David Thomson – Emergency medicine physician joins health and exercise science as medical director

Health and Exercise Sciences medical director David Thomson smiles outside of the Human Performance Clinical Research Laboratory

David Thomson joined the Colorado State University Department of Health and Exercise Science as an associate professor and medical director for the Human Performance Clinical Research Laboratory. Thomson works to leverage his experience as an emergency and EMS physician to support the lab activities including research studies and stress testing for firefighters and athletes.  

Tell us a bit about yourself!  

I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. I moved here from Greenville, North Carolina, where I was an emergency medicine and Emergency Medical Services faculty physician at East Carolina University. I received my B.A. in chemistry from Wabash College. I then attended Ball State University, where I received an M.S. in human bioenergetics. I went to medical school at the University of Cincinnati. I did my residency in emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. I later attended Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, where I received my MPA.  

Outside of academia, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Barb, and our dog, Chester. We have three children – our oldest son and daughter-in-law live in Leadville, and our other son lives in Syracuse, New York. Our daughter lives in Erie, Colorado. We try to get together with them whenever we can. As for hobbies, I enjoy photography and I’m a helicopter and airplane pilot, so I fly when I get the chance. 

What brought you to Health and Exercise Science at CSU?

We had been considering moving to Colorado and I contacted Matt Hickey, professor in Health and Exercise Science and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Health and Human Sciences, who I had worked with several years ago at East Carolina. He was enthusiastic about the Fort Collins area, and he also suggested that I look at the Human Performance Clinical Research Lab medical director position. 

What are your research and/or teaching interests, and how did you get interested in that topic?

As an emergency and EMS physician, I have always been interested in the issues that affect EMS and air ambulance clinicians, especially human factors problems. I have taught ethics in a couple of medical schools, and I’m interested in continuing that here at CSU. Regarding the impact I hope to have at CSU, a large part of my role is stress testing of firefighters and other athletes. I hope to expand that to more public safety and other tactical athletes. 

What is your teaching philosophy?  

I’m not sure I have a teaching philosophy. As a teacher of emergency medicine residents and paramedics I have tried to allow them to make their own decisions, while I gently keep them in a safe box. 

What is your favorite thing about CSU and the campus?  

My favorite thing so far has been the people – everyone I have worked with and talked to have been incredibly friendly and helpful. 

The Department of Health and Exercise Science is a part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.