Tamara Fitzgerald, MD, PhD


Kampala, Uganda

Duke Global Neurosurgery & Neurology

Tamara Fitzgerald, MD, PhD

Associate Professor in Surgery and Global Health
Faculty Affiliate, Duke University Theology, Medicine, and Culture Program


Tamara Fitzgerald is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Global Health, and a faculty affiliate in the Duke University Theology, Medicine and Culture Program. She has been involved with the HYC since she came to Duke in 2017 and has served on the HYC Advisory Committee since 2023. She helped to establish the Duke Global Surgery Equity Pathway which enables general surgery residents to pursue a Master’s of Science in Global Health and participate in Global Surgery Research through the HYC.  She has served as a mentor to numerous students and clinical trainees at Duke and participates in a well-established global health collaboration in Uganda, where she has co-mentored several pediatric surgery fellows.

Her academic focus is global surgery capacity building and medical device design for low- and middle-income countries. She works in partnership with pediatric surgeons and biomedical engineers in sub-Saharan Africa to increase training, support, and infrastructure, thereby improving children’s access to surgical care. In partnership with Ugandan and U.S. colleagues, she helped to establish the first pediatric surgery training program in Uganda, which has now graduated over 10 specialty-certified surgeons. Her research interests focus on improving outcomes in pediatric surgical care and designing medical devices that are adapted to the African context, with intent for local design, manufacturing and distribution within sub-Saharan Africa.

She received her B.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and her M.D. from Boston University.  She completed a general surgery residency and fellowship in pediatric surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She has served as the Chair of the Global Pediatric Surgery Committee for the American Pediatric Surgical Association and was the recipient of the 2022 Society of University Surgeons Global Surgery Scholar Award. Her website is scholars.duke.edu/person/tamara.fitzgerald.