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Antonio Alfonso, M.D., FACS - Professor & Chairman

Antonio E. Alfonso, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Distinguished Teaching Professor

Chairman Emeritus

Department of Surgery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Tel: (718) 270-1421 | Fax: (718) 270-2826


Dr. Alfonso graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Ateneo de Manila University in 1963 and then received his medical degree from the University of the Philippines, graduating Cum Laude in 1968.

He completed his surgery residency at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1972 and received his Fellowship training in Surgical Oncology and Head and Neck Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering in 1974.

He joined the Faculty at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in 1974 as an Assistant Professor, served as Chief of the Head and Neck Tumor Service at The Kings County Hospital, and as Associate Director of the Division of Surgical Oncology at SUNY Downstate from 1974 through 1982.

Dr. Alfonso was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in 1978 and to Full Professor of Surgery in 1982. He has since been awarded the Clarence and Mary Dennis Surgical Research Professorial Chair and promoted to the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor of Surgery, the highest academic rank conferred by the Trustees of the State University of New York. It is reserved for faculty members who have achieved a distinguished reputation for teaching, research or service.

He served as Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Director of the Surgical Residency Training Program at The Brooklyn-Cumberland Medical Center from 1982 through 1988. Dr. Alfonso then assumed the positions of Chairman of Surgery at the Long Island College Hospital in 1988 and the Vice Chairmanship of Surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

In March 2010, Dr. Alfonso was appointed to the position of Chairman of the Department of Surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and concurrently serves as a Surgeon-In-Chief of both University Hospital of Brooklyn and the Long Island College Hospital (which has since been integrated into the SUNY Downstate Medical Center) .

Dr. Alfonso is an established academician, clinician and educator. He held the prestigious distinction of Governor-at-Large of the American College of Surgeons for over a decade, has served on the Executive Committee of the Society of Head and Neck Surgeons and has served as President of many professional organizations that include the New York Surgical Society, the New York Cancer Society, the New York Head and Neck Society, the Brooklyn Surgical Society and the Triboro Directors of Surgery Association.

Dr. Alfonso pioneered the practice of Bloodless Surgery in cancer resections on Jehovah's Witness patients initially at Kings County Hospital Center in 1976 and developed the first Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Program in New York at the Long Island College Hospital in 1990.

Dr. Alfonso has co-authored the textbook, The Practice of Cancer Surgery, and has two motion picture exhibits in the American College of Surgeons Film Library. He has published over 100 peer reviewed scientific papers and book chapters, and has served on the editorial boards of scientific journals that include the Cancer Journal and the New York State Journal of Medicine.

In his position as chair of an academic surgical department for the last thirty-two inclusive years, Dr. Alfonso has mentored over 250 surgical residency graduates. A significant number are academic surgical chairs or are in academic leadership positions across the country.

He was the recipient of The Joseph Cunningham Mentorship Award conferred by The Ameirican College of Surgeons' Brooklyn-Long island Chapter in 2016 "in recognition of his effective mentorship in educating a generation of surgeons".

At the time he stepped down as Department Chair, on June 30,2016, he was the recepient of the Warren Wetzel Award for Excellence in Teaching and a special "Tony" Award - "In Appreciation of Over 4 Decades of Unwavering Service to, and Support of, the SUNY-Downstate Surgery Residents" by the Program's graduating residents.

Dr. Alfonso continues his service in the institution as Distinguished Teaching Professor of Surgery in his specialty in Surgical Oncology and Head and Neck Surgery. His clinical interests are in thyroid cancer and parathyroid disorders.