Friends, patients remember legacy of Dr. Ben Mauck
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Friends and patients of Dr. Benjamin Mauck say they’re remembering the orthopedic surgeon at Campbell Clinic as a healthcare hero.
“Ben was always the type to say, if somebody got hurt... somebody would be crying... ‘Hey, let me take a look at that,’” said Bart Barker, a childhood friend from Savannah, Tennessee.
Campbell Clinic confirmed that Dr. Mauck, a Memphis hand surgeon, was shot and killed by a patient at their clinic in Collierville on Tuesday.
Barker says this tragedy made him reflect on old memories.
“His house growing up was the place for no-rules pickup basketball,” he said.
Barker says back in high school, Mauck was voted “Most Likely to be Remembered.”
“How fitting is that? He made such an impact on so many people’s lives, and he was able to use his hands and his mind in a way that I really feel like God intended for him to use,” Barker said. “He loved being an orthopedic surgeon.”
Dr. Mauck leaves behind a wife and two young children, and a long list of heartbroken patients who describe the surgeon as a miracle worker.
Dr. Mauck was recently spotlighted in a local magazine for being a top doctor in Memphis.
His natural gifts and ability to care for his patients are what made him stand out.
“I heard so many good things about Dr. Mauck, so I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to go with him,’” said a former patient of Dr. Mauck, Angela Hill.
Hill said she met Dr. Mauck last year when her son, born with two thumbs on one hand, needed a pediatric orthopedic surgeon to remove the extra finger.
“He definitely was a gentle giant. He was like a teddy bear. He was so nice. He really was. And by the way, he truly cared for my son, and just in my personal experience, you can tell that he loved his job,” said Hill.
Josh Jacobs became emotional explaining how Dr. Mauck diagnosed cancer in his index finger last year. The amputation and reconstructive surgery turned out so well, at first glance, you can’t tell a finger is missing.
“I’m very thankful for the doctor,” said Jacobs. “Him finding this and doing such a remarkable job.”
Devastated colleagues like Dr. Malini Gupta posted to social media:
“He was my son’s surgeon,” said another commenter, “and such a bright light in a hard time in our life. He deserved better.”
“Tragic,” wrote another doctor. “Irreplaceable friend and physician. We keep suffering together thru these senseless losses.”
Statistics from Brady United Against Gun Violence shows violent attacks on medical professionals rose 63% between 2011 and 2018.
Disgruntled patients represent a large number of those incidents.
Collierville police gave no motive for Tuesday’s shooting at Campbell Clinic. The affidavit says 29-year-old suspect Larry Pickens pulled a pistol from his waistband in the exam room and fired three shots, hitting Dr. Mauck in the neck, chest, and abdomen.
“Once somebody helps you through a time like that in your life, you know, there’s a connection, said Jacobs. “He always came across as genuine, very kind and obviously talented.”
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), where Mauck graduated from, said everyone is shocked and saddened by this tragedy.
In a statement, UTHSC officials said in part:
“Dr. Mauck’s legacy will forever leave an indelible mark on the UTHSC College of Medicine, inspiring generations to come with his contributions to the field of orthopaedic surgery.”
Pickens is charged with first-degree murder. His bond is set at $1.2 million.
He has no criminal history, but records show he called Memphis police earlier this year to report someone entering his apartment and going through his belongings.
Pickens told the officers he was schizophrenic and off his medication.
He’s scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, July 13.
Campbell Clinic officials announced all locations will re-open Wednesday, except the Collierville clinic.
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