Fritz-Gerald Charles, M.D., a fourth-year resident, was honored with the opportunity to deliver the keynote address at this year’s Emerald Ball, part of Accepted Medical Student Weekend and a culmination of the UF College of Medicine’s Celebration of Diversity Week.
The keynote on Saturday, April 9, was intended to be an inspirational address for the next generation of doctors coming from diverse backgrounds.
“It was an illustration of how the UF College of Medicine, the Department of Anesthesiology, and the institution as a whole have helped me exceed my dream and forged me into a competent and confident physician, ready to care for patients nationally and during my global health mission endeavors,” Charles said.
Charles was invited to deliver the keynote by Donna M. Parker, M.D., associate dean for diversity and health equity and assistant professor of pediatrics. The audience included guests and members of the UF College of Medicine class of 2026 and UF School of Physician Assistant Studies class of 2024.
Other distinguished attendees at the event, held in the Harrell Medical Education Building, included Colleen G. Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., dean of the UF College of Medicine; Shireen Madani Sims, M.D., assistant dean of student affairs; James Lynch, M.D., professor of medicine and assistant dean of admissions for the College of Medicine; our own Albert R. Robinson, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and assistant dean in the Office for Diversity and Health Equity; and PA school officials.
Feedback from attendees at the ball was overwhelmingly positive, with many writing to Charles to thank him for sharing his story and experiences.
“I hope this has helped increase awareness of the resources available in our department and, most of all, inspire the next generation of physicians,” Charles said.
Charles was a recipient of the prestigious 2018 J.S. Gravenstein Award, which is presented each year to an outstanding UF College of Medicine graduate who intends to pursue anesthesiology. He has conducted research involving intraoperative and post-cardiopulmonary bypass use of vitamin B12 in vasoplegic syndrome, as well as research on oxygen carriers as alternatives to blood transfusion and artificial intelligence.
Upon completing his residency training this year, he will begin a cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellowship at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
Congratulations and well done, Dr. Charles!