Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Thom E. Lobe

UT College of Business Administration alumnus Dr. Thom E. Lobe is the founder and medical director of Beneveda Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1971 from George Washington University before attending medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, graduating cum laude in 1975 with special honors in pediatrics. During medical school, Lobe trained with the former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D. and with leading physicians at Harvard and Johns Hopkins Medical Schools. He then moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he trained at The Ohio State University Hospital in general surgery and The Children’s Hospital in pediatric surgery.

Thom LobeAfter his training, Lobe moved to Galveston, Texas, where he was chief of the pediatric surgery service at the University of Texas Medical Branch. During his eight years there, he made national news because he was among the first surgeons to successfully separate a particularly difficult variety of Siamese twins and perform a complex reconstruction of the airway. He was recruited away from Galveston to start the first pediatric surgery training program in the south at the University of Tennessee in Memphis and LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center. While there, Lobe distinguished himself by leading the world in the development of laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgery for children. He wrote the first textbook on the subject and pioneered many innovative surgical techniques. He also pioneered the first medical journal devoted to advanced surgical techniques in children. He continues to serve as the journal’s editor.

Throughout his career, Lobe has maintained a strong interest in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches to complex problems. He convinced the dean of his medical school to begin a program of instruction in CAM for medical students. Lobe remained in charge of that program for over a decade before he was recruited to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, to pioneer advances in minimally invasive surgery. With his associates there, he became the first surgeon to develop an advanced technique to perform major head and neck surgery through a set of small incisions in the armpit. These procedures leave the patient with no visible or unsightly scar and cause no pain.

In his pursuit of excellence in alternative medicine practice and teaching, Lobe has traveled and met many of the world’s leaders in the field. He shared a position as an advisor to the Institute for the Study of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong with the eminent Brian Berman, M.D., founder of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. Lobe also succeeded in obtaining an additional degree for his training in naturopathic medicine and is board certified in both medical hypnosis and medical acupuncture.

Lobe has written more than 200 books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed articles. He is currently working on his latest book, The Wellspring Within: Living Life in Harmony and Balance. He has lectured worldwide on nearly every continent. Lobe also has found time to study law and complete the Physician Executive Master in Business Administration program at the University of Tennessee. It was at UT that he focused on the development of his ideas for a new kind of medical practice, combining the best of conventional, complementary, and alternative medicine.

As an innovator, Lobe is a board member and founding advisor to Neatstitch, L.L.C., a laparoscopic instrument company based in Israel and now in the United States. He also is the innovator and co-founder for Visual Medical Solutions, L.L.C., the producers of BodyViz, a new medical imaging tool for surgical planning and medical education that makes use of virtual reality engineering to improve patient care.

Lobe enjoys spending time with his wife, a neonatologist, and his two daughters. His hobbies include writing, traveling, fly fishing, scuba diving, and sailing. His passion is learning what works best in his practice of alternative medicine so that he can teach people of all ages how to live healthier lives.

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