Oriaku A. Kas-Osoka, MD, an associate professor in the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV Department of Pediatrics, is one of the few Southern Nevada physicians who specializes in adolescent medicine.
With an educational background that includes a fellowship in adolescent medicine from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Dr. Kas-Osoka appreciates that working in academic medicine allows her to focus on a vulnerable population that is often overlooked and under-appreciated.
“I purposefully got a master’s degree in medical education because I wanted to focus on connecting educational research to my clinical work,” she said. “My goal is to teach medical students and residents about the importance of adolescence as it is one of the times in a child’s life that we as doctors can make a huge impact. If we cater to them and look out for their well-being, it will make a difference in their future.”
A graduate of the medical school at UCLA, Dr. Kas-Osoka believes there must be more attention given to mental health programs.
“I am a big advocate for mental health care among children, teenagers, and young adults,” she said. “I recognize that there may be a stigma in the community about getting help and, because of this, people wait too long. We as a community of medical professionals, social workers, and mental health professionals need to work together to provide team-based mental health care for those who need it.”
Becoming the director of our pediatric residency program has been one of her biggest accomplishments to date. Being a part of a physician’s journey, whether it be a medical student or a resident, is one of the most fruitful, exciting, and powerful experiences you can have. She is happy to have been chosen to carry out this legacy. Although she recognizes how challenging it can be, it is also rewarding. As many of her residents will tell you, her slogan is “do better, be better, deserve and expect better.” She lives by this and teaches others to do the same. She believes that we are forever growing, molding, and developing so why not do it together and learn from one another. She has not met a medical student, resident, or colleague that she couldn’t learn something from.