Peter A. Thomas, D.M.D.
When Peter A. Thomas, D.M.D., retired from private practice in 2015, he didn’t want to leave dentistry — and the feeling that he was contributing toward the greater good — behind.
So Dr. Thomas volunteers one day a week in mentoring students from the University of New England’s College of Dental Medicine at the Tri-county Community Action Program public health clinic in Tamworth, New Hampshire.
Dr. Thomas typically spends his time with two students at a time, whether it’s helping them with clinical instruction on root canal therapy and oral surgery, or guiding them in having meaningful, collaborative relationships and communication with patients.
“I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to mentor students,” Dr. Thomas said. “These are my goals with the students: strive for excellence in both diagnosis and treatment, communicate clearly and compassionately with both patients and team members, and be willing to tackle challenging cases. For me, it’s to model respect and humility to everyone. The license is just a starting point for the real education and the special opportunities dentistry offers to be of service and to connect with people in a special way.”
Dr. Thomas said that community service is just an extension of the commitment to others he experienced during his 44-year career.
“I believe that we are all family, and since I was encouraged by my parents to set my sights high and also have the intellect, heart and manual dexterity necessary for dentistry, I joyfully spread my blessings to the best of my ability,” he said.