Michelle (M. J.) J. Clarke, M.D.

  1. Neurosurgeon
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My name is Michelle Clark. I'm a complex spine surgeon. I do quite a bit of fusions and degenerative spine surgery. My main area of interest is tumors. That includes a research interest and a clinical interest.

My approach to a treatment plan is fairly simple. I want to meet the patient and hear their story. Then we go through all of the tests they've had, so that we can determine exactly what's going on. One of the things I like most is the opportunity to form a relationship with a patient. I'd like my patients to know that I care and that I will not do anything that I don't feel myself and the team are capable of doing.

There are two things I really enjoy about being a physician, first, seeing patients improve. And second, I enjoy the technical side of medicine. It's a field that continues to grow, and it's fun to be a part of that.

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Michelle J. Clarke, M.D., is a neurosurgeon specializing in complex spine surgery and spinal oncology. Her clinical practice includes:

  • Spine tumors, including primary and metastatic tumors, spinal cord tumors, spinal vascular lesions, andassociated complex reconstructions
  • Degenerative spine disease, including spinal stenosis, degenerative scoliosis and other degenerative conditions
  • Promoting each patient's understanding of his or her disease and determining the best course of action, including directing him or her to appropriate nonsurgical management

In addition to her clinical activities, Dr. Clarke is an internationally recognized researcher and is deeply involved in education. She is also a member of the bioethics faculty at Mayo Clinic.

  1. Brain tumor
  2. Chiari malformation
  3. Spinal cord tumor
  4. Spinal tumor
  5. Vascular malformation
  1. Brain tumor surgery
  2. Chiari malformation surgery
  3. Spinal fusion
  4. Spine tumor surgery
  • Brain tumor surgery
  • Spinal cord tumor surgery
  • Chiari Malformation surgery
  • Sacral pathology
  • Vascular malformations of the spinal cord
  • Spine fusion
  • Spine tumor
  1. 2010
    Fellow - SpineThe Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  2. 2009
    Chief ResidentMayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  3. 2009
    Resident - Department of Neurologic SurgeryMayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  4. 2008
    Research Fellowship - Pursue translational research in the field of neuro-oncologyClinician-Investigator Training Program, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  5. 2008
    Research Fellowship - NIH Training Grant NS07494-0Mayo Clinic
  6. 2002
    MDGeorgetown University School of Medicine
  7. 1998
    Research Student - Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringPrinceton University
  8. 1998
    BS - Aerospace Engineering Minor Biology/NeurosciencePrinceton University
  9. 1997
    Research Fellowship - Biomedical EngineeringInstitute of Medical Science, University of Toronto


  1. 2012
    Neurological SurgeryAmerican Board of Neurological Surgery

Awards and honors

  1. 2009
    Neurosurgery Research AwardMayo Clinic
  2. 2008
    Sherry Apple Travel Scholarship: Best Abstract CNSAwarding Organization
  3. 2002
    Summa Cum LaudeGeorgetown Medical School
  4. 2001
    PEO Scholar Award (2001-2002): Awarded to an outstanding graduate student in the United States or CanadaAwarding Organization
  5. 1998
    Cum LaudePrinceton School of Engineering
  6. 1998
    Certificate in Engineering BiologyPrinceton University
  7. 1987
    Teacher of the YearMayo Medical School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Department of Education Administration

Professional memberships

  1. 2015 - present
    PresidentMinnesota Neurosurgical Society
  2. 2014 - present
  3. 2013 - 2015
    TreasurerMinnesota Neurosurgical Society
  4. 2013 - present
    MemberNeurosurgery Specialty Council, Mayo Clinic Specialty Council, Mayo Clinic Clinical Practice Committee
  5. 2012 - present
    MemberManage to Reimbursement: Spine Surgery, Operations Coordination / Resource Allocation Subgroup - Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Clinical Practice Committee
  6. 2012 - present
    MemberSacral Study Group
  7. 2012 - present
    Founding MemberAssociation for Collaborative Spine Research
  8. 2012 - present
    Mayo RepresentativeNational Surgery Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP)
  9. 2012 - present
    MemberScientific Committee, Tumor Section, Association for Collaborative Spine Research
  10. 2012 - present
    MemberQuality Improvement Project: Postoperative Urinary Retention in Spinal Surgery, National Surgery Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP)
  11. 2012 - present
    Associate MemberAO Spine International Knowledge Forum (Tumor Section), AOSpine
  12. 2011
    Honorary ChairmanInternational Conference on Intelligent Computation and Biomedical Instrumentation, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  13. 2011 - present
    MemberSurgical Quality Subcommittee, Mayo Clinic Rochester Surgical Committee, Mayo Clinic Rochester Committees
  14. 2011 - present
    Co-ChairSystematic Review Committee, Tumor Section, Association for Collaborative Spine Research
  15. 2010
    Course Co-DirectorHematology Board Review, National Institutes of Health
  16. 2010 - present
    MemberEducation Committee, Department of Neurologic Surgery
  17. 2010 - present
    ChairNeurosurgery General Curriculum Lectures, Education Committee, Department of Neurologic Surgery
  18. 2010 - present
    Founding MemberNational Neurosurgery Quality Outcomes Database (N2QOD)
  19. 2010 - present
    Mayo RepresentativeNational Neurosurgery Quality Outcomes Database (N2QOD)
  20. 2010 - present
    MemberMinnesota Neurosurgical Society
  21. 2009
    Course Co-DirectorHematology Board Review, National Institutes of Health
  22. 2009 - present
  23. 2009 - present
    MemberZumbro Valley Medical Society, Minnesota Medical Association
  24. 2006 - present
    MemberNorth American Spine Society
  25. 2006 - present
    MemberSociety for Neuro-Oncology
  26. 2002 - present
    MemberAmerican Association of Neurological Surgeons
  27. 2002 - present
    MemberCongress of Neurological Surgeons
  28. 2002 - present
    MemberAmerican Medical Association
  29. 1998 - present
    MemberSigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
  30. 1997 - 2000
    MemberAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
    ChairOrgan, Tissue and Eye Donation Sub-Committee
    ChairNeurosurgery Enterprise Supply and Equipment Committee, Department of Neurologic Surgery
    MemberNeurosurgery Quality Committee, Department of Neurologic Surgery
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Research activities

See a description of research activities.