Dr. Brion Benninger

A 1979 Crater graduate, Brion Benninger epitomized what it was to be a high school scholar-athlete. Besides being an honor student, he was an All-Conference and All-State football player and received the outstanding three-sport senior athlete award. After high school, he attended Chico State University on a full scholarship. Brion was inducted into the Crater Athletic Hall of Fame at an earlier date. Upon graduation from Chico State and a year’s travel, Brion entered medical school at Leicester University in England where he was to earn advanced degrees in chemistry and exercise physiology. His residency training included emergency medicine and orthopedics and led to him becoming a staff physician and lecturer of anatomy at Guy’s Hospital in London. During his surgical residency training, he was selected as a clinical anatomy demonstrator at Cambridge and Guys Hospital. He then went on to receive a graduate degree in sports medicine from the University of Nottingham and became certified in both general surgery and clinical anatomy.

After completing his fourth college degree, Brion remained in England for several years where he had an exciting life and varied career. With his training in sports medicine, Dr. Benninger became a physician to both professional and amateur athletes and was a member of the British Olympic Team of Physicians. He rally-raced his mini-Cooper, was a track physician at Donnington Park Formula 1 and World Super Bikes racetrack. His shoulder machine invention was sought after and, as a result, in 2000 he was invited to be part of an innovative medical team tasked with building and developing a pioneering hi-tech stroke rehabilitation machine at the Neurological Institute at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).

This precipitated a move to Portland, Oregon where he was responsible for teaching clinical anatomy to surgical residents, medical, dental, physician assistant students and undergraduate students. He developed and led the Clinical Anatomy Research Society. His list of responsibilities continues to grow, as he also was a faculty member in the Department of Surgery, Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, the Department of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery and Department of Integrative Biosciences. He even found time to co-author a clinical book, Gray’s Clinical Photographic Dissector of the Human Body.

Brion has mentored over two hundred medical/dental students who have presented research at national and international conferences on over three hundred research projects. He is an Editor for Netters Home Atlas, the most sold anatomy atlas worldwide. He is recognized as an international leader and expert in ultrasound education.

In 2011 Dr. Benninger became the inaugural Chair of the Anatomical Sciences Department at Western University of Health Sciences in Lebanon, Oregon. Here he has received the Faculty Researcher of the Year, Outstanding Faculty Teacher of the Year and Most Innovative Faculty of the Year awards. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Medical Anatomy Center at Western University of Health Sciences.

Brion has taught Medical, Dental, and Allied Healthcare professionals in Great Britain, the United States, China, Korea, the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, South America and the Caribbean. He was an Honored speaker in Zakynthos, Greece, received the Innovation in Medical Education Award in China, was an Honored Guest Speaker at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and was a US appointed delegate to the International Federation of Anatomy Association in Beijing.   He invented the triple feedback technique which enables a physician to simultaneously view tissues under the skin while observing and palpating a patient.

Dr. Benninger reflects on his productive life, “Every day I am grateful for my wife, Alison and our son, Jack, in addition to our extended families, coaches, mentors, patients, students and friends from all corners of the globe. They all have made my life fortunate and rich.”