Folsom, Alfred Iverson (1883–1946)

By: William D. Steers

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

Alfred I. Folsom, pioneer urologist, son of Dr. Alfred Iverson and Mary Frances (Powell) Folsom, was born on May 9, 1883, in McGregor, Texas. After his preliminary education in McGregor and Waxahachie, he obtained a bachelor of arts degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown, followed by a degree in medicine from Southwestern Medical College (now the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas) in 1908. The first two years after medical school, he practiced general medicine in Alba, Texas. Subsequently, he acquired specialty training at the Mayo Clinic in New York in what was then the new surgical specialty of urology under the guidance of the eminent surgeon William F. Braasch.

In 1913 Folsom began a practice in urology that became busy enough to require the services of numerous assistants. After training with Dr. Folsom, many of these assistants became distinguished urologists throughout the Southwest. Folsom held numerous clinical appointments, including professor of urology at Baylor University College of Medicine in Dallas. He was also chief of the Department of Urology at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where he was on the staff for thirty years.

In 1916 Folsom was listed in the membership of the Texas Surgical Society as the state's only urologist. He founded the Dallas Southern Clinical Society in 1919 and is credited with starting the first urology training program in Texas, at Southwestern Medical College. He was also one of the nine organizers of the American Board of Urology, which oversees the board certification of all urologists in the United States. As a result of his dynamic and exciting lectures, Folsom was frequently sought as a guest speaker. His role was pivotal in altering urology from the undeveloped genitourinary surgery of the early twentieth century into an independent surgical specialty.

On October 3, 1946, after becoming the only Texan to hold the office of president of the American Urological Association, Folsom was killed in an automobile accident outside Dallas. He was survived by his wife, Erma, and three children. Folsom was a Methodist.

Dallas Morning News, October 4, 1946. Texas State Journal of Medicine, December 1946.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

William D. Steers, “Folsom, Alfred Iverson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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