Three Downstate Faculty Members Named to Distinguished Professor Rank by SUNY Board of Trustees

May 13, 2016

Brooklyn, NY – Three members of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center faculty have been appointed to Distinguished Faculty Rank, the highest faculty positions conferred by the State University of New York.

The three appointments were among 29 recently approved by the SUNY Board of Trustees.
All distinguished faculty in active service within SUNY are also members of the SUNY Distinguished Academy.

Richard M. Rosenfeld, MD, MPH, professor and chair of otolaryngology at SUNY Downstate, was named Distinguished Professor. Samy I. McFarlane, MD, MPH, MBA, professor of medicine, was named Distinguished Teaching Professor. Stephen M. Goldfinger, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was named Distinguished Service Professor.

Of the 29 new appointments system-wide, SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall said, “These individuals are leaders and innovators in their field, serving as excellent mentors for our students while advancing groundbreaking research and discovery in New York and around the globe. Congratulations to all of the faculty receiving this distinction.”

“The SUNY distinguished faculty are truly the best of the best,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Through innovative instruction, unique research opportunities, and engaging applied learning opportunities, they deliver a top quality higher education for our students that is second to none.”

SUNY Downstate President John F. Williams, Jr., MD, EdD, MPH, FCCM, said, “I know I speak for the entire Downstate campus in congratulating Dr. Rosenfeld, Dr. McFarlane, and Dr. Goldfinger on their joining the Distinguished Professor Rank. All three have made major contributions to Downstate and the community it serves.”

The Distinguished Professorship is conferred upon individuals who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within their chosen field.

Dr. Richard M. Rosenfeld is an international leader in the development of best practice approaches and formal clinical guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of otitis media (OM). OM affects millions of children annually causing a significant impact on hearing and linguistic development. Treatment of OM has implications for antibiotic usage strategies and utilization of healthcare resources. Dr. Rosenfeld’s work has made an impact within the world of pediatrics, otolaryngology, and public health. He developed a partnership between the Cochrane Collaboration and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery that has significantly improved the understanding of systematic reviews and meta-analyses within the field. As the editor-in-chief of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, he developed a task-force for clinical guidelines. There have been over 10 guidelines papers on topics issued from the task force, including OM, sleep apnea, and sinusitis. Dr. Rosenfeld’s clinical and scientific contributions have made a lasting imprint on the improved levels of care that children with OM receive. He is a leader for the thousands of otolaryngologists through his guidelines work, and is an intellectual leader as a journal editor, chairman, and mentor to countless colleagues.

The Distinguished Teaching Professorship recognizes and honors mastery of teaching.

Dr. Samy I. McFarlane has been a faculty member since 1996. He quickly emerged as a magnet teacher and mentor for students and residents. His natural talent, love, and dedication for student education are evident in all aspects of his career. He has published extensively and written several books, including First Aid for Medicine Clerkship that became recommended reading at major universities nationally. Dr. McFarlane is a renowned clinical researcher and was appointed as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH)-(NIDDK) and served as Chair for the NIH-NIDDK U01 review committee. Professor McFarlane uses research as a platform for teaching, training, and furthering the careers of students, residents, and fellows. Teaching in the community has earned him multiple recognitions including the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives. He is the Brooklyn district president for the American College of Physicians, advocating for quality patient care and quality student education. Dr. McFarlane has made a significant impact on the careers and lives of students, trainees, and junior faculty at SUNY Downstate Medical Center while continuing to serve the health needs of the community.

The Distinguished Service Professorship honors and recognizes extraordinary service.

Dr. Stephen M. Goldfinger has served the psychiatric community on several levels. With more than 100 publications, Dr. Goldfinger is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on homelessness, schizophrenia, and treatment adherence in mental illness and has focused much of his career on improving the lives of those confronted with these issues. As professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry for 13 years, he is dedicated to training the next generation of clinicians and researchers, while providing an environment in which they would be exposed to the many facets of public psychiatry and the diversity of patient populations in his native Brooklyn. Early in his career, he established the nation’s first clinical rotation in homeless shelters of psychiatric residents. He has twice served as the interim residency training director and under his leadership redesigned the program admission process to create more diverse and inclusive residency cohorts. The large and diverse residency program is considered one of the most desirable in the country, with graduates entering the most prestigious fellowships in the field. He has testified before Congress and served on a Panel of Experts for the U.S. General Accounting Office. The sustained quality of his vision and commitment to the most disenfranchised and disaffiliated populations is well documented. He has served as the primary psychiatrist volunteer at the annual meeting of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, on dozens of community, professional and editorial boards, and has mentored generations of young psychiatrists. Dr. Goldfinger is a passionate advocate for his patients, community, and the field of psychiatry.


About the State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2014-15, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit bearing courses and programs and nearly 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally-sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit



About SUNY Downstate Medical Center

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively.

SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.