As of June 30, 2019, Dr. Fletcher C. Derrick, Jr. will be retiring from the practice of urology at Lowcountry Urology Clinics and from the staffs of Roper and St Francis Hospitals.
Dr. Derrick was a junior intern at St. Francis in 1957 while in Medical School at MUSC and subsequently several rotations at both Roper and St. Francis.
Derrick joined the US Army Medical Corps as a senior student at MUSC. Upon graduation, he completed his internship at Martin Army Hospital in Fort Benning, Ga., and shipped out to Germany to serve in the 8th Division Artillery as division surgeon and in 1960 sent to Landstuhl Army Hospital where he began his Urology training. After 3 years in Germany, he, his wife and infant daughter returned to MUSC for the 4-year residency in surgery and urology.
While an intern at Ft. Benning, Capt. Derrick was selected to be a covert courier for U S Army Military Intelligence. This was done in total secrecy and involved delivering and carrying documents and money all over the world. There were no computers then, the phones were often tapped and the military codes were not always unbreakable. Neither his wife nor others knew about this part of his life. As his handlers said, “a man with a wife and child are hiding in plain site”. He never was in danger. He estimated he made over 20 trips with secretive documents, including into a post in the Artie Circle.
Dr. Derrick and his wife, Martha Langford Derrick, traveled the world, often with children and or grandchildren. Many of those trips involved covert documents. His wife did not suspect anything out of the ordinary. They went on church mission trips to Nepal, Nigeria, and Panama, lecturing at other med schools, and sightseeing of many historical and significant landmarks on 7 continents.
After completing his residency, he was on the faculty of MUSC where he was on the team that initiated the Kidney Transplantation Program. He subsequently was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Urology at George Washington University from 1970-74. The family made a decision to return to Charleston and enter private practice with Dr. Raymond Rosenblum. Dr. Derrick and other Urologist were instrumental in advancing Urology care in both Roper and St Francis. When Dr. Rosenblum retired Derrick joined Lowcountry Urology Clinics.
Dr. Derrick has often said he witnessed and was a part of a great transition in medicine and surgery. He worked with the GP surgeons and watched as the specialization of surgery and medicine grew into the current super specialization as the mass of information grew rapidly through his 61 years since he graduated from MUSC.
He says he will keep his license active just in case there is a need somewhere and he could be of service to his fellow man.
In 2002, Derrick was awarded the Order of The Palmetto, by the State of South Carolina and in 2014 was given the Presidential Citation by the American Urological Association for superb clinical judgment and surgical skills. He was at that time the oldest practicing urologist in the USA, and probably still is until June 30, 2019.
His skills as a Rosarian are well known and his gardens at 2 Gibbes and 12 Orange Streets were always on tour. Learning to paint with oils on canvas and linen about 2000, he completed over 100 paintings, many of which are on permanent loan to Roper and St Francis and are hanging on the walls of the corridors and in the rooms of 8th floor Rehabilitation Ward.
He was a part of the Charleston business and social community as a President of the Charleston County Medical Society, President of the Charleston Trident Chamber of Commerce and a Rotarian.