Department of Medicine

Dedicated Stanford Community Physician Passes Away

If you never met Tony Felsovanyi, you have missed the chance of knowing a Stanford gem. He died last month at age 98, only a few years after he ceased interacting daily with generations of Stanford residents, medical students, and faculty. He is survived by his wife Shirley, his children, Andrea and Steven, and his grandchild, Sian Felsovanyi.

Anthony Felsovanyi, MD, was an adjunct member of the Stanford Department of Medicine faculty for decades: “I started there right after the end of World War II,” he told Rita Kennen,
Tony Felsovanyi MD
Tony Felsovanyi, MD
Department of Medicine Public Relations Officer, in an interview in April 2011. At that time, he still attended morning report every day, medical grand rounds and M&M conference every week. He was a graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as an intern at Yale was part of a team of clinicians who first used penicillin clinically, and was Stanford’s first cardiology fellow.

In 2006, Dr. Felsovanyi was awarded the coveted title of Master of the American College of Physicians (MACP). First awarded in 1923, the Master is granted after a long and laborious nomination process, and few receive it. According to the ACP bylaws, Masters shall be Fellows who have been selected because of “personal character, positions of honor, contributions towards furthering the purposes of the ACP, eminence in practice or in medical research, or other attainments in science or in the art of medicine.”

Current and former faculty and fellows remembered some of his most significant and endearing qualities:

Residents and faculty sought his advice, respected not only because of its extensive experiential base, but because it was based upon the current literature.  He was known to hand articles to chief residents soon after the end of a morning report when they were faced with an unusual case. Kelley M. Skeff, M.D.,PhD.

His comments were always well thought out and even more impressive is that he was able to give modern, evidence-based advice.  It is rare to find someone who can combine decades of experience with cutting edge research and technology.
Gregory Engel, MD

He contributed to teaching conferences and rounds on a near-daily basis. His comments were insightful and constructive. 
Daniel R. Greenwald, MD

He was a role model for the ideal in sensitivity when interacting with patients and dealing with the very complex ethical dilemmas faced in medicine.
Rosaline Vasquez, MD, MBA

Dr. Skeff, who knew Anthony Felsovanyi well, recently described him in these words: “As a community physician and an academic teacher, he embodied the characteristics to which we all strive.  As a person who showed this dedication through many decades, he represented a level of commitment to and love of internal medicine that was unassailed by age and undaunted by changes in the health care system.  Tony Felsovanyi represented the best in internal medicine’s professional characteristics, including modesty, humility, and graciousness.”

Back in 2011, Dr. Felsovanyi summed up what kept him interested in his long-term relationship with Stanford: “Teaching was one of the highlights of my professional career and lasted some 40 years. The students were very inspiring to me and their enthusiasm egged me on.”

A Memorial will be held at 4:00 P.M. at the Stanford Faculty Club on Saturday, November 23rd 2013.  In lieu of flowers donations should indicate: “In memory of Dr. Anthony Felsovanyi-for medical scholarships.” Checks payable to Stanford University, and sent to Development Services, P. O. Box 20466, Stanford, CA 94309.



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