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By David S. Wilkinson, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus
I first met Michael when he interviewed for a pathology residency position at VCU. Michael had a very interesting background. He had grown up in Nigeria, where he attended medical school. He spent some time in Grenada as a tutor at St. George’s University School of Medicine. He then moved on to the University of South Carolina, where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health. He clearly had ambition and a great work ethic. We were very pleased when he matched with us.
Michael was a great resident. He was hard working and a great team player. When he completed his residency, he stayed on for the Cytopathology Fellowship. He then took a fellowship in surgical pathology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering-a very prestigious fellowship. Upon completion of his fellowship, we had an opening in surgical pathology and I encouraged him to apply. So, he rejoined us as a junior faculty member in the Division of Anatomic Pathology. When Dr. Carl Garrett retired, I needed a pathologist certified in Molecular Genetic Pathology to fill the position of Director of our Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship. We arranged for Michael to complete the fellowship while simultaneously fulfilling his faculty responsibilities over a two-year period. He successfully passed the board exam, and became our MGP Director, a position he still holds. Michael co-authored with Dr. Garrett a book on the use of molecular diagnostics in surgical pathology. He has quickly progressed through the academic ranks to the rank of full professor.
Michael was very productive in his scholarship, and became active in the CAP as a member of the Quality Practices Committee (which I had chaired for many years). Among other things, this work resulted in a number of peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. More recently, Michael has become an active member of the Pathology Coding Caucus, another organization that I chaired for many years. When I stepped down as the USCAP-appointed CPT Advisor, I recommended that Michael fill that position. Michael has also become a valued member of the CAP Economic Affairs Committee. In these various professional roles, Michael is now recognized as an expert in CPT coding and work RVU valuation.
Throughout his tenure at VCU, he has remained the same quiet, humble man we first met during his interview for a residency position. VCU and the Department of Pathology have benefited greatly from his presence and many contributions.