In Memoriam: A Tribute to Michael Scheld, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine

April 24, 2024 by

Michael Scheld

Michael Scheld, MD, emeritus professor in the Department of Medicine

The UVA Department of Medicine, along with the broader School of Medicine community, mourns the passing of Michael Scheld, MD, emeritus professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Scheld was a legendary member of the Department who held numerous leadership positions over his tenure at UVA.  He was known for his passion for education and clinical science and served as a mentor for several generations of students, residents, and fellows.

William Michael Scheld, known as Mike, passed away at 76 in Charlottesville, Virginia, on April 21, 2024, due to pneumonia complications. A dedicated physician and esteemed academic, he leaves a legacy of compassion and excellence. Beginning his journey in Connecticut, he nurtured a love for science and medicine from a young age. After completing his education at Cornell University, he came to the University of Virginia for Residency and Infectious Diseases training in 1974 before joining the faculty. He had a distinguished 40-year career at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where he served as the Bayer-Gerald L. Mandell Professor of Infectious Diseases and Neurosurgery until his retirement in 2019.

Dr. Scheld made significant contributions to the field of infectious diseases, exemplifying academia with a true devotion to education, research, and clinical care. He contributed more than 300 peer-reviewed publications to the literature; edited more than 15 books, including Infections of the Central Nervous System, a gold standard in the field; and served on the editorial boards of several journals. As an investigator, Dr. Scheld advanced our understanding of the pathophysiology of meningitis, endocarditis, and sepsis. He was president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in 2003 and a founding member of the Academic Alliance for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa. He served as the director of the Pfizer Initiative in International Health. He was a sought-after educator of medicine by students and physician trainees and garnered many teaching awards. However, what he loved most was being a good physician to a patient in need.

Beyond his professional achievements, Mike was a devoted husband and father. He found solace in music, nature, photography and cherished moments spent with loved ones. He will be deeply missed by his family, including his wife Susan (Suss), daughter Sarah, and sister Kathy. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a charity of choice in Mike’s honor.  There is no funeral service planned in the immediate future, but details will be shared as they become available.

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