Clifton Meador

Clifton Meador

A longtime local professor of medicine and health care executive, Clifton Meador, has died. He was 90. 

Meador first came to Nashville in 1948 at age 16 to earn his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University. He went on to graduate from Vanderbilt School of Medicine with the Founders Medal in 1959, completing his residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after serving as a captain in the Army Medical Corps from 1957 to 1959. 

He began practicing medicine in Selma, Alabama and joined the University of Alabama College of Medicine in Birmingham as an assistant professor of medicine and director of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Center in 1962, then later became the dean. The next year, he became a Markle Scholar in academic medicine and was a fellow in Nuclear Medicine at Harvard’s Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and at Oak Ridge National Laboratories in East Tennessee. 

By 1973, he returned to Nashville to join the faculty at Vanderbilt and create a medical residency program at Saint Thomas Hospital (as it was called at the time.) He served as chief of medicine at Saint Thomas, then chief medical officer, a role he held until 1998. 

In 1999, he became the first executive director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance and served as a professor of medicine at Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt School of Medicine until 2012. 

Virginia Fuqua-Meadows, administrative director for the alliance and a longtime colleague of Meador, told the Post: "He was a talented, compassionate physician, author and mentor. Dr. Meador made an impact on many lives and made everyone feel good about themselves. His stories, southern charm and contagious laugh will be forever missed."

During his tenure — and even into retirement — Meador was a prolific writer. He authored 14 books and more than 50 medical papers, including a memoir, Sketches of a Small Town.

In a statement from his daughter, Ann Shayne, she said Meador loved medicine, woodworking, writing and being a father. He led a yoga group among his friends weekly —  his mantra being that “exercise was key to a long life," she said.

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