As the director of sports medicine at Georgetown University, an orthopedic physician with three clinics under his supervision and a dedicated family man, Clarke Holmes, (BA 94, MD 98) runs a mile a minute. Armed with boyish looks and a calm and patient demeanor, Holmes has taken on the busy field of sports medicine and shows no signs of slowing down.
A native of Jackson, Holmes enrolled at The University of Mississippi in the fall of 1990. Though an accomplished baseball player, Holmes was plagued by a shoulder injury and did not pursue a collegiate sports career. Rather, he invested his dedication into academics and eventually graduated suma cum laude in 1994, serving as marshal of the School of Liberal Arts during graduation ceremonies. During his time at Ole Miss, Holmes was an active member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He says both the social and academic education he received while in Oxford were beneficial to his career.
“The undergraduate education prepared me for medical school which has ultimately allowed me to accomplish all my career goals,” says Holmes. “The social education that goes along with Ole Miss will benefit you initially and later in life.”
Holmes attended the University of Mississippi Medical School and graduated cum laude in 1998. He then traveled to Tallahassee for his residency and served as chief resident from 2000 to 2001. Twice during his residency Holmes was named teacher of the year, an honor he still cherishes today.
“I do [enjoy teaching],” says Holmes. “I teach our athletic training staff, I teach medical students and I teach residents and fellows. I teach at all medical levels.”
After his stint in Florida, he completed an 18-month sports medicine fellowship at Ball Memorial/Central Indiana Sports Medicine in 2002.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of athletics and of course medicine,” says Holmes. “You put the two together and it’s a simple formula… the opportunity to take care of athletes is an exciting profession.”
Holmes returned to Mississippi in early 2003 to join the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and University Sports Medicine at UMMC. He served as an assistant professor while maintaining a busy sports medicine and orthopedic practice. During his years at the Medical Center, he served as a consultant to the Ole Miss athletics program. It is the sideline interaction that makes sports medicine a dream job for Holmes.
“The part I enjoy the most is being on the sidelines. You get to see the ups and downs, good plays, bad plays and you get to share in the excitement during a victory. I enjoy being a part of a team,” says Holmes.
Sports medicine has been a perfect fit for Holmes given his past athletic experience and passion for motivating young athletes to build character.
“You have an opportunity to be a role model to these athletes at a very impressionable state in their lives,” says Holmes.
In March 2006, Holmes accepted an opportunity to serve as of director of sports medicine at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Currently, he oversees the sports medicine program for 25 varsity athletic teams and 700 Georgetown athletes while serving as a clinical assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and family medicine at Georgetown University Hospital.
During his sports medicine career, Holmes has served as team physician and/or worked with the athletic programs of Georgetown University, Ole Miss, the Mississippi Braves, Jackson Senators, Belhaven College, Ball State University, Anderson University and Florida State University.
For a man with such demanding career obligations, Holmes keeps his priorities in order. Each week he carves out time to spend with his wife Christie and children, Alex and Ella Kate, makes eight hours of sleep a priority and only keeps hobbies that include his family such as travel, trips the park and taking in the culture of their hometown, Washington, D.C.
“As much as my career is important to me my spiritual life and my family life are even more important,” says Holmes.
Holmes is quick to give credit to Ole Miss for preparing him for his career.
“I’m just proud to say I went to Ole Miss,” says Holmes. “It is an outstanding institution that prepared me academically and socially for the rest of my life.”