Profile - Dr. Benedictus Ajayi - ICOM Class of 1984
On a typical day, Benedictus Ajayi will see upwards of two dozen eye patients, perhaps perform a surgery, receive reports from a rural eye hospital that he founded and directs, confer with students as a part-time faculty member at the University of Ibadan, and correspond with colleagues in the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria (of which he is president). If time permits, he will give thought to the recent request from the Pan-African and Pan-Arab Conference of Ophthalmology that he help create a regional West African association of ophthalmologists to act as a conduit for training and education from international associations.
Not bad for a man who says he went into medicine by accident. “I wanted to be a chemical engineer and I had a scholarship to study in Milan,” says Ajayi, MD, MHS ’84. “But I couldn’t get a passport. So instead, I got admitted to Ibadan Medical School. On the first day, I walked into the cadaver room, took one look, and ran out. I wasn’t going to be a doctor. But still I couldn’t get a passport, so I went back.”
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