Featured Fellow: Mitchell McClean, MD
Hannah Calkins Mar 23, 2022
Mitchell McClean, MD, is Chief Fellow in Infectious Diseases. A self-described Indianapolis “lifer,” McClean grew up on the city’s south side; attended IU as an undergrad and then IU School of Medicine; stayed for his internal medicine residency; completed another year as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at Eskenazi Hospital; and, later this year, he will join the faculty of the Division of Infectious Diseases upon completion of his fellowship.
“I chose to stay at IU because I love getting to work with the people that I’ve known since I was a medical student,” McClean said. “Our faculty and support staff have been great educators, and have been super encouraging when it comes to career development, teaching, and getting involved in research projects.”
While his commitment to IU is clear, his trajectory toward the field of Infectious Diseases was a bit less linear.
“I kind of stumbled into it,” he said.
McClean first became interested in microbiology as an undergraduate working in a lab that studied Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes plague. Later, as an internal medicine resident, he couldn’t decide on just one organ system to focus on–so he “decided to pick a specialty that deals with a little bit of everything,” he said.
As an Infectious Diseases specialist, McClean enjoys solving mysteries, collaborating with health care colleagues across disciplines, and developing caring relationships with patients in the infectious diseases clinic.
“The culture of ID is really great,” he said. “We all have a shared mission of improving access to care, overcoming healthcare barriers, and working to improve outcomes both in and out of the hospital. We also tend to geek out about our specialty and love discussing interesting cases.”
Cole Beeler, MD, assistant fellowship program director, has worked with McClean since McClean was an intern. He says that McClean is “extremely well-respected by his peers and has a bright future in leadership.”
“[McClean] has demonstrated consistent attention to detail, high levels of organization, and unique ability to synthesize data from separate specialties to develop cogent plans for patients,” Beeler said. He “truly models that inquisitive excitement that gets educators excited to have him as a learner, and he transmits this excitement to his team members.”
In addition to his clinical work, McClean is interested in improving outcomes for people who have serious infections related to injection drug use, the diagnosis and treatment of fungal infections, and medical education.
When he isn’t working, McClean is a fan of IU sports, British TV shows, traveling, and enjoying nature walks in Indianapolis’s green spaces with his wife, Augusta, who is a dietician at IU Health, and their two young children. He also enjoys tending to his vegetable garden.
“I’m particularly fond of my sugar snap peas, which grew like gangbusters last year,” he said.
Saira Butt, MD, director of the Infectious Diseases fellowship program, described McClean as kind, smart, and inclusive, and noted his “outstanding management” of the fellows’ schedules during the pandemic.
“Training in infectious diseases during the pandemic has obviously been somewhat of a whirlwind,” McClean said. “I think that all ID fellows have learned to rapidly adjust to new data, new policies, and new challenges.”
In a sense, that’s part of the appeal of the field.
“There will always be new emerging infections to learn about, and the field is never stagnant or boring!” he said.
Selected Projects by Dr. McClean:
- The ID Fellows Network
- "Management of fever and neutropenia in the adult patient with acute myeloid leukemia." (Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy)
- "Cystatin C-Based Estimation of Glomerular Filtration Rate and Association With Atherosclerosis Imaging Markers in People Living With HIV." (JAIDS)
- Research project investigating outcomes in people who have serious bacterial infections related to injection drug use (in progress)