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time for me to travel out of my country and be exposed to “big” things – big institutions, people doing exciting work. I felt as though I was where I was supposed to be. I had a young family at that time; my wife and I had our first daughter and lived in the theater district. We were immersed in a new culture and enjoyed the easy access and opportunity to travel widely.
6. Why did you choose to go into medicine and your specialty?
I’ve always had an inclination towards caring and healing and it is rather widely shared in the family.
My father was trained as a nurse and so was one of my sisters. One of my brothers is a physician as are two of my children. My wife, who is very active in the Alliance, holds degrees in guidance, counseling and social work. I always wanted to serve others – relieve difficulty and suffering of especially the more vulnerable among us.
As a physician and geriatrician, I am able to do just that. It’s about service to my fellow human beings.
7. Are you the doctor today you imagined you would be?
In some ways, yes. My role model was Albert Schweitzer. Schweitzer had reverence for life and his focus was providing care to people who really needed it. I’ve tried to do that and have succeeded thus far. However, I really like research, bench research particularly, and wish I could do more of it. In Nigeria, it was easier to combine research with clinical and other obligations but that hasn’t come as readily here in the United States for me. I am serving those who I always wanted to help though.
8. What’s one piece of advice you would give to a young physician starting their career in medicine?
Keep your eyes and ears open. Think carefully. Get into a position in which you feel passion. Apply yourself fully – maximally! It may not be easy to determine what you really want to do at the outset, but try to do so. One of the greatest things about medicine is that it has many facets and you have flexibility to move laterally.
9. If you couldn’t be a doctor, what would you be?
I would most likely be a bench researcher. If I couldn’t work in the science field, I would be a historian. I appreciate evidence. Sound history is based on evidence. Historians can look back in time to determine where we are today and the story that we’ve created.
10. What’s your favorite book/movie of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
I enjoy reading science fiction. One of my favorite authors is Arthur Clarke and I read “Childhood’s End” early on. It pushed the boundaries of things to come and shaped imagination and what to look for in the future. I don’t watch many movies, but I do enjoy the epics. If I had to say, I enjoyed “Thorn birds” which was set in Australia.
11. What is your favorite piece of technology? The computer and internet. They’ve opened vistas
in all dimensions. They connect you with the world!
12. What are you most thankful for?
My family. For my good friends and my health.
For the opportunity to be able to do the work I’ve done throughout my life.
13. What’s an ideal weekend for you in Ann Arbor? Staying at home, seeing my grandchildren. Not having
my beeper go off! That doesn’t happen very often...
14. What’s on your bucket list this year?
I plan to travel to Nigeria to visit with extended family. I also want to go to one of my childhood homes in Degema. My family left there in 1962. My earliest memories begin there and it’s where I began to have clarity about my future. I’d like to see how correct my memory is. I would also like to see the membership of WCMS grow by about 5%.
15. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done and would you do it again?
During my internship year, I decided to drive at night in a snowstorm from Ann Arbor where I was visiting family back to where I was living in New York. Warnings about the road went out and I still decided to go out in it. Once I made it to Pennsylvania, even the truck drivers had stopped. I couldn’t see a foot in front of me. I would never, ever do it again. I wanted to uphold my commit- ment to return to work as scheduled, but it was foolish
at the time.
16. If you were granted 3 wishes right now, what would you wish for?
First, the opportunity and ability to do something “really good” for people who rely on me, both my patients and my family.
Second, to be able to right a wrong. Not a specific one, but if something happened, an omission, something I’d done or not done in the past, I’d like to be able to fix it.
Third, to always be a source of pleasure and happiness for everybody around me. I want everyone around me to feel good.
17. Why should Washtenaw County physicians get involved with WCMS?
WCMS affords us opportunities to amplify what we’re doing already for individual patients. WCMS is a force magnifier. Within the Society, we can meet with our colleagues, share what we’re doing in our practices and learn about what others are doing. Being part of WCMS affords us a different level of social level interaction and professional development than what we experience on a day-to-day basis in our work. And perhaps greatest, WCMS allows us to influence the direction of medicine; how it’s being practiced, how we impact patients, what medicine will look like in the future. If you don’t get involved in decision-making, someone else will make the decisions for you.
Volume 70 • Number 1 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN 7

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