Dr. Richard W. Thomas is the sixth President of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. As president, Dr. Thomas is responsible for the academic, research and service mission of the university. He advises the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and the four Surgeons General on a wide array of issues related to graduate health professions education and healthcare research. Dr. Thomas oversees, evaluates, and coordinates efforts to enhance graduate health professions education and healthcare research to include emerging technologies and treatments as well as efforts to improve patient safety, quality within the Military Health System.
Dr. Thomas earned a degree in biological science from West Virginia University (WVU), a Doctorate in Dental Surgery from the WVU School of Dentistry and a Medical Degree from WVU School of Medicine. He holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies for the U.S. Army War College, is board certified in Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Dentists.
Dr. Thomas served over 26 years in the United States Army, retiring as a Major General in 2016. His key military assignments included Director of Healthcare Operations and the Chief Medical Officer for the Defense Health Agency (DHA); Commanding General of the Western Regional Medical Command; Surgeon General, USFORCES-Afghanistan; Chief, U.S. Army Medical Corps; U.S. Army Assistant Surgeon General; Commander, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Commander, 47th Combat Support Hospital, Division Surgeon, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and numerous other staff and leadership positions. He has served multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
During his career, Dr. Thomas served as the director of the Department of Surgery Research Program, staff surgeon and assistant residency program director at Madigan Army Medical Center. He held a faculty appointment as clinical associate professor at the University of Washington in Seattle and was also an adjunct faculty and staff surgeon at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle and American Lake Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Tacoma.
Dr. Thomas’ honors and awards include, Defense Superior Service Medal; Army Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster); Legion of Merit (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters); Bronze Star Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster) and various other commendations and campaign awards. He holds the Surgeon General's "A" Proficiency Designator, is a Distinguished Member of the AMEDD Regiment and Member of the Order of Military Medical Merit. Dr. Thomas has been recognized with the Murtha Memorial Award for Leadership in Military Medicine, the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s Board of Director’s Award and American Academy of Pain Medicine Philipp M. Lippe, MD Award.