Charles McDonald, MD, is the founding chairman of the Brown University Medical School Department of Dermatology and Physician-in-Chief of the Department of Dermatology at Rhode Island Hospital. An internationally recognized dermatologist, Dr. McDonald has distinguished himself as a clinician, researcher, and educator and as a leader in his community and beyond.
Dr. McDonald was born in Tampa, Florida and raised there by a supportive extended family which instilled strong and lasting values of education and service that have guided him throughout his life and career. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from North Carolina A&T at age nineteen, a master’s degree in Zoology from the University of Michigan, and, after serving in the United States Air Force and achieving the rank of major, an MD degree from Howard University, graduating first in his class. Following a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in pharmacology and oncology and serving on the Yale Medical School faculty, he moved to Providence in 1968 to join the faculty of the Brown Medical School and form its new Department of Dermatology.
Dr. McDonald has been recognized in Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Doctors for over two decades. His research and experience in the safe and effective treatments for skin cancer, psoriasis, cutaneous lymphomas and systemic autoimmune diseases have been published in more than 200 scientific articles and book chapters and in his own textbook.
During his tenure as President of the American Cancer Society, Dr. McDonald led new efforts to improve diversity within the organization, coalesced national program efforts in childhood cancer, and spearheaded new program initiatives in prostate cancer to aid African-American men.
Dr. McDonald has served in many local and regional positions of leadership, including roles on the State Board of Education, the Providence Public Library, and as a member of the group that founded the Providence Health Centers. He was a trustee of Citizens Bank for twenty five years, and recently completed eleven years of trustee service on the Lifespan Healthcare Corporation Board. Currently, he is a trustee of Bryant University. He has been recognized for service by the NAACP, The Hospital Association of Rhode Island, the Ministerial Alliance, the John Hope Settlement House, the Urban League, and the Black Heritage Society.
In the academic community, Brown University Medical School Alumni conferred upon him the W.W. Keen Award for teaching excellence. He is an emeritus member of the Howard University Board of Trustees and has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Howard University as well as its Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement Awards in Medicine and Community Service.
Dr. McDonald lives in Bristol with his wife Maureen who is also an accomplished civic leader.
– Roberta Brown Feather, J.D., Ph.D.