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Renowned Pediatric Neurosurgeon Attributes Success To Reading

Wed, 10/19/2011 - 6:33am

PRNewswire - Dr. Benjamin S. Carson is known as the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate Siamese twins joined at the back of the head. He continues to pioneer life-saving medical procedures as chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore. However, he comes from humble beginnings and was once known as the "dummy" of his class.

In an exclusive interview for the Verizon Thinkfinity Education Speaker Series, Carson said his subsequent achievements and professional success are due to the confidence he gained through reading and education. "I started reading about people of great accomplishment and it dawned on me suddenly that the person who has the most to do with what happens in your life is you," Carson said during the conversation with Michelle Shearer, the 2011 National and Maryland Teacher of the Year.

"It's not somebody else," Carson said.  "It's not some outside influence, and that was like somebody lifted a great weight off my shoulder." During his conversation with Shearer, which is only available in the Verizon Thinkfinity Community section of the Verizon Thinkfinity.org website, Carson also shared an enlightening experience.

During surgery, when he opens a patient's skull and exposes the brain, there is nothing about the brain to indicate race, gender, ethnicity or financial status. "I think what Dr. Carson speaks to is that there's more than just content knowledge that needs to be mastered," said Shearer.  "He talks a lot about confidence and being willing to take risks and having the inner strength to really reach beyond."

In 1996, Carson started the Carson Scholars Fund, which awards scholarships to deserving students. More than 4,800 scholarships have been awarded to date. "We know that these students are incredibly bright, Carson said.  "We know that they're going to be successful. We know that they're going to be leaders of companies, and we want them to start thinking early on about how you use that to create opportunities for other people."

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