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Inspiring Story of Dr. Ben Carson – From Poor Child to Top Neurosurgeon | Med School Motivation

Growing up for myself in inner city Detroit, in very desperate situations. And we lived in a tenement large multifamily dwellings, boarded up windows and doors, signed irons and gangs, rats and roaches. It was a miserable environment. I was a pretty awful student and didn’t have a lot of belief in myself academically. And neither did my classmates.

They all thought I was stupid. They called me dumb. I was the butt of all the jokes. But despite the fact that no one else believed in me, my mother did. We were very poor.

There was never money for anything, but it didn’t cost anything to get a book from the library. And between the covers of those books, I could go anywhere in the world. I could be anybody. I could do anything. It was like an escape from my world of poverty and violence to places that you can only imagine.

I would get on the bus and I would go downtown to the Detroit Institute of Arts and roam through those galleries until I knew every painter who painted the picture and when they were born and when they died and what period it represented. And I was always listening to my portable radio, listening to classcom music. And I’d be walking down the streets of Detroit listening to classicm music. And people thought I was nuts. This guy’s crazy.

But years later, when I decided that I wanted to be a neurosurgeon, I wanted to go to the place that’s best known for neurosurgeon that would be Johns Hopkins. But as I said before, they only took two people a year out of 125 applicants. But when I got an interview and I went there, the fellow who was in charge of the neurosurgery residency program, George B. Uberhai, was also in charge of cultural affairs at the hospital. And somehow the conversation turned to classical music.

And we talked for over an hour about different composers and their styles, conductors, orchestras, orchestral halls. There was no way he wasn’t taking me in the program because he had to have somebody to discuss these things with. But what I emphasize to young people all the time is there’s no such thing as useless knowledge, because you never know what doors it’s going to open for you. And the more you know, the more options you have. We cannot trace the origins of a thought.

We cannot define where imagination comes from, and I’m not sure we ever will, because that exists in a different dimension. The brain is the conduit through which we reach that other dimension. But we have no way of quantifying and measuring it. But we do have the ability to enjoy it and to use it to the fullest extent.

You know, the human brain. If you have an average brain, you’re capable of almost anything because of the complexity of our brains. Billions and billions of neurons, hundreds of billions of interconnections. It can process more than 2 million bits of information in 1 second. It never forgets anything you’ve ever seen.

Anything thing you’ve ever heard. And with something like that sitting up here, why would you ever utter the words I can’t.

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