Anesthesiologist Roger L. Duncan, III, M.D., FASA, has made giving back to his community a fixture in his life for nearly 30 years.
Alongside being named a top doctor this year by Palm Beach Illustrated magazine, Dr. Duncan, Vice Chief of Anesthesia at Palms West Hospital, West Palm Beach, Florida, recently received three awards to recognize his impact on the community.
The T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society Legacy Award acknowledged Dr. Duncan for his service and contributions to medicine, while the Florida Atlantic University Schmidt College of Medicine’s Outstanding Community Samaritan Award recognized his mentoring role with the school’s student national medical association to help develop culturally-competent future doctors. In late July, Dr. Duncan also received the National Medical Association’s 2019 Meritorious Achievement Award. The award recognizes Dr. Duncan's exceptional work in medical service, medical research and academic medicine.
“I love medicine, and I love taking care of patients,” Dr. Duncan said. “I want to continue to encourage young people to consider careers in math, science and medicine, particularly children from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in these fields.”
To that end, Dr. Duncan has spoken to more than 5,000 inner-city elementary, middle and high school children about the benefits of a career in medicine and the uses of math and science. He also has helped award more than 35 scholarships to high school students pursuing careers in pre-health and the sciences. Additionally, he founded an externship program for eighth-grade students. Now in its eighth year, the program has exposed more than 250 students to clinical careers, including visiting the operating room, participating in anesthesiology lectures, handling Da Vinci surgical robots, undergoing mock trauma/code drills, reviewing imaging studies, and completing mock deliveries and neonatal resuscitation drills.
The achievement for which he is most proud, however, is the annual Healthcare and Science Career Symposium, also now in its eighth year. More than 4,000 students have attended the program lectures presented by more than 150 exhibitors across nearly 40 healthcare careers.
“With or without a stethoscope, we show students that they can have a meaningful impact on society through a career in healthcare,” explains Dr. Duncan. “More than 85 percent of participants have said that the program was highly influential and informative in their decision to pursue careers in healthcare or science.”
Later this year, Dr. Duncan will be sworn in as President-Elect of the Palm Beach County Medical Society, a network of 1,800 physicians.
Envision Supports Community Service and Leadership
Dr. Duncan said that he is thankful that the leadership at Envision is involved and supportive of his community and leadership services.
“There are people throughout the Envision enterprise with expertise that can motivate students and improve people’s lives,” he said. “If everyone in both clinical and non-clinical roles found something that they were passionate about, we could make a world of difference.”
As for what drives him to continue volunteering, Dr. Duncan says, “Medicine isn’t just a job; it’s a calling. We strive every day to enrich the lives of the patients that we care for. We also should strive to share our knowledge, money, influence and time to help others.”