As you probably know by now, Ben Carson is currently Donald Trump‘s biggest threat in the race for the hotly pursued Republican nomination for President. Before he was all over the news making stunningly out of touch statements about gun control, though, Carson actually had a prestigious medical career.
In 1984, Carson became the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, making the then-33-year-old the youngest major division Doctor in the Baltimore-based hospital’s long history. This accomplishment and many others throughout his career made him a Baltimore role model, so it’s no wonder that in “Corner Boys,” a fourth season episode of The Wire, Carson’s name came up when former Western District Commander turned education researcher “Bunny Colvin” (Robert Wisdom) observed a classroom full of students talking about their aspirations.
“I wanna be a pediatric neurosurgeon…” begins one student before Dr. David Parenti (Dan DeLuca) chimes in with Carson’s name and then explains who that is to Colvin. It’s a minor reference that was likely included as a way of further grounding the show within the real world, but nine years later, it’s interesting to think of how Ben Carson’s place in the public consciousness has changed. I bet no one needs to brief someone on who Ben Carson is now, but you also have to wonder how many kids would aspire to be one of the 71 candidates for the Republican nomination.