Benjamin White, MD General Surgery Chief

Ben White, M.D. was born in Myrtle Beach to home builders Andy and Debbie, and after brief stints in Phoenix, Winston Salem, and Charlotte, eventually settled and grew up in Lexington SC, with older brother Andrew and younger brother Luke.

Ben and his brothers grew up spending time in the outdoors on the family farm near Camden, on the water spending summers in Edisto Beach, and going to every Clemson home game cheering on the Tigers.

Ben was raised to be generous and compassionate, growing up with over 50 foster children in the home during his childhood, and learned a strong work ethic from parents who insisted on him always having a job.

Ben went to Clemson University with the idea that he wanted to be a doctor and studied Public Health and Philosophy- the other pathways to medical school all required calculus classes. After graduating, Ben went on to medical school at MUSC. Inspired by surgeons including Stephanie Montgomery and David Adams, Ben decided to pursue surgical training, and was fortunate to have the opportunity to stay at MUSC.

Very early in training Ben gravitated towards laparoscopy and robotics, and discovered an academic and clinical interest in bariatric surgery that has blossomed into a passion that will drive his career. Ben is extremely grateful for all of the teaching and mentorship during training at MUSC, with special thanks to Will Lancaster, Rana Pullatt, and T Karl Byrne who have had an outsized impact on his clinical training and professional development.

Ben and his wife Katie met in 2005 in Port Lucaya in the Bahamas while in high school, and have been inseparable since. They were married in 2011 after graduating from college. Katie spent her decade in Charleston as a critical care nurse in the MSICU at MUSC. They have been blessed with two beautiful children during residency, Olivia Britton (4) and Benjamin Lee Jr (4 mos). 

MUSC has been an enormous part of their lives, and both Ben and Katie will always consider it home. The entire family is excited for the next adventure, a move to Charlottesville VA where Ben will complete a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery at the University of Virginia. 

Reflections

Between medical school and residency, MUSC has been my home for the last ten years, and there is so much I am grateful for and that I will miss about this institution, and too many people to thank.

Ben White expresses gratitude

Special thanks to Dr. Will Lancaster, who I've looked up to since day one of intern year and helps me think clearly through any clinical problem, to Dr. Rana Pullatt, for taking an interest in me, for your insight, and for everything you've done to help start my career, and to Dr. Karl Byrne, for helping me discover my passion and for your mentorship. I told the applicants for our program this year that this is the premier general surgery residency in the country right now, and I genuinely believe that to be true.

Surgery training has required an incomprehensible commitment of time and energy, and I have been the fortunate recipient of enormous support outside of the hospital. My parents have always been my #1 fans, never made me feel any guilt for missing holidays or family events, and have routinely gone out of their way to help. I love you both, and I am so grateful for everything you've done for me, Katie, and the kids.

Ben White and his family

My children, Olivia and Benny, have never known their father as anything other than a surgery resident. I know you aren't old enough to understand the long days and missed bed times, but I promise that the lost time during these years will be paid back ten times over.

Ben and his wife

Katie, I don't really comprehend how, but you managed to work full-time and excel in what has to be the most difficult job imaginable, coordinate the care for our children, manage our household, and still be able to put up with me with grace, patience, and love. I truly could not have done it with out you. 

The best advice I can give to the residents here and those that will come after, is to find and hold on to a passion for this job. We are so fortunate to be able to do what we do for patients. The work is difficult and can be unforgiving, but it is so much easier to get out of bed at 4:30 a.m. every day, come in at night to take your patients back, deal with all those consults, read that book chapter, give patients bad news, when you truly have a love and passion for what you do.

Consider the words of famed surgeon Joseph Lister; on his time training with James Syme in Edinburgh in 1853, Lister wrote to his family:

"If the love of surgery is a proof of a person's being adapted for it, then certainly I am fitted to be a surgeon: for thou canst hardly conceive what a high degree of enjoyment I am from day to day experiencing in this bloody and butchering department of the healing art."

Testimonials