Phylicia Thomas, DO '22 | Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Graduate
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Phylicia Thomas, DO '22 
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

May 24, 2022

Neha Mylarapu (DO ’22)

Growing up in the Bronx, New York, Phylicia Thomas, DO '22, was inspired to work hard by her parents, Gloria Allen and Philip Thomas, who had emigrated to the United States from Jamaica. “There was an expectation, growing up in an immigrant family, that you had three career options — doctor, lawyer or engineer. Thankfully, I knew from a young age that I wanted to pursue medicine.”

For many students, the path to medical school begins after undergraduate studies, but for Ms. Thomas, that was not the case. After graduating with a bachelor of science in biology from Spelman College, in Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Thomas went on to pursue a master of science in interdisciplinary studies in biology and physical sciences from Touro College of Medicine. Feeling inspired to continue in the medical field, Ms. Thomas obtained her nursing license. The urge to be a doctor did not fade though and after working as a nurse for six years, Ms. Thomas decided it was time to apply to medical school.

“I loved working with patients and I felt I had more to give them. I wanted more autonomy to create a treatment plan for my patients. Growing up, I watched as my nephew received care for sickle cell disease. I saw first-hand the intimate relationship between patient and physician and, after visiting PCOM, and feeling the sense of community on campus, I knew that I was making the right decision in applying. Family is a huge part of my life, and PCOM really feels like a family,” shared Ms. Thomas.

During her time at PCOM, Ms. Thomas was actively involved in a number of programs. She served in a series of leadership roles with the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) both at the campus and regional level. She also served as a DO ambassador and as a member of the admissions committee interviewing prospective students. Ms. Thomas was also vice president of the OB/GYN club during parts of her first and second years. When asked what she is most proud of from her time at PCOM, Ms. Thomas shared that being a co-founder of both the annual “Women’s Health Symposium”, as well as the “Girl Talk” program (a program that connects minority female high schoolers with medical students who share information about the female reproductive system, period poverty, female empowerment in STEM fields and more) are at the top of her list. Ms. Thomas co-founded the “Girl Talk” program with fellow student Gifty Barfi (DO `23). Ms. Thomas’ legacy will continue to live on with these annual initiatives.

In addition to the significant impact that she has made during her time on-campus, Ms. Thomas has worked hard off-campus to make an impact as well. Ms. Thomas started a YouTube channel  (“Phyli T in Medicine”) in hopes of sharing educational information with other aspiring medical students. “I am not a traditional medical student,” shared Ms. Thomas. “I want to encourage other nontraditional, minority students to pursue medicine, and I hope that my channel will help them see the good, bad and everything in between.”

After graduation, Ms. Thomas will go on to pursue a residency in Emergency Medicine at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.