Charles M. Friel

Charles M. Friel, MD

General Surgery
Primary Location:
Digestive Health Center

Main Floor

1215 Lee St.

Charlottesville, VA 22903

Secondary Locations:


ABMS Certification:
Surgery; Colon/Rectal Surgery
Research Interests:

Colon and rectal surgery and diseases and medical education

Clinical Practice:
Anal Cancer, Colon Cancer, Rectal Cancer, Fecal Incontinence, Groin Hernia, Hernia, Ulcerative Colitis, Rectovaginal Fistula, Colonoscopy, Colorectal Surgery, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy, Ileal Pouch Surgery (J-Pouch), Small Intestine Cancer, Gastrointestinal Cancer, Crohn's Disease, Endoscopy

Chief, Section of Colon & Rectal Surgery; Surgical Director, Digestive Center of Excellence;



Dr. Friel is originally from Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Bowdoin College before going to Harvard University for his medical training. He did his general surgery training at the New England Deaconess Hospital as part of the Harvard Surgical Service. Dr. Friel then attended the University of Minnesota for his colon and rectal specialty training, which he completed in 2001. Dr. Friel then came to UVA in 2001 to work in the section of colon and rectal surgery. He is board certified in both general surgery and colon and rectal surgery.

He became Chief of Colon and Rectal Surgery in 2007. He is also the Surgical Director of the Digestive Health Center of Excellence at UVA.

Dr. Friel specializes in the treatment of colorectal conditions. He has a particular interest in the treatment of rectal cancer as well as inflammatory bowel disease, where he is recognized as a regional and national leader, being recently recognized as one of the "Best Doctors in America." He also specializes in minimally invasive approaches, including laparoscopy and colonoscopy.

Dr. Friel is a leader in medical education for both residents and medical students. He is the Associate Program Director of the General Surgical Residency and has been widely recognized for his teaching abilities. He recently received a national teaching award from the Association of Surgical Education. In addition to this honor, he has received multiple local awards from both the medical students and residents, including the Leonard Tow Humanism Award for how he deals with his patients and their complex problems.

Dr. Friel's research interests focus on the treatment of colon and rectal disease. He has published numerous manuscripts and book chapters on these subjects and currently sits on the editorial board of The Diseases of Colon and Rectum, the national journal for the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

  • 2014-2020 Best Doctors in America® List 


Harvard Medical School, 1993
Surgery, New England Deaconess Hospital
Colon/Rectal Surgery, University of Minnesota