Dawn M. Elfenbein, MD, MPH, FACS

Associate Professor

Clinic: (608) 242-2888

  • Administrative Assistant: (608) 263-1387

Clinical Sciences Center
600 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53792-7375


  • MD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2006
  • MPH, University of North Carolina, 2009
  • Research Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, 2010
  • General Surgery Residency, Duke University Hospital, 2013
  • Endocrine Surgery Fellowship, University of Wisconsin, 2015
  • Surgical Education Research Fellowship, Association for Surgical Education, 2015

Clinical Specialties

Dr. Elfenbein is a board certified general surgeon with fellowship training in Endocrine Surgery. She is a high-volume endocrine surgeon who treats diseases of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands. She has a particular interest in treatment decision making in benign inflammatory thyroid conditions such as Graves’ disease, but is an expert in all aspects of endocrine surgery including thyroid cancer. She uses several state of the art techniques to treat surgical endocrine disorders (radioguided parathyroidectomy, minimally invasive parathyroidectomy, laparoscopic adrenalectomy, retroperitoneal adrenalectomy, minimally invasive thyroidectomy, four-gland parathyroid exploration, and treatment of recurrent or persistent hyperparathyroidism).

Research Interests

Dr. Elfenbein’s main research focus is on surgical education. She is working to address clinical teaching effectiveness across the spectrum of medical student and resident education. This work uses a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to develop teaching effectiveness tools that are reliable and valid, but also easy to put into place.

She also conducts clinical research working on Graves’ disease and other inflammatory thyroid diseases, hyperparathyroidism, thyroid cancer, and adrenal disorders.

Recent Publications

  • Assessing American Thyroid Association Guidelines for Total Thyroidectomy in Graves' Disease.
    Akram S, Elfenbein DM, Chen H, Schneider DF, Sippel RS
    J. Surg. Res. 2020 01; 245: 64-71
    [PubMed ID: 31401249]

  • Evaluation of Thyroid Nodules.
    Detweiler K, Elfenbein DM, Mayers D
    Surg. Clin. North Am. 2019 Aug; 99(4): 571-586
    [PubMed ID: 31255192]

  • Dr Google: The readability and accuracy of patient education websites for Graves' disease treatment.
    Purdy AC, Idriss A, Ahern S, Lin E, Elfenbein DM
    Surgery 2017 11; 162(5): 1148-1154
    [PubMed ID: 28864099]

  • Encapsulated follicular variant of papillary thyroid cancer: are these tumors really benign?
    Aburjania Z, Jang S, Montemayor-Garcia C, Lloyd RV, Schneider DF, Sippel RS, Chen H, Elfenbein DM
    J. Surg. Res. 2017 08; 216: 138-142
    [PubMed ID: 28807198]

  • Self-Efficacy as a Measure of Confidence-Reply.
    Elfenbein DM
    JAMA Surg 2017 05 01; 152(5): 507
    [PubMed ID: 28273295]

All Publications on PubMed