Tuesday, Sep 7, 2021
Growing up in the home of a general surgeon, Dr. Bennett Brock always had a strong respect for medicine and the importance of patient-physician relationships. Although he was not sure he wanted to study medicine until college, his choice to be a surgeon was strongly impacted by experiences in his hometown of Rome. During summers in high school and college, he worked at a local hospital as a scrub tech, transporter, and in some instances, had the opportunity to help in the operating room.
While his father’s profession as a general surgeon was a constant influence growing up, it wasn’t those stories and experiences alone that inspired Dr. Brock to pursue a similar path. In residency, Dr. Brock cared for a patient that reassured him that he was in the right field. In his second year, he consulted with a mother and son. The son was the same age at the time, and he was struggling with metastatic cancer. Through their conversations, they discussed that, surgically, they would not be able to improve his disease. But from then on, whenever the young patient was back in the hospital, they asked for Dr. Brock. He continued to visit the family, and to this day, the mother still calls Dr. Brock.
Dr. Brock is very excited to join Harbin Clinic General Surgery, including the opportunity to work alongside his father, Dr. Paul Brock, an established General Surgeon at Harbin Clinic. When describing his philosophy of medicine, he said,
“My dad and I have different skill sets, but my philosophy is definitely an extension of his legacy. He instilled in me the importance of the physician-patient relationship as a team, a partnership. I may be telling a patient about something that needs to be done, but it is also a back and forth with the patient. I am committed to the same level of detailed care I always saw my father provide to his patients.”
He also touched on three elements of his work that he finds challenging and exciting. First, he talked about the relational aspect of his work,
“When you’re a general surgeon, you go in, meet the family, and tell them you’re going to be operating on them or a loved one. That conversation begins to build mutual trust, a unique relationship. As a very relational person, this part of my work is one of the things that drives me to be a better surgeon. Meeting somebody at such a challenging time in their lives and instilling some peace and confidence in them that you’ll be taking care of them is a major responsibility.”
Dr. Brock also mentioned the ways the technically and mentally challenging elements of surgery fit his personality and life goals. As he was considering what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, he wanted a challenge. And with surgery, he feels challenged daily. He may be doing the same operation repeatedly, but the patient and circumstances are always different. He approaches each operation individually. Dr. Brock also explains that general surgery has the potential to provide patients with an immediate solution. When there’s a problem, he has the opportunity to go in, fix it, and make someone feel better.
Dr. Brock sees himself as a complete physician, but he most often is caring for people in two specific scenarios. There is the emergency middle-of-the-night situation when something bad is going on, and he’s trying to solve what has already happened. But he also explains that surgery can be preventative medicine. While a surgeon’s job is technical, he also talks to patients in the clinic about making sure they’re getting their colonoscopies, breast exams, and other routine screenings. These conversations are critically important in ensuring patients are staying up to date on important screenings and catching health concerns early.
When talking to Dr. Brock, his excitement to come home to Harbin Clinic is visceral. It is clear that he has a deep respect for the excellence of the surgeons he will be joining, and he is eager to add additional knowledge and skillsets to the group of experts.
Beyond medicine, Dr. Brock is excited to be back in Rome. As an avid fly fisherman, he loves the topography of North Georgia, and he is thrilled for his family to enjoy the rivers and mountains that feel like home.
Dr. Brock received his Doctor of Medicine from Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, GA., and he completed his General Surgery Residency with Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. He completed his GI and Bariatric Fellowship at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO, which also included a focus on robotic surgery. Dr. Brock will begin seeing patients September 16.