Tom Miller, MD, professor of medicine in the division of general medicine and clinical epidemiology, will retire after 29 years as a UNC faculty member. Miller will best be remembered for his devotion to teaching medical students and residents, which he says brought fulfillment and made him a better doctor. He will also be remembered for his dedication to caring for adult patients in the ambulatory setting.
“UNC was so fortunate that Tom agreed to join and transform our clinical practice, said Timothy Carey, MD, recalling earlier days when the clinical practice was relatively small and he was chief of the division of general medicine and clinical epidemiology. “His leadership, clinical expertise and good humor have benefitted many patients, students and residents.”
Miller joined the UNC faculty in 1991 and was appointed director of the UNC Internal Medicine Clinic in 1992 where he served until 2014. From 2009-2015, he was section chief for ambulatory education and practice in the division of general medicine. In 2007, he was appointed director of the travel clinic in the UNC Internal Medicine Clinical.
Darren DeWalt, MD, says that in many ways, Miller represents the soul of the division.
“He taught clinical medicine to most of the faculty in our division,” said DeWalt, chief of general medicine. “More importantly, he taught us to care for patients. He has modeled for us the type of physician who tries to get a little better every day. He has continued to advocate for those who are most marginalized in our society. Countless students and residents (including myself) have benefited from his example.”
Shana Ratner, MD, likens Miller’s office in the ACC to the office water cooler, a place where the door is always open and he’s always available, with a smile, to help with the most difficult clinical cases and biggest professional challenges.
“Students sit side by side with him learning how to practice,” said Ratner, associate professor of medicine and section chief for education and clinical practice. “Residents know he is a “go to person” for procedures and difficult cases. We bring him our problems and he always strives to help. His spirit of continuous quality improvement for the clinic has impacted so many of us. He has been dedicated to our patients, our practice, and all of us for so many decades. We are forever grateful.”
Cristin Colford, MD, professor of general medicine and vice chair for clinical services in the department of medicine, agrees.
“Tom Miller is the consummate general internist. He was one of the first attendings I worked with as an intern and has remained one of my closest mentors. He models patient-centered care and commitment to lifelong learning.”
Miller graduated medical school from the UNC School of Medicine in 1977. He interned at Rochester Associated Hospitals before completing residency at NC Memorial Hospital in 1981. From 1981-1984, he was a physician at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, NY. From 1984-1987, he was a physician at Orange Chatham Comprehensive Health. From 1987-1991, he served as medical director of Orange Chatham Comprehensive Health.
In 2016, Miller was honored with the Academy of Educators “Lifetime Achievement Excellence in Teaching Award.”