"If I have done at least one person some good, my life as a physician will have been worthwhile," says Ernest Thomas, MD, who has practiced in the Los Gatos area for many years.
In fact, Dr. Thomas has done countless people--young and old alike--a world of good in his 49 years of practicing family medicine, a branch of medicine often passed over by new doctors who prefer the complex challenges and higher pay that often go along with specialty medicine.
Not so for Dr. Thomas. From delivering babies to doing surgery to comforting family members at the bedside of a dying patient, Dr. Thomas has loved every minute of his career as a physician. "I can't imagine doing anything else," he says.
He's also passionate about the culture, language and history that is part of his Creole background. Born in New Orleans, he survived what he calls "the worst school system in the world" with the help of a sponsor, who got the above-average student into a preparatory school, and the nuns who helped him get the grants that allowed him to attend the university and eventually Meharry Medical College. With guidance from his mother and the encouragement of his many professors, he went on to a successful internship, residency and medical practice.
Dr. Thomas says he will continue to take care of people as long as he can. The code he lives by and practices by is simple: Tell the truth, live each day as honestly as you can, and always be fair to people.