Interviewing Dr. Ben Carson

Today we participated in an exciting interview with Dr. Ben Carson, Director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Students read his book, Gifted Hands, and prepared questions based on their reading and scientific study. Six classes were interactive and many others participated via view only and streaming video. The program was coordinated and sponsored by Polycom. Thank you to Polycom and Johns Hopkins for making this happen!

We used the ASK format for this videoconference. We started with opening comments from Dr. Carson, rotated through the schools for the questions, and closed with final comments. Here is a sampling of some of the questions.

  • How does your work as a professor at Johns Hopkins University affect your family life?
  • Throughout your career you’ve received many awards. Which one are you most proud of and why?
  • What was going through your mind when you ran out of blood when separating the Binder twins?
  • When do you do your reading?
  • What do you see as the next scientific breakthrough for neurology?
  • Who helped you meet your goals in your life?
  • Your job must be very stressful. What do you do to relax, get away from it all or hobbies?

Dr. Carson shared scientific information on brain surgeries and diagnoses, his family and work life, his work on the President’s Council for Bioethics, and how he made decisions along the way in his career and early life.

We had a few muting and technical difficulties at the beginning, but the conference smoothed out after a few minutes.

In his closing comments, Dr. Carson encouraged students to listen and learn for the purpose of making a difference in the lives of other people around them. He reminded them to Think Big! Read his book Think Big to get more of his philosophy. It was a great experience for everyone involved. I know the students here in Berrien County were positively impacted by Dr. Carson’s story.

2/15 Addition. Here are some of the evaluation comments from the participants.

From: Harriet Tubman – NASA Explorer School District 148, Illinois, (View Only school)
The Videoconference was fantastic!!! Our students and
parents enjoyed the experience.

From: Southfield, Michigan, distance learning coordinator:
I thought the program was awesome.  I enjoyed listening to Dr. Carson talk about himself as well as his work.  He seems to be a down to earth individual.  I liked the sound advice he gave the students regarding schooling and life in general.

From: North Middle School Librarian:
This was the best DDN program we have ever done at North Middle School. I thought Dr. Ben Carson did a wonderful job. I just wanted it to continue on. He was just so fascinating.
Out student’s and teacher’s loved every minute of it too.
THANKS so much for all your help in getting this fabulous program to become a possibility for all the school!

Also, read Andrea Israeli’s blog entry from the New York City participating class.

0 replies on “Interviewing Dr. Ben Carson”

  1. I just like Ben Carson because of his genious and critical
    thinking as pertains head surgery. he is agreat black man to emulate by africans and whites .Always help us develope our attitude towards the thinking that can develope our land Africa. Blacks we the capacity of doing extra ordinary things . let us take a leaf from the man. God bless YOU BEN CARSON

  2. Dr Ben is indeed a walking encyclopedia of life and neurosurgery.I attended his DVC organised by the American Cultural Centre here in Namibia early this year (2006).He’s so inspiring and really fascinating to listen to.At some points there were muting and slight technical difficulties,but anyway the message was clear.He’s just a person you would want to be with and listen to his words of wisdom every second and every minute of your life!His advices are really infectious and his life story is a solution of emotions.At some points it evokes feelings of pride and happiness,at some it gets too emotional that one struggles to hold back tears.I just wish we can all adapt his philosophy and make this planet a better place to be.It’s impressive that Dr Ben isn’t proud of the numerous awards,honours and membership with several boards,but simply to create a legacy of faith and trust in God and oneself.I learned that the most important thing is to live a fully engaged life,where all your talents are realized,developed and put to full use for the benefit of mankind.What an impressive legacy!If we can all absorb this and learn to do what’s important,accept and tolerate one another-despite racial,economic and cultural differences,then we can coexist peacefully on this planet.We won’t have to worry anymore about war,crime,discrimination and other sorts of evils.May God bless you Dr Carson and may you live heathily and happily for many more years.You are my hero,should I be blessed with a son sometimes in life (since at present I’m only 21 and still at university) I will name him “Benjamin Solomon Hatutale”.Maybe when he reads his namesake’s life story,he will be inspired to excell in life.

  3. Ben Carson’s books: Gifted Hands: and “Think Big” have been an inspiration to me. Ben talks about issues that appeal to me greatly and I am glad that I share the same principles with Ben regarding life: ” Be Nice to people and they will be nice to you”, “No knowledge is wasted”, “Treat all people the same” ……………….. I am encouraged by the fact that Ben acknowledges God as the source of his success and he is not afraid to tell it all. Thanks Ben.

    Your books have become a guiding tool for me in dealing with my two sons. My eight year old has started learning his timetables through to the twelves just like Ben Carson and guess what? They are getting stuck in his head just like you said it in Gifted Hands. Thanks to your story Ben, my sons are begining to watch less TV, The eight year old is reading more books and working hard at his spellings and listening to mummy more. Thanks for the inspiration.

    I an glad that God has blessed you to live your dream and share it with others. May God Bless You abundantly.

    My biggest dream is to see you in person one Day and My prayer is that God grants me this dream.

    Christine Galukande, Kampala, Uganda

  4. Am just shot of words but maybe I will express myself better when next I visit this site.Dr Ben you’ve realy inspire many people in my locality espectially my brother Ben [your name sake],thank you foryour time.
    Batet S.G. from Nigeria.

  5. i truly love Bennie for his inspired words may Almighty God bless him, i am in South Africa currently and i bought his book “Think big” which is all some

  6. i just like for the way he started his life, his seriousness and zealousness in life and i also like his books the big picture, the gifted hands and think big cos he is trying to tell we young people to never say “we cant” in life and we can be the best in all we do.

  7. I had never paid particular attention to the way i lived my life until the first time i came across Dr.Carson’s 2 books ‘Gifted Hands’ and ‘Think Big’. These two books helped me appreciate more the importance of hard work, dedication and trusting God. I also came across a video based on the book ‘Gifted Hands’ . This gave me a clear picture of where Carson came from and the difficulties he faced in lower school levels. His life and achievements are a testimony that each of us out there can be able to excel if we work on our weaknesses and the way we perceive our selves. Every time i come across young people and parents whose kids are facing similar challenges in school, i recommend them the two books and the video. Actually so far 3 parents and 5 young people have given me feed back that the resources have helped them a great deal.

    May God richly bless Doctor Carson

    Ndizeye Simon,
    Naguru Teenage Centre
    Kampala Uganda

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