Caribbean American named ‘Doctor of the Year’

Dr. Charlene S. Emmanuel.  Robert Sean Stephens
Dr. Charlene S. Emmanuel.
Robert Sean Stephens

Departments of Nursing across all of New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s main campuses have named a Caribbean American physician as “Doctor of the Year.”

The annual award — which was presented on March 30, via Zoom, to Dr. Charlene S. Emmanuel, the daughter of Vincentian and Haitian immigrants — celebrates collegiality, collaboration and physicians’ contributions to New York-Presbyterian Hospital’ nursing practice.

Dr. Emmanuel’s parents are Queens residents, Vincentian Shermin Walker Emmanuel and Haitian-born retired physician, Jacquelin Emmanuel.

Dr. Emmanuel — an assistant professor at Columbia University Medical Center, attending physician at New York-Presbyterian/Allen Hospital and medical director of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) for the Ambulatory Care Network (outpatient clinics) — said the award is given to physicians who show “competence and compassion in the clinical setting and cooperate with nursing to attain the highest standards of quality patient care.”

“This honor was a complete surprise, and I am incredibly touched and humbled to be receiving it,” Dr. Emmanuel told Caribbean Life exclusively. “There are many reasons why this recognition is special to me, but two reasons standout more than the others. The first reason is the who and the second reason is the when.

“The who is that it comes from the nurses,” she added. “As an intern, the nurses were the ones that gently guided me in the right direction, when I was just learning my way. As a new attending, anytime I got stuck, a seasoned nurse at my side would always keep me on track.

“Most times in the middle of the night, when I respond to a patient emergency, it is because a nurse called to be there,” Dr. Emmanuel continued. “Nurses have caught my mistakes and taught me to be compassionate by advocating for their patients.

“A successful healthcare team is not built as a hierarchy, but as a team of collaborators working with mutual respect,” she said. “I am so grateful to receive this award from a group of people that I hold in the highest regard.”

As for “the when,” Dr. Emanuel said: “We all in healthcare have had a really rough two years.

“It been a difficult time to be patient, facing a setting of so much fear, uncertainty, loss,” she said. “To be honored now, when I, like so many others, have struggled personally and professionally over the last year is particularly touching and, in many ways, feels undeserved.

“I will use this recognition as motivation to strive to be a better doctor and worthy of the praise,” Dr. Emmanuel added. “Thank you so much to the selection committee and to the wonderful people that I have the pleasure of working with daily, who make my job so much easier.

“I want to thank my family for their constant and unwavering support, particularly my dad, a former Columbia physician, who was my first example of being a compassionate healthcare provider; my son, who has taught me to be a more patient and kinder human being in general; my husband (a designer), who is always supportive of my crazy schedule. Thank you,” she continued.

From May 2019 to present, Dr. Emmanuel has been Assistant Professor and OB/GYN Site Director at New York-Presbyterian’s Broadway Practice of the Ambulatory Care Network in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Her hospital appointments include New York-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

From February 2017 to April 2019, Dr. Emmanuel served as Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Stanford University Healthcare.

At that time, her hospital appointments comprised Stanford University Hospital, Palo Alto, CA; Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley, CA; and Summit Medical Center, Oakland, CA.

From August 2015 to December 2016, Dr. Emmanuel was an obstetrician and gynecologist at Northside Hospital, Atlanta, GA; and from July 2012 to August 2015, she was also an obstetrician and gynecologist at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, Fayetteville, GA.

In 2014, she completed the Executive in Healthcare Training Program at Georgia State University in Atlanta; studied medicine, from August 2004 to May 2008, at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY; and pursued a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, with pre-medicine concentration, at Yale University, New Haven, CT, from August 2000 to May 2004.

From July 2008 to July 2012, Dr. Emmanuel conducted her internship and residency in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Her honors and awards, over the years, include: Excellence in Research Inquiry, Emory University Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics (2012); Golden Apple Teaching Award, Emory University Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics (2011); Doran J. Stephen Prize, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (2008); and International Medicine Award, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (2005).

Dr. Emmanuel has published book chapters in “How hairy is too hairy? Diagnosis and Management of Hirsutism” in Roberts CP, Broomfield DP, eds. “Avoiding Common Obstetrics and Gynecology Errors,” Philadelphia PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins (2010).

More from Around NYC