Dr. (Maj.) Benjamin Ingram comes from a Family of scientists.
But, in the summer of 2001, he decided to also make the Army his Family.
It was then that Ingram, the son of a former 82nd Airborne Soldier turned physician and decided to follow in his father’s bootprint and enlist.
“He’s (my father) been an inspiration to me as a physician in terms of always desiring to do the right thing . . . ,” said Ingram, chief of Sports Medicine, Family Medicine Residency Clinic, Womack Army Medical Center, and a 2005 graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina at Charleston.
“If I had to give a theme to what I do, (it would be) moving is living. When you are not moving, you are not living. If anyone doesn’t perform or move, it’s a good referral to sports medicine.”
There are very few barriers to exercise, and rarely medical conditions prohibit exercise, he explained.
Maintaining a regular exercise routine decreases the likelihood of injury and even treats major diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, heart disease, depression, arthritis and high blood pressure.
“When people move, everything works better,” Ingram said.
As a sports chief, there is a repertoire of injuries that Ingram commonly sees, including knee, back and shoulder pain. The prevention of heat-related injuries is a personal passion of his as the majority of these injuries can be avoided.
“I have an interest in seeing heat injuries either prevented or rapidly addressed,” Ingram said, but noted that units are doing a good job of providing emergency treatments such as ice sheets, a typical cooling method used in the field.
Maintaining awareness of how one feels and having knowledge of what the current heat category is, are steps that can be taken to avoid injury, said Ingram.
Noncommissioned officers and commanders should be proactive by monitoring proper hydration and assessing Soldiers during training. During the hot months, 907-HEAT will give an automated heat category status that commanders can use to guide training.
There is a presumption that heat strokes only occur in hot weather, but Ingram said this is simply not true. It can occur anytime, regardless of the season when the conditions are right. From 2006 to 2010, Fort Bragg suffered 2167 heat injuries, more than any other installation in the entire military structure. In 2012, over 20 Soldiers were hospitalized with heat injuries.
Common symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive thirst, weakness, headaches, dizziness, fainting, nausea and vomiting and muscle cramps, as well as a rapid heartbeat, which if not promptly treated, could prove fatal.
“Most Soldiers who have suffered heat strokes later told me that they felt ‘bad’ prior to the incident,” Ingram said.
It is because of Ingram’s admiration for fellow Soldiers and their fitness concerns that he relishes sports medicine.
“I like what I do. Sports medicine patients are generally motivated to get better,” he said.
When Ingram is not practicing medicine, he enjoys spending time with his wife of two years, Patricia.
“She was the prettiest girl I had ever seen and I didn’t know who dates women like that, and she’s now my wife,” said Ingram.
In the couple’s leisure, they routinely hike the Cape Fear River Trail off Ramsey Street, averaging about seven miles per visit.
“You forget you are in Fayetteville,” said Ingram of the scenery. “It gives us the opportunity to get out and get exercise.”
They also work out at Frederick Physical Fitness Center, and enjoy doing yard work at their home, a Haymont cottage built in 1933.
“It’s not anything fancy, but it’s home, and my wife and I are very happy there,” Ingram said.
In addition to his parents, Ingram visits his brother, a biochemical engineer and his sister, a doctor of psychology at their homes in South Carolina.
Like his father before him, Ingram plans to continue his career in medicine.
“Medicine allows me the honor to be a part of the lives of others, to help them live long, healthy lives, and to serve my community as part of my daily job,” he said.