Joshua Thompson embraces the family medicine tenet of caring for the whole person, with all of the patient’s interests, attributes, goals, and history guiding their partnership in health. As a family medicine physician, he adores treating newborns to seniors, generations of families, and men and women from all walks of life.
“I like that family medicine takes a community approach to patient care and considers where patients are coming from. We see them as whole individuals and not just a set of problems,” say Thompson, who works at the University of Minnesota Physicians Mill City Clinic in Minneapolis. “Ultimately that leads to better care and overall improved wellness.”
Thompson got interested in family medicine during medical school at University of North Carolina, where he also earned a master’s degree in public health. He appreciates that family medicine encourages doctors to take a holistic view of patients’ lives, family, community, and social problems that affect their health.
He is particularly enthusiastic about taking care of people in the LGBTQ community. Thompson brings experience, sensitivity, and understanding to helping them with their concerns and addressing unique needs like gender-affirming hormone therapy for transgender people. He also focuses on preventing sexually transmitted diseases like HIV with pre-exposure prophylaxis medications (PrEP) and hepatitis vaccines when necessary.
“It’s about providing high-quality primary care to LGBTQ patients who generally have not received it. It’s not taught to a great extent in medical school,” Thompson says. “I make sure I’m on top of research and information so that I can provide that care and then teach and prepare the next generation of family doctors to provide it, too.”
As an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Thompson spends one week every two months at the University of Minnesota Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Clinic in Minneapolis. That rotation includes seeing clinic patients at North Memorial Health Hospital and teaching family medicine residents—something he truly loves and believes makes him a better doctor.
Wherever Thompson is seeing patients and whomever he’s seeing, he aims to truly get to know them and their concerns. Connecting with patients, engaging in shared decision-making about their health, and finding the best path to improving their wellbeing is the highlight of his day.
“I try to meet them wherever they are at, remaining very open and honest and nonjudgmental,” Thompson says. That’s how he walks with patients on their path to health.