The 296th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Benin took place on Thursday, December 2023, at the Akin Deko Auditorium, Ugbowo Campus, UNIBEN. The distinguished speaker for the occasion was, Professor Darlington Ewaen Obaseki, the Chief Medical Director of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH). The lecture, titled ‘Microscopes, Milestones, and the Maelstrom: A Pathologist’s Odyssey,’ was a captivating journey through the lens of a seasoned pathologist in the areas of Medicine, leadership, and crisis management.
Professor Obaseki commenced his lecture by unraveling the mysteries of the human body and the nuanced language of diseases, inviting the audience to step into the shoes of a pathologist. Contrary to misconceptions, he emphatically declared himself as a “professor of the living,” emphasizing the indispensable role of pathology in contemporary and modern healthcare.
In his enlightening discourse, Professor Darlington unraveled the mysteries of the human body and the language of diseases. He further emphasized the pivotal role of pathology in modern healthcare, clarifying that as a pathologist, he sees himself as a professor of the living rather than the dead.
The distinguished professor shared his extensive knowledge, guiding the audience through his remarkable pathology journey. He highlighted his pioneering role in establishing the minimally invasive technique of fine needle aspiration cytology and discussed his contributions to Gastrointestinal pathology practice in Nigeria, showcasing his commitment to advancing the field.
Shifting the focus to leadership, Professor Obaseki shared his experiences in healthcare leadership, illustrating the multifaceted role that extends beyond the microscope. He detailed his orchestration of healthcare teams and adept navigation through complex medical landscapes, ultimately shaping the future of healthcare in Nigeria.
Amidst the challenges of the global pandemic, Professor Obaseki found himself in the midst of the maelstrom, demonstrating the resilience of healthcare systems and the unwavering commitment of frontline healthcare workers.
He underscored his crucial role as a pathologist in guiding the nation through those challenging times during the COVID-19 era, which tested the limits and revealed the true meaning of adaptability and innovation in the healthcare sector.
As the lecture approached its conclusion, Professor Obaseki reflected on the path he had traveled, the milestones he had achieved, and the lessons he had learned. It was a moment to celebrate his unwavering dedication to the pursuit of knowledge and the healing of patients. ‘Microscopes, Milestones, and the Maelstrom: A Pathologist’s Odyssey’ not only deepened our understanding of the medical world but also inspired appreciation for the remarkable individuals who made it all possible.