Interview by Derek Grosso
Name: Ben Bring
Profession: Physician at OhioHealth
Education: DO, CAQSM, FAAFP
Community Involvement: OhioHealth physician diversity scholars programs mentor, medical director Red Cross First Aid Services Team (FAST), medical director Columbus Marathon, medical director Arnold Sports Festival, medical director Cap City Half Marathon “Don’t talk about it, be about it!”
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter
Give us a snapshot of your career path:
I grew up in Grove City, Ohio and attended Columbus Academy for 13 years before going to Denison University to pursue a pre-medical major in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. While a student at Denison, I played varsity football, served as a resident assistant and head resident, worked in the admissions office, and also worked as a teaching assistant in the Biology department. One of the best things I did in my life was take a year off before going to medical school – working a bunch of different jobs and getting to backpack through Europe with my now-wife. I learned quickly here that life is not a rush and to always try to take some time to do new things. I attended medical school at Virginia Tech (go Hokies!) at VCOM Virginia and then came back to Columbus, where I did my medical residency in family medicine, followed by a fellowship in sports medicine. Once I completed my training in medicine, I helped found a new family medicine program with Dublin Methodist Hospital, where we train family physicians to stay and work in the Columbus area. One of our biggest accomplishments as a residency program has most certainly been the vaccine and wellness clinic we started in 2021 with local schools to help provide care to children who are uninsured or underinsured get access to vaccines and preventative care.
Over the years, I have really gotten involved in providing medical care for a variety of mass participation events and event medicine and currently serve as the medical director for a few large events in Columbus, including the Arnold Sports Festival, the Columbus Marathon, the OhioHealth Cap City Half Marathon, and the Grandview Yard Half Marathon. Some of my favorite volunteer activities are serving as medical director for the Red Cross First Aid Services Team (FAST), head team physician for Columbus Academy and Central Crossing High School, as well as serving as a mentor in the OhioHealth physician diversity scholars program.
Currently, in my teaching role as program director of the Dublin Family Medicine residency program, I enjoy teaching preventative care, sports medicine, musculoskeletal ultrasound, and recently started practicing medical acupuncture as part of my practice. We work with first through fourth-year medical students, resident physicians, and sports medicine fellows to help with their training.
What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
The best part of my job is teaching and mentoring medical students and resident physicians. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing one of our resident physicians thriving as a physician – especially when they graduate from our program. I have a strong passion for preventative medicine and providing healthcare to vulnerable populations, which is one of our greatest passions in developing the vaccine clinic for a few local schools. I also have a love for all things sports medicine and often find myself attending sporting events to help provide medical care and also as a spectator. We also have a great team of faculty and residents at our residency program, which helps quite a bit too!
My most important job is being a husband and father to my two kids age 7 and 9 who have been an incredible blessing in my life. We really enjoy traveling together and have visited more than 35 national parks over the years.
What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
The biggest thing I’ve learned over the years is to have empathy and be a great communicator. As a physician, the most important thing you can show your patients is how much you care about them and also always make sure to listen. Some of my best mentors have been coaches – Bruce Howard, my AAU basketball coach, was one of my favorites over the years for his exemplary passion for the game and for always holding us accountable to excellence and teamwork. Dr. Kati Koranyi is the physician we all strive to be like – she worked in the infectious disease department at Children’s Hospital for decades and is the most caring, compassionate, and most outstanding physician I have ever worked with. Growing up, my parents also gave me tremendous confidence in myself and the belief that my brother and I could accomplish anything. We live by the motto, “Don’t let a win get to your head or a loss to your heart.” Most importantly, my wife Miranda has supported me in everything I have ever accomplished in my life – we have been best friends since 5th grade and she is a constant source of inspiration to me for what hard work looks like in her role as a 4th grade teacher. I try to wake up every day and help as many people as I can – stay humble, work hard, and bring enthusiasm to everything that you do. My Grandma Crownover always liked the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
Our family loves to travel and find places to spend as much time outside as we can. This past March, we traveled to Iceland for 10 days and got to experience ice caves, the Northern lights, and black sand beaches. Some of our favorite places have been Isle Royale in Lake Superior, and other national parks including Zion, Yosemite, Voyageurs, and Banff. We’re looking forward to a few more road trips coming up this summer – especially through Southwest Colorado.
What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
There are so many – our kids have always loved COSI and the Columbus Zoo, especially in the summertime. We also have really enjoyed the Metroparks and usually spend the most time at Highbanks or Blendon Woods. We also enjoy catching a Blue Jackets or Columbus Crew game, walking the golf course at Muirfield at the Memorial, and finding the best pizza places in town.
When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a physician – even since I was in kindergarten. I’m not sure why, but it always felt like that was what I was born to do. I also joke that teaching is “in my blood,” as I come from a long line of teachers, which is why I think I ended up in medical education working with a residency program. Sports medicine seemed like another good field to train in as I played soccer, basketball, and track in high school, then football while at Denison University. I was fortunate to have a lot of great mentors in sports medicine – especially with athletic training staff over the years who kept me healthy and playing throughout my athletic career.
What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
One of my favorite influencers to listen to is Gary Vee – I love his enthusiasm, positivity, and outlook on life. I would be so lucky to get to meet him someday! A few of the books I have been reading include Linchpin by Seth Godin, The Almanack of Naval Ravikant, Atomic Habits by James Clear (a friend of mine from Denison), and Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.
What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
Wow, what an incredible honor! I spent some time looking at the accomplishments of the last year’s class and it really is humbling to be a member of such a distinguished group. It will continue to motivate me to be even better on a day-to-day basis with my job!
If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
I love the “vibe” of Columbus as one of our resident physicians would say – we have so many unique cities, communities, Metroparks, and things to do that make Columbus the great city that it is. Columbus is going to continue to scale and be a top 10 city to live and work in the next decade in the United States – I can’t wait to see how it continues to develop!
The Next Up Columbus Awards highlight emerging leaders who are connectors and ambassadors in central Ohio and who are making a positive impact on the future of Columbus. The Columbus Young Professionals Club would like to offer special thanks to our 2023 co-presenters, Discover Financial, Ohio Dominican University and Quantum Health for their support of this year’s awards program. Meet the entire “Class of 2023” »