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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology


Ovadia Abulafia, MD
Professor and Chair

Chairman's Message

Thank you for your interest in our department. It is my pleasure to introduce you to our Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology which has had the privilege of taking care of the women of Brooklyn for more than more than 100 years. During this time our department has made many contributions to women's health care in Brooklyn and beyond. Our department was started in 1860 as "German General Dispensary" and subsequently underwent several name changes. Finally, in 1950, our Department name eventually became the State University of New York (SUNY) at Downstate.

Our Residency Program was conceived in 1953 and is one of the oldest residency programs in the United States. The first Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program established at SUNY Downstate as was the first School of Midwifery. Williams' Obstetrics, Editions 12, 13, and 14 were edited at SUNY Downstate. The Father of Pre-eclampsia – Leon Chesley, PhD. did his seminal work at Downtate. Numerous graduates have become chairmen all over the country at institutions including: Texas at San Antonio, Morehouse, Johns Hopkins, New York Medical College, Staten Island Hospital, Harvard, Maimonides Hospital, Lutheran Medical Center, and SUNY Downstate.

As a department we are committed to improving healthcare access for our patients and addressing healthcare disparities to the underserved communities. We participate in multiple programs designed to increase access to preventative health services in our community.

Medical education is vital to our commitment to improving women's health. We are committed to undergraduate, graduate and post graduate education. We are located on the campus of the only academic medical center in Brooklyn. Our residency program encompasses 24 residents. Our department has an annual review course in Obstetrics and Gynecology annually since 1998 that provides both our faculty and community physicians with the most up to date evidence based medicine and to promote the lifelong learning we strive to maintain each day in the care of our patients.

We are actively committed to maintaining academic excellence through research. Our division in Reproductive Endocrinology is the recipient of NIH grants and our division in Gynecologic Oncology is a full member of the Gynecologic Oncology Group and has participated in multiple clinical trials. Our department of Obstetrics has multiple publications in peer reviewed journals.

Our mission each day is excellence in patient care, teaching, and research. Thank you for your interest in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at SUNY Downstate Health Science Center.


Ovadia Abulafia, MD
Professor and Chair