2016 Tillman Scholar
Inspired by his both of his parents’ service to join the military, Thomas was motivated to be part of something larger than himself, serve his country, and go on his own adventures, so he put school on pause and enlisted in the Navy, changing his life by giving him a profession to dedicate himself to – medicine. As a Hospital Corpsman Thomas’ deployment to Afghanistan sensitized him to seeing suffering in other people with chronic medical conditions for which he was unequipped or untrained to help. Upon his return to the United States, Thomas found that he was constantly seeing the same neglect and suffering in his own city, teaching him that life isn’t just fragile in foreign countries, but among the people that he calls neighbors. Thomas’ time in the Navy allowed him to develop a personal philosophy motivating him to dedicate himself to protecting life and easing the pain as much as he possibly can.
With a medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University, Thomas looks to specialize as an infectious disease physician, primarily focusing on underserved populations for which HIV, hepatitis, and other infections are poorly managed due to a lack of healthcare access and other complicating circumstances. With a shortage of infectious disease physicians, at the same time, the United States is seeing an epidemic of heroin addiction and blood-borne disease transmission where Thomas would like to focus his career on addressing that unmet need. With the belief that the fundamental unit of service in medicine is each patient-doctor interaction, Thomas plans to provide a direct impact to individuals every day during his patients’ most difficult moments.