Dr. Leon S. Benson began his medical career in Evanston, Illinois, the town where he was born and raised. After graduating as valedictorian of his high school class, Dr. Benson continued as a chemistry major at Northwestern University, also located in Evanston, Illinois. He enjoyed the basic sciences and finished Northwestern in three years as a Phi Beta Kappa in chemistry. Medicine still appealed to him as a practical application of a basic sciences background, and in 1981, Dr. Benson began medical school at Northwestern University in downtown Chicago. He next completed a five-year residency in orthopaedic surgery at Northwestern and then pursued an extra year of specialty training in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery at Harvard.
Dr. Benson returned from Boston in 1991 and has practiced with the same orthopaedic group ever since. Dr. Benson is currently Chief of the Section of Hand Surgery at NorthShore University HealthSystem, which is a four-hospital system in the northern Chicago suburbs and includes a physician staff of over 2400 doctors. NorthShore also serves as the northern teaching campus for the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Benson holds an appointment as Senior Attending within the NorthShore system and is currently President Elect of the NorthShore Professional Staff. In 1995 he won the James K. Stack Award, given to the orthopaedic surgeon voted best teacher of the year. Dr. Benson has been a major contributor in developing a formal orthopaedic curriculum, and has given more than 190 hand surgery lectures as an orthopaedic educator. He also serves as course director for a weekly hand surgery teaching conference within the University of Chicago orthopaedic program and is Chairman of the Educational Programming Committee within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at NorthShore.
Dr. Benson has additionally been active in clinical research relating to hand surgery. His scholarly production includes more than 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals, a single-authored text on teaching orthopaedics, 8 book chapters, and more than 40 scientific presentations to national audiences. Dr. Benson also serves as an Associate Editor for The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American Volume) and writes a regular column for a national hand surgery newsletter. Dr. Benson also does academic consulting work for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery by writing questions for the national certifying examination in orthopaedic surgery as well as for the certifying examination in hand surgery. He currently holds the rank of Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Dr. Benson holds a variety of administrative roles within local and national professional societies. From 2004 to 2006 he served as President of the Chicago Society for Surgery of the Hand and continues to serve on the Coding and Reimbursement Committee for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He is a member of the 2006 Class of the Leadership Fellows Program of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), which is group of 15 orthopaedic surgeons from around the country that have been selected for cultivation as future leaders within the AAOS. Dr. Benson’s present committee work includes serving as Chairman of the Public Relations Oversight Group of the AAOS.
March 28, 2013 "Highland Park surgeons’ elbow grease builds safe playground"
June 5, 2012 Dog Channel "Tips on Handling Domestic Cat, Dog Bites"
May 10, 2012 Nytimes.com "Exercise Heals at Any Age Room for Debate"
Feb 9, 2012 PR Newswire "AAOS Launches National 2012 Public Service Announcement Campaign"
Jan 25, 2012 Syracuse.com "Orthopedic practices offer patients with fractures, sprains, sports injuries an alternative to the ER"
Dec 21, 2010 KING5 "Texting is causing repetitive stress injuries"
Nov 28, 2010 CBS Chicago "Frequent Texting Can Lead to Thumb Injury"
Nov 5, 2010 WPRI "New texting troubles uncovered"
'Pediatric hand injuries due to home exercycles.' Benson LS, Waters PM, Meier SW, Visotsky JL, Williams CS. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. 20:1, 2000, 34-39.
'Dog and cat bites to the hand: treatment and cost assessment.' Benson LS, Edwards SL,Schiff AP, Williams CS, Visotsky JL.Journal of HandSurgery. 31A: 2006, 468-473.
'Complications of endoscopic and open carpal tunnel release.' Benson LS, Bare A, Nagle DJ,Harder VL, Williams CS, Visotsky JL.Arthroscopy. 9; 2006, 919-924.