DR. LIZA EGBOGAH - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Dr. Liza Egbogah is the clinic director and founder of the[clinic], Toronto's renowned Comprehensive Health Center. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic, graduating with Summa Cum Laude and clinic honors from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and also holds a Pharmacology degree with distinction from the University of Alberta. Dr. Liza is a Myofascial [muscle] Release provider, certified personal trainer and a member of Harvard's post graduate association. She is the immediate past president of BNI Bay Street.
As a Chiropractor, Dr. Liza has had extensive experience consulting with senior executives, celebrities and political leaders on health matters, pain control and stress reduction strategies. She is a sought out speaker and has presented for the Ontario government, workplaces throughout Toronto, luxury hotels and various events. She has appeared on Global TV, CTV, MTV, provided expert opinion for NOW magazine, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail and written articles for Jolee magazine and the Nigerian Canadian newspaper.
Dr. Liza believes in a holistic approach to health. Through the use of well rounded treatment protocols that include chiropractic adjustments, massage, mobilizations, myofascial release techniques, electrotherapeutic modalities, laser therapy, exercise/stretch prescription, nutritional/ lifestyle counseling, postural assessment, and custom orthotic therapy, Dr. Liza is renowned for exceeding patients' expectations of care by employing innovative and individualized treatment methods.
As a former athlete practicing various martial arts [Karate, Capoeira], competing in track and field [hurdles, sprint] and dabbling in dance [ballet, hip-hop], Dr. Liza continues to maintain an active lifestyle regularly practicing Bikram yoga, working out at the gym and participating in various fitness classes.
What many people may not know about you?
I have been truly blessed and have had always had a privileged life. However, most people do not know about my struggles with racism. I went to an American school in Malaysia from age 10-15. During that time teachers accused me of cheating on exams, my invitations to award ceremonies were ‘forgotten’ and I was called into the principal’s office for reading too much. They did not believe that I could get 100% on exams without cheating, they did not want me to walk to the front of the auditorium for everyone to see me collecting awards for academic achievement and they didn’t believe that a black girl could read as much as she claimed in her journal. Although as a kid/teenager those experiences were devastating, they only made me stronger and helped push me to succeed.
What's your inspiration and how do you get motivated?
My family, friends, patients and everyday heroes are my inspiration. My parents are my role models because they have accomplished so much despite the adversity they have suffered. They motivate me to succeed by following their example. My patients also motivate me every day. Seeing people come to see me in pain and leave feeling better is a great motivator as a Chiropractor and encourages me to continue learning so I can do even more for them.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
Hard work, perseverance and a great support system have got me to where I am today.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered for the great relationships I have with my family, improving the quality of life of my patients and those around me, helping those in need and brightening up the days of strangers.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
I know that in order to be happy I need to have a great work life balance. As I schedule time for my patients I always ensure that I schedule time for family, friends, and leisure. Some people feel guilty about taking time off of work to go on vacation or spend time with family. I don’t, because I understand that by doing these things I will be happier and have more energy to care for my patients.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
Favorite food: As I cannot name one particular food I will go with a cuisine. I love Malaysian food!
Favorite book: My favorite book that I have read in the last year is my late uncle’s book There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra. I always love learning more about my background and history.
Favorites music: I usually prefer R&B but one song that I love right now is ‘Young and Beautiful’ by Lana Del Rey
Favorite movie: Different movies are great for different reasons but the most recent movie that I have adores is The Great Gatsby.
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
As a Black person in Canada and really anywhere in the diaspora I have had to deal with certain stereotypes. Growing up other kids asked if my dad was a rapper since we lived in a big house. They were shocked when I would accept awards for being at the top of the class since they didn’t think I looked ‘smart’. Finding a summer job was also very difficult having the last name ‘Egbogah’ on my resume. The only time I was hired was when I showed up in person and made a case for myself. This is one of the reasons I said that I would always be self-employed so I didn’t have to worry about the reasons why I was not called in for an interview. But overall I must say the experience as black person in Canada has been great.
Are there as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada that can produce role models and institutions like TD Jakes, Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Obama, BET, etc:-
I don’t believe that there are many opportunities for Blacks in Canada that can produce role models.
Should and do Blacks support / patronize black music, events and businesses?
I can only speak for myself in this regard but in the 7 years I have been in practice less than 5% of my patients have been black. I think that blacks should patronize black music, events and businesses but from my experience find that they do not.
My few words to an uninspired person:
My dad was born in a village in Nigeria. His dad passed away when he was young. In order to earn money to help pay for school and supplies he would carve wooden toys and sell them on side of the road. By working hard and excelling at his studies he received scholarships so that he could study abroad. He had to risk his life and flee under dangerous conditions in pursuit of higher education. Today my dad is a leading expert in his field of petroleum engineering. He has gotten there only through hard work and through his strong belief in ethics and education. Youth can look to people like him to show that you don’t need to be born with luck or a golden spoon to succeed, you can succeed with education, hard work and perseverance. If you have an education and excel at what you do, being black will not limit your potential or opportunities.