Including their parents, the family has five medical doctors, two physician assistants, and two nurse practitioners in total.
A Nigerian family of medical professionals is inspiring thousands of netizens after a photo of the siblings went viral on social media. Shared by Dr. Chinyere Okpaleke, a family medicine hospitalist living in Houston, the snap shows her standing alongside four of her sisters and one brother. "I know our parents and ancestors are beyond proud! We are exactly what their sacrifices were meant for! All glory to God," she captioned the image. Since being posted on April 10 in honor of National Siblings Day, the inspiring photograph has been liked over 181k times on LinkedIn with many commenting on how powerful it is to see six Black siblings in white coats holding their heads up high.
According to Good Morning America, appearing in the image from left to right are Okway Okpaleke, M.D., Chinelo Okpaleke, P.A., Nkiru Osefo, M.D., Ifeoma Okpaleke, N.P., Queenate Okpaleke, N.P., and Chinyere Okpaleke. Another sibling, Lillian Okpaleke, M.D., is not pictured in the photograph. Okpaleke siblings' parents are also both in the medical field. Their father, Andrew Okpaleke, M.D., is a retired physician of internal medicine who practiced for 30 years, while their mother, Celina Okpaleke, P.A., has been practicing for over 20. All in all, the family has five medical doctors, two physician assistants, and two nurse practitioners.
"We are Nigerian, so we have that cultural background of my parents being immigrants and basically sacrificing coming here for a better life," said Chinyere Okpaleke, whose patients call her Dr. Chi. "Their idea of wanting us to succeed came across in how they raised us." She revealed that all Okpaleke siblings have the desire to help people and that many have commented about the entire family working in the medical field. "I have a friend who says my mother's womb 'must be very blessed to produced so many doctors' -- that one is probably the funniest one," Dr. Chi said.
The photo of the siblings that has now gone viral, was reportedly snapped by a family friend named Nola Laleye in Tampa, Florida, where they grew up. On LinkedIn, the image attracted over 6000 comments admiring the family's hard work and achievements. "This family is truly something special and I can only imagine the parenting that took place in their home --- kudos to the parents for instilling a belief in God, hard work, commitment, and a never-give-up attitude, alongside a heart of compassion to help others," wrote Jennifer Peery. "Congratulations to each of you for your accomplishments and being a positive role model to everyone who works towards their dreams!!!"
"Congratulations. True role models for the upcoming generation. I must show this to my daughter. You have made the continent of Africa proud," commented Willisa Bull. "Excellent example for our people of color. Congratulations family, I say family because we all have blood type G (God). Simply amazing," wrote Jeffery Preer. "Great achievement. This is so inspiring. It changes the notion been made concerning our great country, education is wealth plus you are out there saving lives... God bless you guys... congratulation," commented Terry Moore.
Dr. Chi previously shared another photo—seemingly taken on the same day—which also features her proud father and mother in their medical scrubs and white coats. "This is my Family... We are Nigerian. We represent resilience, strength, and grit. We are a culture that breeds success," she captioned the image. "We are on the frontlines of health and racial pandemics and injustices. We are powerful. When united, we cannot be stopped. We are human beings that deserve to live! And our lives DO matter. The revolution has just begun! Our people have suffered enough! This is the beginning of an outcry for change that is well overdue! I stand with my people in Nigeria and proud to represent the Nigerian diaspora. We may be the 'White Coat Family' but we represent so much more..."