Skip to Main Content

David J Leffell, MD

David P. Smith Professor of Dermatology and Professor of Surgery (Otolaryngology and Plastic); Section Chief, Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology

Contact Information

David J Leffell, MD

Patient Care Location

Office Location

Mailing Address

  • Dermatology

    PO Box 208059, 333 Cedar Street

    New Haven, CT 06520-8059

    United States



A graduate of Yale College and the McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, Leffell completed his residency training in internal medicine at Cornell Cooperating Hospitals and then in dermatology at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He completed an NIH post-doctoral research fellowship in dermatology at Yale followed by a clinical fellowship in dermatologic surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. Author of the popular book "Total Skin," Leffell is an expert clinician, specializing in skin cancer and melanoma diagnosis and surgical treatment using the Mohs micrographic technique. The Cutaneous Oncology Unit that he founded in 1988 now performs specialized surgical treatment on more than 3,500 patients annually. His major clinical interest is the management of skin cancer, including basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer and melanoma. In 1996 Leffell was a member of the research group that discovered the skin cancer gene known as PTCH. In addition, he has conducted collaborative research clarifying the role of ultraviolet radiation in skin cancer and skin aging. Author of more than 150 publications, Leffell has also done research on epidemiologic aspects of skin cancer and wound healing.

Education & Training

  • Fellow
    University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI (1988)
  • N.I.H Postdoctoral Fellow
    Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (1987)
  • Resident
    Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT (1986)
  • Resident
    Cornell Cooperating Hospitals (1984)
  • Intern
    Cornell Cooperating Hospitals (1982)
  • MD
    McGill University (1981)
  • BS
    Yale College, Biology (1977)

Honors & Recognition

AwardAwarding OrganizationDate
Connecticut Magazine Top Docs 2016Connecticut Magazine2019
Best Doctors in New YorkCastle and Connolly2016
Best Doctors in AmericaCastle & Connolly2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Best Cancer Doctors in America2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Professional Service

Dermatology Focus (publication of The Dermatology Foundation)Medical Editor2004 - 2014
Society for Investigative Dermatology, Committee on Resident/ Fellow Programs2004 - 2008
Women's Dermatologic Society, Networking Committee1998 - 2001
Women's Dermatologic Society, Mentorship Award Committee1998 - 2001
American Academy of Dermatology
Society for Investigative Dermatology
Dermatology Foundation
Women’s Dermatologic Society

Departments & Organizations