About

Thomas J. Sims, M.D. is a writer and actor who studied Zoology and Creative Writing at UCLA before attending medical school at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. His plans to become a pediatric surgeon drastically changed when, on the eve of being drafted into the Army to serve as a M.A.S.H. surgeon in Viet Nam, he was offered a commission in the U.S. Coast Guard – Division of Public Health – for assignment in Anchorage, Alaska. In Anchorage, Tom was scheduled to act as Chief of Pediatrics at the Alaska Native Medical Center. Life changed. . . along with his military orders, and just as he and his pregnant wife and daughter were about to leave the comfort and security of his training program in California, he learned he was being transferred from Anchorage to the wilds of the Alaska bush to work as the only physician in Nome. There, he would have the awesome responsibility of rendering medical care under archaic conditions to the population of this frontier town plus thirteen Eskimo villages in the surrounding Norton Sound area, and he would do it alone with little help and support.
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Moving from the comforts and conveniences of modern life and medical practice in the Lower 48 to the dark, unforgiving, harshness of the arctic was more than challenging, it was experience that would change the direction of his entire life. Tom writes about it all in his upcoming memoir.

After leaving Alaska, Tom began a private practice of medicine in rural Oregon where he worked for nearly three decades. During college and medical school Tom discovered he could earn some money to help pay for school and support his growing family by singing and playing guitar at coffee houses in Kansas City and Omaha and by working as a popular male model. As a model, his ads appeared in national magazines, newspapers and United Airlines In-Flight magazine for years. During his years as a family doctor, Tom still made time to follow his passions of writing and acting, finding success writing for magazines, newspapers, medical journal articles and the writing of a book. He also starred in over ten stage productions during his medical career and in recent years has played major theater roles in both Palm Springs, California (for which he was nominated as “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy” by The Desert Theatre League) and in Bend, Oregon. Very recently Tom starred in a Public Service Announcement for national distribution and in the major Hollywood film “Next” starring Nicholas Cage and Julianne Moore. Tom currently has a consultative medical practice in Oregon and writes full time.