Dr. Joe Files was chosen as the 2023 Department of Medicine Alumnus of the Year. He was awarded at Scholarship Day on April 18th in the Student Union. Congratulations Dr. Files!
Joe Clark Files was born and raised in Ackerman, MS and was educated in the public schools of Choctaw County. He attended the University of Mississippi in the accelerated program for medical school and was accepted into the medical school class of 1968. He completed residency and chief residency in internal medicine at UMMC followed by hematology fellowship at the University of Washington. During his time in Seattle, he became close friends with Dr. Don Thomas, a pioneer in marrow transplantation. Dr. Thomas later won a Nobel Prize for his work.
In 1979, Dr. Files and his family returned to Mississippi where he became a member of the Hematology division at UMMC and later served as Division Director. During his tenure, he also served as Interim Chair of Medicine, Director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Program, and Chairman of the Cancer Institute Steering Committee. Dr. Files published over 100 abstracts and publications during his career and was named one of America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly, granted Mastership in the American College of Physicians, and received the Laureate Award by the Mississippi Chapter of American College of Physicians.
He was active in many professional societies, including the American Society of Hematology, American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and the American College of Physicians, where he served as Governor of the Mississippi Chapter.
When he retired from clinical practice in 2012, Dr. Files continued to work part-time teaching fellows, reading bone marrow biopsies, and working on institutional projects with Dr. Jimmy Keeton. He fully retired in 2015 as a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Files was privileged to work with many great physicians throughout his nearly 50-year career at UMMC, including Dr. Stephanie Elkins, Dr. Carolyn Bigelow and Dr. Vince Herrin.
Dr. Files and his wife Suzanne have two sons. Clark is section chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Immunologic Diseases at Wake Forest University and Matt is a pediatric cardiologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital. They are proud to say that both sons are committed to academic medicine. Dr. Files and his wife have four grandchildren. Since retirement, he spends many busy hours in his garden, on his tractor, fishing, and spending time with his family. He is proud to say that he is the only one who has ever cut their grass.
Dr Joe Files was a wonderful physician, mentor and friend. His demand for excellence in patient care and the expectation that all physicians must continue to read and study for their entire medical career influenced me as a physician and as a still continuing student of medicine almost 40 years later Thanks Joe
What an appropriate award to be given on Scholarship Awards Day to my long time friend and medical school classmate. Thank you for your years of service to students, residents, fellows, physicians and innumerable grateful patients.