadan College of Medicine alumni association, North America, between 2004-2005.