Dr. Michael Clearfield the inaugural winner of the Beyer, Everett, and Luibel Memorial Medal
For more than two decades, Dr. Michael B. Clearfield, DO, MACOI, FACP, has developed the Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine into one of the largest and most productive academically in the osteopathic profession, serving as the chair from 1982-2002. His time as chair at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s medical school encapsulated a remarkable 27-year career, and he will be honored as the inaugural recipient of the Beyer, Everett, and Luibel Memorial Medal at Founders Day on October 2.
“It is with great pride that we award the inaugural Beyer, Everett and Luibel Memorial Medal to Dr. Clearfield,” said TCOM dean and Everett Endowed Professor Dr. Frank Filipetto. “His legacy at TCOM and in osteopathic medicine is unparalleled. It was through his leadership and mentorship that helped educate the next generation of osteopathic professions along with advancing osteopathic philosophy and research.”
Clearfield served as both faculty and administrator from 1979 to 2006. He served for 20 years as the chair of Internal Medicine until he was appointed associate dean for Clinical Research and named Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Distinguished Chair in Clinical Research.
Clearfield shared his love and enthusiasm for medicine with his students while stressing the importance of their academic work in becoming better physicians. A former student, Dr. Eric Solomon, said that Dr. Clearfield “challenged students to think and be meticulous in examination, diagnosis, and care of patients.” He reiterated the idea that “a patient’s welfare was their primary mission.”
“I’m truly humbled and honored to receive this award,” Clearfield said. “However, I would be remiss to not acknowledge all the collaborations, contributions and support conducted by the many faculty, staff, students and administrators who equally share this award with me.”
His teaching efforts gained him national recognition in 2004 when he received the 2004 Darryl A. Beehler, DO Mentor of the Year Award at the American Osteopathic Association Research Conference for his significant contributions to mentoring and developing future researchers in osteopathic medicine.
Clearfield’s dedication to the osteopathic profession has had a profound impact on his former students’ careers and has helped shape future doctors at TCOM.
TCOM’s interim chair of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Dr. Janice Knebl, credited Clearfield’s dedication to mentorship to her own growth in the profession.
“I genuinely believe that if I were not fortunate enough to have had Dr. Clearfield as the chair of Internal Medicine when I started as a junior faculty member,” Knebl said. “I would not have been able to be as successful in my research and scholarly pursuits. I know that other faculty who served with me under the chairman leadership of Dr. Clearfield have felt and feel similarly because of his strong dedication to the mentorship of others and supporting them in their professional development.”
Clearfield was the co-primary investigator on the AFCAPS/TexCAPS trial, which at the time of publication in 1998, was the largest primary prevention trial utilizing statin therapy ever conducted in the United States and whose results were instrumental for the development of our national guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of lipid disorders. To date, the AFCAPS/TexCAPS conducted on the TCOM campus still represents the largest research trial ever conducted at a College of Osteopathic Medicine.
From 2006 to 2021 Clearfield served as professor and dean at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in California where he retired as Professor and Dean Emeritus.
Clearfield served a decade on the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners Board of Directors and chaired the Product Committee, which developed the original blueprint resulting in the COMLEX exams. He served on the Board and as president of the American College of Osteopathic Internists, the chair of AOA Bureau/Council of Research, the Bureau of Osteopathic Clinical Education and Research, and for a decade as the AOA representative to the National Cholesterol Education Program.
In addition, Clearfield also served on the Commission of Osteopathic College Accreditation from 2016 to 2022, and the Board of Deans of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine from 2006 to 2021 where he was Chair from 2014 to 2016 and received a special recognition award in 2021.
Clearfield is the recipient of the 2022 American Osteopathic Association Mentor of the Year, Internist of the Year from the American College of Osteopathic Internists, the Darryl A. Beehler DO Research Mentor Award, the American Osteopathic Foundation’s Astra Zeneca’s Healthy Heart Award, the Gutensohn-Denslow Award for outstanding contributions in research & scholarly activity and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.