It was a volunteer medical mission to Honduras that set the course of Dr. Ann Thomas’ career.
Thomas, who had done several types of volunteer health service missions, took the trip to Honduras after the completion of medical school in 2008. While there, she was serving patients in a clinic set up in with an exam room, triage and a pharmacy. One of the pivotal events occurred when a mother came in with her 10-year-old son, who was unable to walk.
As she tells it: “He had so much pain from an abscess in the groin, that he couldn’t walk. It was a matter of a simple incision to drain the abscess, followed by antibiotics. But to the mom it was a miracle, an answer to her prayers. It was simple for us treating him, yet it changed the course of his life.”
Thomas, who also has extensive experience in obstetric care, was also able to do a breast exam for a woman who had never had one; answer questions about contraceptives and preventing sexually transmitted diseases; and do routine care for entire families.
“Just the simple things we take for granted,” she said.
She added: “That’s where I really found my calling for family medicine. What struck me while in Honduras is the human connection. No matter where you are in the world, you can make a difference.”
Thomas earned her BS in biological sciences cum laude at the University of Buffalo, and she earned her MD at Saint George's University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. After graduating, she completed he rresidency at Somerset Medical Center Family Practice in Somerville. Thomas is board certified in family medicine.
Thomas, who is dedicated to contributing her expertise to help local and international communities, in addition to volunteering with Global Health Organization in Honduras, has worked with New Jersey Special Olympics, Zarephath Medical Mission in Africa and Operation Smile in Mexico. She is a recipient of the Operation Smile Regan Fellowship.
”I practice full spectrum family medicine, which encompasses infant, child, adult, geriatric, women's healthcare and minor procedures, all of which you use in any part of the world,” she said. “To also be able to serve in the local community, in New Jersey, it is very effective in serving people’s day-to-day needs, as well as useful as an educational tool for preventative medicine.”
Of her specialty she said: “Providing a good quality of life – I think that’s universal. A desire everyone has. It is a privilege to take care of people. In family medicine, patients are not just a number, a chart, but actual people you build relationships with. You really know them, and see them through different seasons in life.”
Thomas practices at 465 Union Avenue, Suite B, in Bridgewater. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 908-864-4820.