Doctor volunteers to teach about the importance of persistence


Dr. Matt Thompson poses with his autograph Ryan Braun Jersey in Rochester Minnesota. Thompson came into business teacherTara Hansen’s Careers classes during the school day, Oct.8.

By Dale Summerfield Jr.

Minutes after Dr. Matt Thompson left business teacher Tara Hansen’s classroom, Thompson hopped on a plane and flew to Milwaukee, for the Brewers first game of the Divisional Playoffs against the Atlanta Braves. Thompson spoke to Hansen’s first and second hour careers classes in room 1110 about his career as a doctor. 

 Hansen invited Thompson to speak after meeting him in the Spartan Shack a few weeks prior. She never met him previously but when they spoke to one another she was really interested in what he had to say and thought he would be a great first speaker to have in her careers class. 

“I thought how humble and nonchalant he was,” Hansen said. 

When giving his speech to the class Thompson expressed that he knew there was only one thing he wanted to do for his career.

“When I was growing up my friends wanted to be baseball players or astronauts, I knew I wanted to be a doctor,” Thompson said. 

Thompson’s most memorable part of attending high school was the relationship between his friends and teachers, which turned out to be a great experience and helped him work hard and to build the foundation for what he wanted to do later on in life.

Thompson graduated high school in 1992 and would end up attending school for another 16 years to achieve his dream of being a doctor. He would struggle in school as he discussed in his presentation, that he almost flunked out of the University of Wisconsin-Superior twice and applied to medical school 4 times until he was finally accepted at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

He graduated from medical school at the University of Minnesota and then took an internship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. From there he ended up becoming a resident after graduating from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. 

While working to become a specialist physician he would begin working in 2008 as an assistant team physician for the Milwaukee Brewers baseball club of Major League Baseball. He has worked and met numerous players including outfielders Lorenzo Cain, Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez as well as Brewers Hall of Fame Announcer Bob Uecker.

 Thompson has also worked with members of the United States Ski Team who compete to go to the Olympics as well as the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods baseball league. While he likes treating them, his most favorite part of the job is with students.

“Best team to take care of is the junior high or high school athlete who goes out and does their job, because they love to do it. If it’s important to them it’s important to me,” Thompson said. 

Senior Andrew DeBough who was in Hansen’s second period class was also really entertained by Thompson’s speech and believed it was very beneficial and influential. He never thought of becoming a sports medicine doctor before but the presentation has given him some more thought on what he wants to do after school.

 “I was engaged the entire time and was very intrigued by what he had to say,” DeBough said. “I really enjoyed the part about his advisor not believing in him because it shows us all to stay driven.”

Both he and Hansen agree that Thompson’s speech was impactful and worth the listen as it helps describe where hard work and dedication can lead to.