Dr. Francelis Gonzalez, more known as Dr. G in Orlando is a local businesswoman and philanthropist with international outreach and influence. She is a traveler (she has been to over 80 countries), a renowned Latina influence in our community (she was the first Hispanic founding member of the Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts), a savvy entrepreneur (she owns several Pediatric and Family Medicine clinics all over Central Florida) and an awarded doctor who has appeared on media nationwide and has been recognized with awards from El Quijote to InStyle.
Not only this, Dr. G is a dear person to our hearts, the 1st person to call us and say "How can I sponsor your Swearing-in event for the Foundation?". She is an advisor to our President, a dear friend of our team, and an example to us all. So we wanted to start the series of interviews of powerful Hispanic women with her.
Interview with Dr. Francelis Gonzalez
Can you tell us about your journey and how you came to own a successful clinic? Can you tell us about your journey and how you came to own a successful clinic?
After finishing my training as a Pediatric Hematology Oncologist at Los Angeles Children's Hospital I decided to move to the East Coast to have more access to visit my family in Puerto Rico. I interviewed in several mid-west states but knowing about the great migration of Hispanics both from South America and the Caribbean to Florida, it made me think that moving east was a good decision. I started working with a Private group as a General Pediatrician but later, I decided to open my own practice. The first one was in Haines City and the number of patients that transferred to my clinic was significant because I was the only bilingual physician in the community. After opening my practice, I was working in both specialties ( General Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology). I used to work as a Pediatrician several days of the week at my own clinic and as a Pediatric hematologist oncologist the rest of the week at Florida Hospital. I was working seven days a week and after a while, I decided to keep opening more practices in Central Florida.
Dr. Francelis Gonzalez, what inspired you to become a philanthropist in the arts and in supporting children with cancer?
The Arts in any of its expression enriches the soul. It helps to make life more enjoyable and tolerable. It makes you become more empathic with the rest of humanity and triggers self-expression.
How has your work in philanthropy impacted your work as a clinic owner?
As a clinic owner, my position for many years was direct patient care. When I started expanding and hiring more providers to provide patient care, I transitioned into a management position. This provides me with flexible time which I invest in several local charities. As a Board member and President of the Rose Society of Kids Beating Cancer, I am involved in organizing fundraising events whose funds are used for cancer research or to help with some of the treatment expenses of the affected patients.
Can you describe some of the challenges you've faced as a woman in a male-dominated industry?
When I was doing my training at the hospital, I needed to invest more time in getting accurate data on my patients. Every day I needed to present the cases with information about laboratory, radiology, and treatment outcomes results to the team. I noticed that female doctors were questioned more in-depth by the attending physician compared to our male counterparts.
After establishing my own practices and opening more in Central Florida I had not felt or encountered any challenge that I can I attribute to the fact of being a woman.
What do you think sets your clinic apart from others in the industry?
Reliable providers that listen to our patients and take pride in good patient care.
Extended hours to provide flexible appointments to the patients enabling access to care.. We engage patients in their care plans, and we address our patients' physical and emotional needs. We also take care of your employees providing them with a safe environment and the opportunity to thrive. Also, we love to give back to the community ...
Can you share with us some of the most meaningful experiences you've had working with children with cancer?
Ringing a bell when the patient finishes all their treatments is a positive feeling. Then after a minimum of five years without any relapse declaring that the patient to be cancer free is a great experience!
How do you balance your work as a clinic owner and philanthropist with your personal life?
It is a lot of sacrifice and hard work. Extra hours working to compensate for an afternoon, or a morning invested on a Board meeting or on an outing with family or friends. Dividing the time as best as possible!
Can you talk about any exciting upcoming projects or initiatives that you're working on?
After opening a successful Family Practice in Hunters Creek area, we recently opened another one in Davenport. Offering medical services for the whole family!
What advice do you have for young women who aspire to follow in your footsteps and make a positive impact in their communities?
Be ready to study and try hard to get a degree. Work very hard to excel in your profession. Always maintain integrity and show your core values. There is nothing better than being honorable, honest, and good-hearted. Always do your job with love and passion showing always respect,
How do you define success, and what does it mean to you personally?
The feeling of converting a dream into a reality. A sense of accomplishment in several aspects such as: being a successful professional and business owner, a mother, a wife, and a representative of my Hispanic community.
Dr. Francelis Gonzalez (Dr. G) will be one of the speakers at our next event in May. Stay tuned for more!
Meet more amazing women like Dr. Francelis Gonzalez, support Hispanic American Professional Women and learn with us.
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