Bruce F. Sorensen
1977, San Francisco
Bruce Farrell Sorensen was born January 25, 1931 in Aurora, Illinois, the second son of Alton H. Sorensen, Sr. and Ruth Bergquist. His father had just completed a master's degree in structural engineering at the University of Illinois when Bruce was born. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah where two more sons and a daughter joined the family.
Bruce attended Salt Lake City schools where he distinguished himself in athletics as an All-State football player and was president of his high school acapella choir. He attended the University of Utah on an athletic scholarship but his football career was cut short with injuries and subsequent surgery on both knees. Bruce was declared ineligible for military service during the Korean War because of his knees and was therefore able to fulfill a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
After his mission he resumed his education at the University of Utah. He served as the president of the chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity and graduated with a B.S. degree in 1956. Two days after graduation, Bruce and Suzanne Kirkham Burbidge were married. That fall, they moved to Philadelphia where Bruce attended Temple University School of Medicine. During those years, two sons were born to the Sorensens, John Burbidge and Stephen Bruce. Bruce graduated from Temple University School of Medicine in 1960. Bruce was president of both his junior and senior classes and was invited to join the Babcock Surgical Society. During his senior year, he came under the influence of Dr. Michael Scott, professor of neurosurgery at Temple, who stimulated his interest in neurological surgery.
Bruce returned to Salt Lake City and served 1 year in a general rotating internship followed by 1 year of residency in general surgery. A third son, Scott Kirkham was born. Bruce then became a fellow in neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio training with Drs. W. James Gardner, Wallace B. Hamby, and Donald F. Dohn. Bruce returned to Salt Lake City after he completed his residency in neurological surgery and has remained in the private practice of neurological surgery since that time. A fourth son, Evan Burke, and finally a daughter, Elizabeth, were added to his family. Shortly after Bruce completed his residency, Dr. Donald Dohn, one of his mentors insisted he join the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). During his first year in the CNS he served on the Host Committee. He then became committee chairman and next chairman of the Registration Committee. After 3 years on the Executive Committee he was elected treasurer of the CNS. Bruce was president in 1976. His year as president culminated in the Congress meeting in San Francisco with Dr. Richard C. Schneider serving as the honored guest. One of the highlights of his year as president was the publication of the first volume of Neurosurgery under the editorship of Dr. Robert H. Wilkins. That year there was expansion of the Socio-Economics Committee with inclusion of representatives of all state neurosurgical societies at the annual meeting and closer ties with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) were fostered. At the conclusion of his year as president of the Congress, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and after 3 years became the treasurer of the AANS. He has served on several committees of the AANS. He recently was chairman of the Ethics Committee during which time the Association's ethics codes were written and adopted. His most recent assignment has been as chairman of the Professional Conduct Committee of the AANS. Dr. Sorensen is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and served on the Advisory Counsel for Neurosurgery. He is also a member of the Society of Neurological Surgeons, Western Neurological Society, and the Rocky Mountain Neurosurgical Society.
Finding time for church service has always been a part of the Sorensen family life. Bruce has served in many leadership capacities including bishop counselor, bishop, and as a member of a three-man Stake Presidency, overseeing the activities of 10 congregations of church members exceeding 4,500 members. Family activities include travel, hunting, fishing, and hiking in the mountains. Bruce has a keen appreciation for wilderness areas and loves nothing more than an opportunity to enjoy nature. At the present time Bruce and Suzanne have nine grandchildren.