David Charles Shonka Jr.

David Charles Shonka Jr., MD

Head & Neck Surgical Oncology
Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Primary Location:
Head and Neck Surgery Clinic

2nd Floor, West

1240 Lee St.

Charlottesville, VA 22903

Secondary Locations:


Research Interests:

Thyroid and parathyroid disorders, head and neck cancer tumor biomarkers, head and neck imaging

Clinical Practice:
Basal Cell Carcinoma, Esophageal Cancer, Melanoma, Throat Cancer (Oropharyngeal), Thyroid Cancer, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Tongue Cancer, Esophagectomy, Esthesioneuroblastoma, Parathyroidectomy, Nasal and Sinus Cancer, Oral Cancer, Salivary Gland Cancer, Endocrine Tumors, Gastrointestinal Cancer, Head & Neck Cancer, Parathyroid Cancer, Lower Throat Cancer, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)


Associate Professor

David Shonka Jr., MD, is a fellowship-trained head and neck endocrine and oncologic surgeon at UVA. He specializes in the surgical treatment of endocrine disorders of the head and neck including thyroid cancer and hyperparathyroidism.

Dr. Shonka grew up in the town of Clifton. He completed his undergraduate, medical and residency training at UVA from 1996 to 2009. He went on to complete a clinical fellowship in head and neck oncologic and reconstructive surgery at the prestigious University of Iowa.  He returned to UVA in 2010 and has advanced to associate professor in the Division of Head and Neck Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr. Shonka’s clinical practice has focused on surgical treatment of endocrine disorders of the head and neck and treatment of head and neck malignancies. He received special training in transoral robotic surgery with use of the da Vinci surgical system. His clinical interests include thyroid cancer, parathyroid surgery, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, salivary gland malignancies and cutaneous malignancies. Dr. Shonka works with endocrinologists, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists at UVA to provide interdisciplinary care for endocrine disorders and malignancies of the head and neck. He offers many state-of-the-art diagnostic tests including head and neck ultrasound and ultrasound-guided needle biopsy in the office setting, providing excellent patient convenience and value. Dr. Shonka routinely performs extremely complex surgeries, often in the setting of prior surgical treatment or radiation, with excellent clinical outcomes. 

Dr. Shonka’s research interests include thyroid and parathyroid disorders, quality metrics in head and neck endocrine surgery, oncologic and functional outcomes after transoral robotic surgery, head and neck cancer tumor biomarkers, and head and neck imaging modalities. He is also involved in the development and implementation of additional clinical trials to test new surgical and medical treatment approaches. 

When Dr. Shonka is not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. Between his daughter’s ballet performances and piano recitals and his three boys’ numerous sporting events, life is full in the Shonka house.

  • 2019 Best Bedside Manner Awards, OurHealth Charlottesville and Shenandoah Valley Magazine; Third Place, Surgery – General
  • 2017-2020 Best Doctors in America® List


University of Virginia School of Medicine 2004
University of Virginia School of Medicine
University of Iowa