Kevaghn P. Fair, DO, Dominion Pathology Laboratories
Colonel, U.S. Army Medical Corps (Ret.)
Originally, Dr. Kevaghn Fair joined the U.S. Army to pay for medical school, his dream since childhood. As it turned out, his 32 years in the Army Medical Corps gave him far more.
Dr. Fair served from 1985 to 2017, caring for soldiers, retirees and military dependents of all ages across the United States as well as overseas in South Korea. He left active duty in 2001 but continued in the Reserves for another 16 years, retiring at full Colonel.
“The military absolutely made me a better doctor,” he says. “You’re thrust into positions of responsibility very quickly and that helps you gain confidence sooner.”
Dr. Fair’s family has a tradition of service: his grandfather fought in both World Wars and his father was one of five brothers who served in World War II, each in a different service. His father was in the Marine Corps, one uncle was a Navy diver, another was in the Army Air Force, one served in the Merchant Marine, and one retired after a 20-year career in the Army. Carrying on the tradition is Dr. Fair’s oldest son, currently on active duty in the Army.
In 1985, Dr. Fair was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant when he entered medical school at the University Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, now Kansas City University of Medical and Biosciences. After graduation, he was sent to William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso for a Transitional Internship, then went overseas.
Only one month following internship, the young doctor found himself assigned as Commander of the 125th Medical Detachment, Camp Red Cloud in Uijongbu, Korea. He oversaw a staff of about 25 doctors, PAs, nurses, and medics, both American and Korean, and cared for all active-duty service members and their dependents north of Seoul.
“It was a wonderful experience to work with and maintain a strong intercultural health care team, as well as get a glimpse into the local life,” Dr. Fair relates. “The Koreans I met were eternally grateful for the USA’s commitment to keeping South Korea free, as well as building it up into the economic juggernaut it has become.”
Following his tour in Korea and a year in the Troop Medical Clinic system at Ft. Lewis, Wash., Dr. Fair embarked on a four-year Pathology Residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. After graduation, he was assigned as a pathologist to Womack Army Medical Center at Ft. Bragg, N.C.
“In the military, some things are always the same wherever you go, but each place has its own unique mix of soldiers and civilians,” he says. “That’s where the memories are made along the way.”
In 1998 the Army sponsored Dr. Fair’s dermatopathology Fellowship at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, and upon completion he returned to Ft. Bragg as the Chief of Anatomic Pathology at Womack. In 2001, Dr. Fair left full-time active duty to join Peninsula Pathology Associates at Riverside Regional Medical Center.
Within a year, Dr. Fair co-founded Dominion Pathology Laboratories in Norfolk with Robert A. Frazier, MD, to meet the demand for dermatopathology services across Hampton Roads. Although both physicians are board certified in Anatomic, Clinical and Dermatopathology, they choose to sub-specialize in the diagnosis of skin cancers and inflammatory skin conditions.
Staying in the Reserves, Dr. Fair continued to drill each year and was also recalled to full-time active duty in 2003 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center during Operation Noble Eagle, following the 9/11 attacks.
Looking back, Dr. Fair would recommend the military to all would-be doctors. “It’s a great proving ground and a time-honored way of serving your country, with some experiences like no other – certainly formative, and definitely memorable,” he adds.