In this week's Sunday Spotlight, we recognize Dr. Ben Carson, former presidential candidate and current neurosurgery legend
By Samuel Zverev
Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr., or Ben Carson, became a household name after running for office in the 2016 presidential race. However, the birth of his professional success dates back to the 1980’s and lies not in politics, but in neurosurgery. Ben Carson is a former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the United States government and retired neurosurgeon. Carson earned his BA at Yale University and MD from the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He also holds over 60 honorary doctorate degrees and national merit citations from various prestigious universities and organizations. After completing his internship and residency at John’s Hopkins, Carson completed a one-year fellowship in Australia. Upon his return at the age of 33, he was appointed as the youngest ever Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery.
Throughout his fruitful neurosurgical career Ben Carson remained in the spotlight, pioneering novel, high-risk procedures. The most famous of these was the Binder Surgery, in which Carson— along with 70 other surgeons— separated twins conjoined at the head. During his tenure as a surgeon, Carson gained expertise in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries, brain and spinal cord tumors, and many other disorders of the brain, spine, and face. As a byproduct of Carson’s success as a surgeon, he authored books, conducted motivational talks and conferences, and was the subject of a film. In 2013, Carson publicly retired from neurosurgery, stating that he would rather quit ‘while at the top of his game.’ At the time of his retirement, Carson was a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the John’s Hopkins School of Medicine. By that time he had already been inducted into the National Academy of Medicine and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest non-military award granted in the United States.
As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Carson has worked to advance economic opportunity of low-income children, protect taxpayers, reduce regulatory barriers, help the recovery of disaster victims, provide safe and fair housing, and reinvest in underprivileged communities. Although presently most famous for his role as a politician, Dr. Ben Carson deserves praise for his career as a neurosurgeon.