William H. Carson, MD, grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, inspired by his parents to succeed at whatever he chose to do.
“My parents raised my sister and me with limitless expectations,” said Dr. Carson, whose parents were public school teachers. “My father gave me the best piece of advice when he said, ‘You’ll never know if you don’t try.’”
While a grade school student in South Carolina’s public school system, Carson developed a keen interest in science.
“My elementary school teachers were so influential,” he remarked. “They instilled in me a desire to excel.”
He shared his passion for science with Dr. C. E. Morgan, his family’s physician, and he began to think about a career in medicine.
“Dr. Morgan knew I was a serious student and he told me that I would make a good doctor,” Dr. Carson recalled. After graduating from A.C. Flora High School, he went on to receive his A.B. degree in history and science from Harvard University. Later, he earned his M.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he received the Ivan Shalit Award as the Best Medical Student for Clinical Care.
Today, Dr. Carson can reflect on a highly accomplished career. As a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, he taught emerging physicians and cared for patients with mental illness. As a clinical researcher, he led the development of ABILIFY®, a drug that has helped millions who live with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. And as a CEO since 2010, he heads Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc., a leader in the global clinical development of healthcare products.
Dr. Carson said gaining approval for ABILFY makes him most proud. “ABILIFY has benefited so many more patients than I could have cared for as an individual psychiatrist,” he said.
He calls South Carolina “home,” and a springboard for a life well lived. “I have led exactly the life I thought I would have,” Dr. Carson said, “and yet, a life I could never have dreamed of.”