When several people nominate the same physician to be profiled, you begin to get the picture here is somebody that deserves a little spotlight. That was certainly the case this year when no less than four colleagues pointed out Dr. Henry Thompson.· He is the best doctor I have worked with in my 10 years in the medical field
· He has a deep love for his patients and staff. He works harder than anyone I know. He is always positive and happy to be around. He goes above and beyond every day.
· I've worked with him for 17 years there is not a physician I respect more. He exemplifies the best ideals and aspirations of a physician. He was clinically sound. He is a patient advocate. His patients love his expertise but even more that he truly cares for them as a person. Every day he makes patients’ lives better because he is in practice. He inspires all in a circle to do their best
· He is a great MD who is loved by patients and staff. Nothing is too low of a task for him to perform and he is always willing to help or teach.
Dr. Thomson’s career influencers were and still are his parents. His dad was a general pediatrician and preventive care researcher, his mom a biostatistician and a relentless optimist. So, it was no surprise that he ended up in medical school at OHSU. After that he interned at Primary Children’s Salt Lake City, finished residency at Univ of Minnesota, practiced general pediatrics for a year, and then did a fellowship at The Children’s Hospital in Denver (where he was awarded Fellow of the Year.) He returned to Boise as the first and only pedes gastroenterologist in 1999.
In addition to starting and building a GI department at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, he has been the director of the cystic fibrosis center. This program first started out exclusively serving children, but as CF treatments extended lifespans, it has eventually grown into adult care too. He currently serves as sub-specialty medical director, GI director, and CF co-director. He is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition.
Dr. Thompson characterizes his work simply: “I see very ill children, as well as children that are not sick, but have scared parents. It can sometimes be hard to tell from the referral which is which.”
Idaho has been lucky enough to participate in some incredibly life-changing CF research. This has had direct impact on the quality of life and longevity for CF patients. He says, “those advances are game changers because of the radical impact they have for patients today.’ For example, between 2013-2014, the St. Luke’s Cystic Fibrosis Center in Idaho was involved in studies for two FDA-approved genotypic therapies to 2014.
According to St. Luke’s, “Those therapies, which are available to patients with specific genetic mutations, can make defective cells work much better, but still not quite as well as those in someone without cystic fibrosis.” First introduced as research study drugs, these medications slow the loss of lung function by half the regular rate and pulmonary exacerbations by forty percent.
He loves mentoring people and being a resource to other clinicians; in 2011, he received the FMRI Pediatric Teaching Excellence Award. To other physicians he encourages: “Do not be afraid to care. Do not be afraid to be wrong. It is always OK to think and take a risk.”
In his spare time, he also practices his own advice: “Bodies are meant to move. Get outside.” He can be frequently found skiing, hiking and mountain bike riding with his family.