Director of New York's Cancer Center of Excellence at Queens Hospital Center and professor of surgery at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, surgical oncologist M. Margaret Kemeny, M. D., is one of only twenty-two women in the American Surgical Association. Through her clinical and laboratory research, Dr. Kemeny has developed techniques to deliver chemotherapy to the liver through an arterial pump. Her research has also focused on treating of colon cancer with perioperative chemotherapy and on including the elderly in clinical trials.
Margaret Kemeny was born in New Jersey in 1946. Her mother, a physician, encouraged both her daughters to pursue medicine. For Margaret Kemeny, the path led through undergraduate studies at Harvard University, where she graduated cum laude in 1968 and went on to study medicine at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. Receiving her M.D. in 1972, she completed her internship and residencies at New York Presbyterian Hospital, the University of Colorado Medical Center, and New York's Downstate Medical Center. When she was accepted into Columbia's surgical program in 1972, she was the first woman admitted to the specialty since World War II. "The atmosphere was extremely hostile and after nine months I was told that I had been cut from the program," Dr. Kemeny recalled. Dr. Kemeny served fellowships in tumor oncology and thoracic surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She was later clinical associate of the surgical branch of the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Kemeny began practice as senior surgeon at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, in 1981. She returned to New York in 1986 to become chief of surgical oncology at St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center and associate professor of surgery at New York Medical College. In 1993 she was named chief of surgical oncology at North Shore University Hospital-New York University, where she served until 1998. That year she was named chief of surgical oncology and professor of surgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In 2002 she was recruited to become the first director of the Queens Cancer Center.
Dr. Kemeny served as president of the Association of Women Surgeons from 1997 to 1998, and became a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons in 2002. Widely published, she also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the American Journal of Surgery, and HPB Surgery: A World Journal of Hepatic, Pancreatic and Billiary Surgery. She is listed as one of the leading surgeons in the Castle Connolly Guide Top Doctors: New York Metro Area as well as in New York Magazine's yearly publication "How to Find the Best Doctors in New York." Dr. Kemeny was recognized as Teacher of the Year at North Shore University Hospital in 1998 and by the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2000.