Dr. Olutoye is a world-renowned fetal and pediatric surgeon who leads research on the role of the inflammatory response in scarless fetal wound healing and in-utero correction of severe congenital malformations.
About Dr. Olutoye
In his role as Surgeon-in-Chief, Dr. Olutoye leads one of the largest children’s hospital surgery departments in the world at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. He is also Professor and the E. Thomas Boles Jr. Chair of Pediatric Surgery at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine. Prior to joining Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Olutoye served as Co-Director of the Fetal Center and the immediate past president of the medical staff at Texas Children’s Hospital. At Baylor College of Medicine, also in Houston, TX, he was a tenured Professor of Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Pediatrics, and chair of the Faculty Senate. As a pediatric and fetal surgeon, he has specialized clinical expertise in fetal and neonatal surgery. Fetal surgeons work closely with obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine specialists to provide exceptional care for babies who need surgery in-utero and to improve outcomes for a range of conditions such as congenital diaphragmatic hernia, spina bifida and other congenital anomalies. In addition to his clinical expertise, Dr. Olutoye also leads an established research program focused on the role of the inflammatory response in scarless fetal wound healing, in-utero correction of severe congenital malformations, and the early detection of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants.
Dr. Olutoye received his medical degree from Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and earned his PhD in anatomy from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. He completed his residency in general surgery at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, Virginia Commonwealth University, and his fellowships in pediatric and fetal surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery in Surgery and Pediatric Surgery. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the West African College of Surgeons. Dr. Olutoye is a member of the American Surgical Association, the American Pediatric Surgical Association, past president of the International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society and past board member of the Wound Healing Society.
Tell Us About Yourself
I currently serves as Surgeon-In-Chief at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, one of the largest children’s hospital surgery departments in the world. I also hold the roles of Professor and the E. Thomas Boles Jr. Chair of Pediatric Surgery at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine. Prior to joining Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I served as Co-Director of the Fetal Center and the immediate past president of the medical staff at Texas Children’s Hospital. At Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, I was a tenured Professor of Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Pediatrics, and chair of the Faculty Senate.
In 2016 I successfully completed a challenging operation on a baby-in-utero. I worked with a brilliant team of 21 doctors to remove a sacrococcygeal teratoma from a baby’s tailbone.
What’s the most challenge part of your job?
I have one of the jobs where I enjoy going to work every day. I see it as a privilege and an honor. The challenging part of the job is the few times you lose a patient. It’s very challenging and difficult but, as tough as it might be for the clinical team, I can only imagine how difficult it is for the family. This puts life into perspective as we empathize and as we care for our patients through those challenges.
How are you helping to change the field of wound care?
The way to change the field is to contribute. I try to contribute every day, I try to contribute to knowledge, care that we provide, and to continue to hold myself to a high level of expertise, as well as improve what’s already known, and to see how we can advance by discovering new ideas, new challenges, new information, and concepts that can further advance the field.
What does being a Difference Maker mean to you?
I think everyone passes through this world hoping that they can make a difference. I think we are all difference makers in different ways. By impacting everyone around you, even if it’s only by making the next person better; or if it’s by looking for new techniques and expanding your knowledge, we can all be difference makers. I think being able to make a difference is what we are all here to do and what we all aspire to do. I hope we are able to accomplish that.
Tell us a story that reminds you why you pursued your career?
Every day, I am reminded why I pursued my career. Every day, I go to work and get up to do what I do because sometimes it’s being the answer to someone’s prayers. Being able to go to work and help a parent who is caring for a child in need, reassure them that you can help care for their children then return their child to them safety is why I do what I do. If I can help others and be the answer to someone’s prayers, that reminds me every day why I do what I do.
What’s something innovative you’ve done to advance the field of wound care?
The one thing about innovators is you can either bring something new to the field, contribute a different technique to something already existing or be privileged enough to highlight something we have all been doing for a while. I think I fall into the ladder; I see what I do as something a lot of clinicians get to do, and I feel privileged that I get to highlight our work. We think differently about what we do and try to expand it and find new techniques to address the same challenges and problems of yesterday. I think being innovative in research and finding new approaches to address the challenges of the past is what makes someone innovative every day. It’s one of those goals you never completely accomplish. The more you know, the more you know what you don’t know.