Theodore T. Benke, M.D., F.A.C.S
Benke Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic, P.A.
Cleburne, TX 76033
My best friend’s dad was a doctor. He took me to the medical school and showed me around. I volunteered at Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital and worked as an orderly for my first year in college. I’d seen medicine from many angles. I knew I belonged there.
My ENT specialty allows me to do both medical care and surgery – for all ages. I found that niche at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, then did my Otolaryngology residency at the University of Missouri-Columbia Hospital and Clinics.
After residency, I served in the United States Air Force for five years in both North Dakota and England. I was the only ENT stationed at Minot AFB and recall contacting Dr. Jerry Templer for advice on a tough case. “Just remember,” he said, “you’re the best man they’ve got.” I think my positive experience there influenced my decision to move to Cleburne, Texas a town of 30, 000 one hour from Dallas. I have been in solo private practice for 15 years and am the only ENT specialist in my county. My practice is general ENT and Allergy in a retro-modern office that I built in 2010 . My personal home was built in 1906, so it was nice to have a new building! Audiology and hearing conservation are big parts of the practice and we do occupational hearing testing in a mobile trailer at various industries.
My practice is basically a ministry for me. I believe God gave me gifts and that I’m to use them in caring for people when they don’t feel good—serving them until they’re better. Our practice lives by three core values: integrity, excellence and service.
Maureen and I have four kids (26, 25, 22, and 18!) My oldest daughter is married and has two small children, so I am now a grandfather. Maureen and I have seen the oldest three through college and two on to grad school; our youngest is a senior in high school. Our family get togethers are pretty much over holidays now, but we love eating, playing board games and watching old movies.
I was an altar boy in the Catholic church. I think it fed my fascination for uniforms—as did Boy Scouts, even the Air Force. When I left for Baylor, my priest told me not to let those Baptists corrupt me. But he didn’t tell me not to marry one!