Forty Under 40 and 2011 Forty Under 40

2011 Forty Under 40: Dr. Richard "Ben" Rodgers

February 5, 2011
Rodgers

 
About me...
Dr. Richard "Ben" Rodgers
Neurosurgeon/assistant professor of neurological surgery
Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine/IU School of Medicine
38
Web sites:
On my hip:
Palm Pre
pager
Most-used apps:
Epocrates
OpenTable
GetMeVino!
The Weather Channel
Favorite stuff:
Quality time with family and friends; my car; Colts; golf; softball; music; Stephen King; "Dexter;" "True Blood;" exercise; fine tequila; coffee; St. Elmo's; Costco
 

In 2010, Dr. Richard “Ben” Rodgers became certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. That makes it sound like Rodgers is new to his field, but he actually already has racked up a host of accomplishments: assistant professor of neurological surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine; neurosurgeon with Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine (a merger of Indianapolis Neurosurgical Group and Indiana University’s Department of Neurological Surgery); and chief of surgery at Indiana University Health West Hospital.

Rodgers was part of the team that saved the life of Jason Fishburn, the Indianapolis police officer shot in the head by a fleeing forgery suspect in 2008.

If you think his achievements are impressive, consider this: He’s the first person in his family to attend college.

“The neurosurgery board exam is a little different from other specialties in that you have to be in practice for several years before you build up enough cases to submit to the board for your board exams,” he said.

Rodgers graduated from the IU School of Medicine and moved into the neurosurgery program in Indianapolis after that. He trained in Indianapolis and completed a fellowship in Miami, then returned to IU as a faculty neurosurgeon whose job was to train residents and take care of patients. He’s been in that position for more than five years.

Rodgers considers himself a resident educator rather than a private-practice neurosurgeon. His job as assistant professor is to help organize resident lectures and the direct, didactic teaching part of what they learn.

In his off-hours, Rodgers plays softball at the Midwest Softball Complex and has for 11 years with the same group of guys. You’d think there would be restrictions on his extracurricular activities—after all, he broke his leg playing ball last year—but no.

“I don’t think I’m allowed to jump out of an airplane,” he said, adding that he’s no longer interested in that pursuit. “I’d rather scuba dive now. That’s something I’d like to learn how to do that I haven’t done.”•

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