Thomas, Patricia

Thomas, MD
Year Inducted: 
Patricia Thomas
  • Associate Dean for Cultural Enhancement and Diversity at the University Of Kansas Medical Center
  • Director, University of Kansas Cytopathology Fellowship Program
  • Served as Chair of the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Department for the University Of Kansas Medical Center from 2003 to 2009
  • Honored as a Local Legend of Medicine by Congressional Representative Dennis Moore

Dr. Patricia A. Thomas, born in Leavenworth, Kansas, attended Harvard University as an undergraduate where she majored in biochemistry. She was the first member of her family to graduate from college. She then returned to Kansas to obtain her MA in Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Kansas. Subsequently, Dr. Thomas received her M.D. from New York University’s School of Medicine. In 1997, she accepted a position at the University of Kansas Medical Center as Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, serving as Chair for six years between 2003-2009. During her time as chair, the department went from being ranked 78th in NIH funding to 21st among state academic health science centers.

       Dr. Thomas currently serves as the Associate Dean for Cultural Enhancement and Diversity. In this position, she has built on the programs for recruitment of underrepresented minorities. She has created a transformative program with a global aim of improving the education of recruited students, recruiting and developing minority faculty, supporting health disparities research, improving community partnerships, and educating the public in the area of health literacy. Dr. Thomas created a model that is currently being adopted by other institutions. Dr. Thomas is also an active member of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Group on Women in Medicine and Science, which serves as a national forum to advance women’s success in medicine and science by addressing gender equity, recruitment and retention, awards and recognition, and career advancement. Furthermore, Dr. Thomas accomplished all of this while continuing an active research career in cancer biology which focuses on the differences in survival between ethnic groups following breast cancer.

       Dr. Thomas has distinguished herself in service of her institution, her community, and is active in advancing women’s leadership and career opportunities at the national level. She has been honored as a Local Legend of Medicine by Congressional Representative Dennis Moore, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, the NIH Office of Women’s Health Research, and the American Medical Women’s Association.

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