Dr. Lauree Thomas, associate dean for student affairs and admissions in the School of Medicine, has more than 17 years of experience in medical education, teaching and recruitment of students. Since joining UTMB, Thomas has been successful in recruiting a very diverse student body where each medical student is valued as one who has “potential and promise."
With the School of Medicine's 2010 commencement right around the corner, we talked with Thomas to get her words of wisdom for the graduating seniors; find out where she sees the future of UTMB and get a glimpse into her life off the job.
The 2010 graduating class of UTMB’s School of Medicine is about to embark on the next step in their journey, what words of wisdom do you have for them?
Remember the symbol of the “white coat,” wear it with honor and pride. Always go and see patients when you are called to do so; and search for answers as to the reason why. Never pass up an opportunity to examine a patient, and thank them for allowing you to be involved in their care. Render patient care to the best of your ability with empathy and compassion. Always smile and do your duty — it is truly in giving to others that we receive our blessings and personal satisfaction.
What role do you see the School of Medicine playing in defining the future of UTMB?
As the School of Medicine is an integral part of the UTMB community, I see it in a predestined leadership position as we move through the 21st century and beyond in accomplishing our goals in patient care, research, cutting-edge technological advancements through research, medical innovation, and education. It will play a major role in defining who we are as an institution, our future direction and accomplishments as a major academic health center.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
About 95 percent of my time, I am a student advocate; the other 5 percent, I must be a disciplinarian. I find the latter part the most challenging because, for the most part, medical students are incredibly bright, gifted students. To have to render a punishment, suspension or dismissal is the most difficult aspect of this position.
The most rewarding?
To help each student achieve their goal and reach their maximum potential. Match Day is so very exciting — students are happy to find out where they are going for their training. I am honored when I participate in our graduation ceremony — I am able to witness firsthand the hard work that comes to fruition for our students.
What is your favorite book?
Norton’s Anthology, A collection of Short Stories and Poems.
Cross stitching, baking, reading poetry and romance novels, and gardening.
What is the one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
That I love to drive high-performance, fast cars — my favorite is a Jaguar.