Father and son physicians reflect on Father’s Day


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As Father’s Day approaches, a father and son with strong connections to UNT Health Science Center reflect on what it means to be a father and a doctor.

THE FATHER: Michael Clearfield, DO, served as both faculty and administrator at UNTHSC from 1979 to 2006. He was Chair of Internal Medicine from 1982 to 2002, when he was appointed Associate Dean for Clinical Research and named the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Distinguished Chair in Clinical Research. He now lives in Vallejo, Calif.

THE SON: Daniel Clearfield, DO, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, is a graduate of TCOM who earned his MS degree in Clinical Research and Education in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He practices sports medicine at the UNT Health Bone & Joint Institute at the Ben Hogan Center.

What father told son about becoming a doctor: “Go with your passion since you will be doing this for the rest of your life.”

What does it mean to you to be a doctor and a father?

Dr. Michael Clearfield: “As a physician, we are reminded daily of how each day is precious and at any given moment all can be taken away.  In our day-to-day life, we may tend to take this for granted, and on a day such as Father’s Day, we can pause for a moment and reflect on what it means to be a father and what this day signifies, not only for us, but for our families, our patients, for those in medical education, our students and residents.”

Clearfields-2Dr. Daniel Clearfield: “Becoming an osteopathic physician has brought me and my father closer, and this is something I will always cherish about pursuing medicine as my career. It makes me proud to see how my daughter says she wants to help people like her daddy and her grandpa.”

Dr. Michael Clearfield on a father’s pride: “During my last visit to the UNTHSC campus, I was waiting for Daniel when I overheard a group of students discussing one of their teachers. Each student talked about how wonderful this physician was as a clinician, a teacher, a mentor and caring human being.  They had no idea who I was when they mentioned the teacher to whom they were referring to was Daniel. To that end, I now have enjoyed many occasions where I am introduced as ‘Dr. Clearfield’s father,’ which is truly a Father’s Day gift that can occur on any given day.”

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