UCF biology alumnus Patrick Fullerton ’92 has a simple philosophy: Think big.
“If people aren’t laughing at your dreams, you aren’t dreaming big enough,” he said.
Fullerton, the son of a truck driver, is a first-generation college student who grew up with no professional leadership in his life. He said UCF made all the difference in teaching him to dream big.
Today he holds his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University. He is an emergency medicine physician at the Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center, CEO and president of three companies, and will graduate from Harvard University with his master’s degree in health care management in 2018.
Fullerton credits the one-on-one mentoring he received from faculty in the UCF Department of Biology for his drive to make a difference.
“The faculty at UCF were available,” Fullerton said. “The classes used a multi-disciplinary, personal approach that really prepared me for medical school.”
That’s the main reason Fullerton wants to stay connected to UCF and hopefully one day become a clinical professor at the university. He would like to create a pre-med mentorship program where he works in the VA Medical Center.
The road to success wasn’t easy. Fullerton served in the Army as a combat medic for two years before pursuing his degrees. He started at Daytona State College, where he earned his associate degree and then transferred to UCF. After graduating from UCF with a bachelor’s degree in biology, he attended medical school at Nova Southeastern University on a military scholarship.
“I learned to love leadership from being a military officer,” Fullerton said. “Good leadership produces good leaders. That’s my goal moving forward through my companies.”
Fullerton serves as CEO and president of Crimson Healthcare Consulting Group Inc., Health Science Capital Management Inc., and RPM Technologies Inc.
Crimson Healthcare Consulting Group is a high-level consulting firm that assists in strategic planning and claims management to improve health care delivery. Health Science Capital Management provides investment capital to start-up companies in the emerging markets of health care delivery and health care technology. Both businesses were founded early this year.
His most recent business venture RPM Technologies, established in October, is a health care technology company specializing in health care applications, health care billing software, IT health care informatics, electronic medical records interface applications, and wearable medical technology.
Fullerton said his health care business ventures are rooted in his passion for improving health care planning, a drive he remembers being sparked at UCF.
“UCF and its faculty shaped my future,” he said. “A student’s undergraduate experience is important and I found an unparalleled collegial experience at UCF.”
Fullerton said he has fond memories of his organic chemistry class with Seth Elsheimer. “He made a tough class very enjoyable,” he said. “He was funny, engaged and available. It was fun.”
Fullerton’s on-the-go lifestyle isn’t a new trait. While pursuing his degree at UCF he worked on HIV research with faculty and maintained two jobs.
Fullerton had a GPA below 2.0 in high school before enlisting in the military, which he said changed everything for him. And then the mentorship he received at UCF instilled a work ethic that he credits for pushing him to succeed.
Today, Fullerton hopes to make a difference in health care by providing better delivery to patients. He said this requires bridging the gap between health care administrators and doctors.
And because mentorship was such a large role in his development, he hopes to give back through mentoring students.
“The only limit to your dreams and goals are you,” Fullerton advised. “Achieve them by becoming limitless.”