Steven L. Berk, M.D. ’75 – 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

75BerkSteven Steven Lee Berk, M.D. is Dean of the School of Medicine and Executive Vice President and Provost, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Dr. Berk graduated from Boston University School of Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine residency and Infectious Disease fellowship at Boston City Hospital. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease with a certificate of added qualification in Geriatrics. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha and Sigma Xi.

Dr. Berk moved to Johnson City, Tennessee, in 1979 to join the new medical school at East Tennessee State University. There, he was appointed as Chief of Infectious Disease in 1982, Professor of Medicine in 1986, Chairman of the Department of Medicine in 1988, a position he occupied for 11 years. Dr. Berk held the positions of Regional Dean, Professor of Medicine, and Mirick-Myers Endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in Amarillo from 1999-2006.

He is the author or co-author of over 120 peer-reviewed publications and four textbooks. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Infectious Disease Society of America, the American Geriatric Society, and the American College of Chest Physicians. He has served on the NIH Special Advisory Panel on the evaluation of vaccines against infections in the elderly, on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society and as a reviewer for most Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease journals. Dr. Berk is experienced as clerkship director, residency program director, fellowship program director, and curriculum committee chair. His teaching ability was also well-recognized at ETSU where he received the medical school’s Teacher of the Year Award ten times and the university’s Distinguished Faculty Award. The American College of Physicians bestowed the title of Laureate in Medicine on Dr. Berk in 1998, and he was elected to the national board of Alpha Omega Alpha in 1999. Dr. Berk was named the Mirick-Myers Endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in 2001 and received the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Distinguished Service Award in 2003.

In June 2006 Dr. Berk was appointed Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice President for Medical Affairs for the TTUHSC. Through his leadership, the school has experienced continued growth in ideas and programs. Overseeing the most extensive curriculum reform in the school’s 40-year history, Dr. Berk led the educational program to a successful reaccreditation in 2009. His personal vision for addressing the ever-increasing need for primary care physicians through a unique Family Medicine Accelerated Track was approved in February 2010. Dr. Berk’s leadership reflects an important balance between education, research, and clinical care.

He is married to Shirley, and they have two sons, Jeremy and Justin.