By Erika D. Peterman, FMA Managing Editor | Updated Aug. 10, 2023
For his “unparalleled generosity and dedication to those less represented in medicine,” Palm Beach County anesthesiologist Roger Duncan III, MD, FASA, received the 2023 FMA Award of Distinguished Service on Sunday, July 30, in the House of Delegates. This award, which is the FMA’s highest honor, reflects Dr. Duncan’s exceptional service to the association, the medical profession and the public.
In 2012, under the auspices of the T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society (TLJMS), Dr. Duncan founded and implemented the Healthcare and Science Stars of Tomorrow Career Symposium — a program that has given more than 10,000 students from surrounding areas a closer look at future careers in medicine, pharmacy, and biomedical engineering, among others. As he told Palm Beach Illustrated magazine in 2019, the symposium aims to broaden participants’ ideas about careers in science and healthcare and, ultimately, their own potential.
“These students from underrepresented or lower socioeconomic areas don’t dream big dreams because they don’t have the opportunities nor the role models in their day-to-day world,” Dr. Duncan told the magazine. “They have omni-potential but (need) people who believe in them.”
Participating students attend organized rotations and information sessions that allow them to interact with physicians and other professionals, including nuclear medicine technologists, biologists, nurses and anesthesia assistants. They also have opportunities to meet exhibitors from regional hospitals, research institutes, and colleges.
Dr. Duncan gives credit to his parents for instilling the idea of education as an equalizing force and demonstrating the importance of paying it forward.
“What they instilled in all their kids was, ‘You stand on the shoulders of all your ancestors who helped to afford you opportunities. And you have an obligation to give to others,’ ” Dr. Duncan said in the Palm Beach Illustrated interview.
Currently Vice Chief of Anesthesia at Palms West Hospital, Dr. Duncan is an FMA Board of Governors member, a Past President of the Palm Beach Medical Society, and a Past President of TLJMS, which is named for the first African American physician in Palm Beach County. A Fellow of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, he earned his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine and completed his anesthesiology residency at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
Dr. Duncan has practiced medicine in Palm Beach County since 1999 and has received numerous awards for his physician leadership and community service.