Ben Carson announces retirement, hints at future in politics

Renowned physician, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital has been mentioned as possible presidential contender in 2016

Dr. Ben Carson, longtime director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, announced Saturday that he will retire this summer and suggested he could pursue a future in politics, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Ben Carson

Image caption: Benjamin Carson

Carson, 61, was speaking before a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington, D.C.

"I'd much rather quit when I'm at the top of my game," he said. "And there's so many more things that can be done."

An internationally renowned physician, Carson focuses on traumatic brain injuries, brain and spinal cord tumors, and neurological and congenital disorders. He was the the first surgeon to separate conjoined twins

Carson has authored more than 100 neurosurgical publications, along with three best-selling books—one, "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story," was made into a television movie—and has been awarded 38 honorary doctorate degrees and dozens of national merit citations.

More recently, his name has come up in political discussions as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, The Sun reported:

Grass-roots support for Carson, who entered the national political discourse last month by critiquing President Barack Obama's health care overhaul at the National Prayer Breakfast, could mean that Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, will not be the only Marylander mentioned as a potential candidate for the nation's highest office in 2016.

Carson, who told the Christian Post this month that he is not interested in elected office but that God may call on him to run in the future, was evasive in front of the audience of hundreds when he was pressed by another speaker, author Eric Metaxas, about his post-retirement plans.

"I'm very dedicated to education of the next generation," Carson told the audience at the conference. "Once we get that taken care of, who knows?"

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