A plastic surgeon whose care for the dear neighbor has extended past the U.S. borders to help countless people on multiple continents, Dr. Patricia Fox ’68 was not only the first person in her family to earn a medical doctorate (MD) and become a physician. She was also the first to attend college.
Ever since she was a child, Fox wondered what went on behind the windows of the hospital. When she had to visit the emergency room to treat an injured hand at the age of 5, her curiosity about medicine grew.
Fox followed her ambition to excel in everything from the debate team (where she partnered with the future Hon. Loretta Preska ’70) to academics. She would take as many as 28 credits per semester while working to support herself – first at Central Market supermarket, and later at Albany Medical Center.
Although she majored in chemistry at Saint Rose, because she loved the challenge of solving problems, Fox, now co-director of the Ellis Medicine Cleft Palate Clinic, also amassed nearly enough biology credits for a major. She went on to earn her M.D. at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and to fulfill a residency at Georgetown University.
Always attracted by the opportunity to solve the most difficult problems, Fox loved the artistic and technical challenge of plastic surgery and chose it as her specialty.
In addition to her regular patients in the Capital Region, she co-founded the nonprofit Surgeons for Underserved Nations, through which she journeyed to China, Mexico, and Cameroon to perform cleft-palate surgery gratis for underprivileged children.
“Saint Rose encouraged us to be caring and thoughtful human beings,” said Fox, who in 2016 donated 70 acres to the Mohawk-Hudson Land Conservancy. “It has a moral compass that helps you stay on the track of doing what’s right.
“You take the God-given skills that you have, and the opportunities that come your way, and you try to share them and give back in the way you can.”