Famed Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, credited with the first successful separation of twins conjoined at the head, simultaneously announced his retirement from medicine this year and launched a political firestorm.

The 62-year-old, whose rise from poverty in Detroit inspired a movie, first made headlines in February at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, where he was viewed as criticizing the policies of President Obama.

In April, he publicly disparaged gay marriage and subsequently resigned as Hopkins’s graduation speaker amid protests.

By October, he had been hired as a commentator at Fox News and was linking the Affordable Care Act to slavery. Despite, or probably because of, his controversial opinions, the world-renowned doc—a 2008 Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree—is touted today as a future conservative presidential candidate.

“You know Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”—Dr. Ben Carson at the Values Voter Summit