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Michael Benjamin Hopkins, MD, FACS, FASCRS
Michael (Ben) Hopkins, MD, is a staff Colon and Rectal Surgeon at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Ben was born in Germany when his father and mother were stationed there as a part of his father's Army career. Coming stateside, Ben grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and remains a “Carolinian” through and through. He went to undergraduate at Davidson College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. He also attended the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and Chapel Hill for Graduate Studies in Literature, Chemistry, and Biology. His medical school was at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, where he was the first year Class President and he finished his school in 2004. He then completed his General Surgery Residency and Colorectal Surgery Fellowship at Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, LA. Following his fellowship, his first faculty position was at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, which he served from 2010 until 2016. In October 2016, he moved to Tennessee and remains an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. As Ben would say it, he still has his home in “Carolina” as Tennessee and North Carolina were once a united land.
In high school and college, he was an avid photographer—and if he wasn't operating, he would likely have already found a way to pursue that as a career. He also started training in Tae Kwon Do when he was 11 and continued training until medical school. Despite multiple anterior cruciate ligament repairs, he became a full instructor at the level of a 2nd dan black belt and has competed in state championship tournaments and won one gold and two silver medals.
While at Ochsner, Ben became interested in colorectal surgery under the mentorship of Chuck Whitlow and Dave Margolin. They showed him how it was possible to excel at surgery and still make family a priority. Their mentorship led him to serve as a Vice Chair for the 2019 ASCRS Annual Meeting in Cleveland during Dave Margolin's term as president. Ben met his wife, Stephanie Norfolk, while working at Duke Raleigh Hospital. She is a pulmonologist who works in lung transplant and critical care. They love cooking, enjoying the local food scene, and taking care of their two dogs, Fergus and Lulu. When not spending time in the hospital, he also enjoys mountain biking, and working with Japanese kitchen knives—even learning to sharpen them on a water stone.
Clinically, he serves as the Vanderbilt Director of the Colon and Rectal Surgery Program, which currently stands at eight surgeons and four nurse practitioners. He enjoys collaborating with the entire group of surgeons, medical staff, and anesthesia providers, as well as building programs such as ERAS and specialty preoperative clinics for high-risk, medically complex patients. On behalf of the readers and staff of Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, I sincerely thank Dr. Hopkins for serving as a Guest Editor and for providing us with a superb issue on the care for patients with bowel obstructions.
Article published online:
19 April 2021
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