Everett L. Dargan, MD

Everett L. Dargan, MD “He put me into warp speed and opened up new worlds to me–embryology, anatomy and zoology. Seeing bacteria and red blood cells was like discovering new life forms on ‘Star Trek’.” Everett Dargan was 15 years old and a freshman at Morehouse College in Atlanta when he realized that medicine could be an exciting field of study. Before that, he had wanted to become either a baseball player or a plumber. Dargan credits his professor, Dr. Harold Eugene Finley, with inspiring him to pursue science. “Finley was a taskmaster and insisted on perfection,” Dargan recalls. “But he also had a sense of humor. He was my mentor.” A native of Columbia, Dargan continued his education at the University of Buffalo and Howard University’s School of Medicine. After completing his internship in Brooklyn, NY, he began his residency in general surgery at the Albert Einstein Medical School in the Bronx. Dargan’s residency was interrupted when he was called into active duty during the Korean War. He was sent to England where he became a captain and commander of the 3910th USAF Hospital. Afterwards, he completed his medical training in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at Boston University Medical Center. Dargan returned to New York to become an associate professor of surgery at the Albert Einstein Medical School and director of surgery at Lincoln Hospital and subsequently at New York’s Sydenham Hospital. He taught medical students and surgical residents for more than 12 years. Dargan expected perfection and taught his students what he learned from his mentor. “None of us is an original. We take from our heroes,” Dargan said. “One of my heroes, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, said that you should do whatever you do so well that no man living, dead or yet unborn could do it better.” Dargan has published many surgical papers in leading national medical journals and has participated in preparing practicing surgeons for board certification. He has given presentations at national and international medical meetings. After Dargan left Lincoln hospital, he became director of surgery at New York’s Sydenham Hospital where he remained until returning to South Carolina in 1978. He began a private practice in thoracic, vascular and general surgery in Columbia. Two years later, Dr. Dargan and Dr. Gerald A. Wilson formed Midlands Surgical Associates, P.A., which now includes Dr. Dennis A. Wilson. Dr. Dargan retired from active practice in 2004. “I get high from practicing medicine,” Dargan says. “The exhilaration comes when patients say ‘thank you’ and you know that you have helped them. That’s the real reward in medicine.” Dargan is an associate clinical professor of surgery at the University of South Carolina. “It is my hope that more South Carolina students will discover the world of medicine. I hope that those who do go into medicine will return to their home state to practice,” says Dargan. “We have many students with the potential to succeed in medical and science fields. All they have to do is be determined and dedicated. And they have to study. Students must be persistent in the pursuit of knowledge and treat everyone with dignity and compassion.”