Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine retired physician, Dr. Michael (Mike) Turner passed away on November 11, 2021 after a remarkably courageous fight with pancreatic cancer. For those who knew him, his bravery, strength and endurance throughout this battle was a testament to the character he showed throughout a remarkable life.
Dr. Turner was born in Minneapolis. He was a practicing pharmacist before pursuing medical school and completing his neurosurgery residency at IU. Dr. Turner joined Indianapolis Neurosurgical Group in July 1981, following Drs. Julius Goodman, Daniel Cooper, Michael Burt, Terry Horner and Henry Feuer into private practice neurosurgery at Methodist Hospital. Dr. Turner specialized in pediatric neurosurgery, and one of his legacies was being on the forefront of treating pediatric patients from childhood to adulthood. He helped pioneer the use of intrathecal pumps to treat spasticity. Along the way, Mike helped start the first ThinkFirst traumatic injury prevention program in Indiana. Dr. Turner was among the first trauma surgeons at Methodist, where he was a senior consultant in forming the state’s preeminent trauma program and our trauma service. He was an engaged partner at Goodman Campbell until his retirement in 2012. After his retirement, Dr. Turner continued to contribute to the field of neurosurgery as a consultant for Medtronic.
Dr. Troy Payner, Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine neurosurgeon, shares “I had the privilege of working with Dr. Turner and he served as a mentor for me since I began my own career in Indianapolis, in 1994. Few doctors are more dedicated to their patients and available to their patients the way Dr. Turner was to his. I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from him and work side-by-side for so many years.”
When it came to the care of his patients, Dr. Turner possessed unending energy. In a field that can be overwhelming and scary for patients, he had a gift of humanizing medicine to allow patients to focus on their healing instead their fear. Goodman Campbell neurosurgeon Dr. Carl Sartorius states “Not only was he beloved by his patients but he loved his patients and their families. He dealt with the most challenging of neurosurgical problems and saved countless lives through his effort and skill. He was the consummate physician.” He extended the same energy to his staff – when you became a part of Dr. Turner’s team, you became a part of his family.
While his accomplishments in the medical field were numerous, if you were to ask him, he was the most proud of his family. He would likely then add that he “made the most beautiful grandkids.” His family includes: children David Turner (Kat Cheng), Kate Stamatkin (Chris Stamatkin) and Julia Turner (Amit Patel), Kathy Flint and her daughter Hannah, and his grandkids Hugo, Wynn, and Georgia Stamatkin, Lincoln Scottie and Jackson Turner, and Roland Patel. His legacy will undoubtedly live on through the love he poured into his family. He gave selflessly, loved deeply, and showed compassion to all. He taught by example the virtues of generosity, hard work and never discriminated to whom he offered his time and love.