The March to Become a Doctor

Dreams come true at UConn School of Medicine.

Jeffrey Boakye Asabere

Soon-to-be UConn School of Medicine graduate and future doctor, Jeffrey Boakye Asabere, has successfully matched early to his residency training program at the University of Rochester.

Jeffrey Boakye Asabere, 30, will soon be Dr. Boakye Asabere.

Born in Ghana and a graduate from the Historical Black College Philander Smith University in Little Rock, Arkansas, Boakye Asabere is set to receive his medical degree on May 6 from UConn School of Medicine, fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming a physician.

Jeffrey Boakye Asabere.
Jeffrey Boakye Asabere celebrating his early match outside the Academic Entrance of UConn Health.

“My love for science at a young age, coupled with my desire to increase access to care for the underserved drove me to medicine,” he says about his march toward becoming a doctor at UConn.

He experienced an early match into the field of Ophthalmology at his number one residency training program choice, the University of Rochester Flaum Eye Institute.

He is grateful to his mentors Dr. Elizabeth Simmons and Dr. Maheshwari Narinder who have been instrumental throughout his journey at UConn.

“It was relieving to see all the hard work pay off when I early matched into ophthalmology. The mission of restoring hope through surgical and clinical care of vision fostered my commitment to ophthalmology. It was exciting to see such a long-term dream come true,” says Boakye Asabere.

He wants to be an eye doctor because of the transformative ability to impact patients’ lives both locally and internationally.

“Ultimately, the gratification of witnessing the tangible improvements in patients’ vision and quality of life makes ophthalmology an immensely rewarding career path for me,” he says. “The training provided at UConn School of Medicine equips you to embrace your future role as a physician to best serve patients.”

Boakye Asabere heartwarmingly adds, “UConn embodies a place where individuals truly count. The team-based curriculum and the community as a whole foster a strong sense of closeness. I’m immensely thankful for the time I’ve spent with my Husky family.”

Since his first year of medical school, Boakye Asabere had the privilege of serving as a mentor for the Health Career Opportunities Program (HCOP) Doctors Academy led by Dr. Marja Hurley.

“It has been immensely gratifying to offer support and guidance to students navigating college applications and cultivating their passion for medicine. It was very fulfilling to spend some time every Saturday working with HCOP and the Doctors Academy. I truly got to appreciate the impact HCOP Doctors Academy has on the high school students and the community at large.”

Hurley cannot say enough about the future Dr. Boakye Asabere.

Jeffrey Boakye Asabere.
Fourth-year UConn medical student Jeffrey Boakye Asabere will enter ophthalmology residency this summer and aspires to be a physician-scientist.

“Jeffrey is an incredible person and was a very dedicated HCOP mentor to the youth of Connecticut dreaming of becoming future physicians. I know he will be an incredible physician-scientist,” says Hurley.

Impressively, before attending medical school, Boakye Asabere undertook a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.

Additionally, he dedicated a research year between his third and fourth years of medical school at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, focusing on unraveling mechanistic pathways underlying specific eye diseases and identifying pharmacotherapeutic targets for their treatment.

He was a recipient of the prestigious 2023 National Medical Association (NMA) Ophthalmology Award in honor of Dr. David Kearny McDonogh for his commitment to academic excellence, research, leadership, and service.

“Looking ahead to my career, I aspire to pursue academic ophthalmology as a physician-scientist, enabling me to conduct translational research alongside providing clinical care to patients,” Boakye Asabere says.

Other Class of 2024 medical students who matched early into residency programs include Ricky Paramo in Ophthalmology and Maria Antony in Urology.

Congratulations to these future ophthalmologists and urologist, and the rest of their classmates in the School of Medicine’s Class of 2024.