Dr. Darrell Ragland never intended to practice medicine in Jonesboro, but life had other plans.
After growing up in Little Rock, he attended college at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
"Family practice was the program I enjoyed the most throughout medical school," he said. "I loved working directly with people and helping them be healthier."
After graduating medical school, he came to Jonesboro for his family medicine residency, a three-year program through UAMS. Dr. Ragland planned to move back to central Arkansas as soon as his residency was completed, but then he fell in love with a woman named Jan. She had grown up in northeast Arkansas and didn't intend to leave.
So Dr. Ragland decided to stay, and he built his life and his medical practice in Jonesboro.
After completing his residency, Dr. Ragland worked in the Emergency Department at St. Bernards for a year before accepting a family medicine position at First Care, a position he still holds today.
Over the years, he has seen thousands of patients.
"For me, the fun part of the practice is seeing people over long periods of time," he said. "I have gotten to know entire families. I would say that's the best part of serving in primary care."
The Raglands have three daughters - Elizabeth, Mary Catherine and Victoria.
"I like to joke that I've invested in one thing over the years: Women's clothing," he said. "I grew up in a house of boys, so being surrounded by women for my entire adult life has certainly been fun."
In his spare time, Dr. Ragland enjoys spending time with his grandchildren - three of whom live in Jonesboro and two in Nashville. He also runs in 5K and 10K races with his daughter Victoria.
Recently he has taken up golfing, a sport he is learning to spend more time with his wife, an avid golfer. He and Jan are also season ticket holders for Ole Miss football games, having fallen in love with the school after all three daughters attended there.
One question Dr. Ragland fields regularly these days: Is he planning to retire anytime soon?
"I enjoy my work, so I'm planning to keep working as long as I stay healthy," he says with a laugh.
Dr. Ragland practices at the
clinic at 415 E. Matthews. To make an appointment with him, please call 870-972-8181.