In Memoriam: Margaret Thompson, MD

September 29, 2022

Margaret Thompson, MDMargaret "Peggy" Elizabeth Thompson, MD, age 63, passed away on September 24, 2022, surrounded by her loving family, husband David E. Thompson, MD, and their two daughters Margaret "Sarah" Thompson of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Stephanie Ruth Thompson, RN, of Ann Arbor, Mich.

Dr. Thompson was an integral part of the MSU College of Human Medicine community since 1990 when she began teaching medical students and residents as a family physician in Grand Rapids. She served as lead clerkship director for the family medicine clerkship, was instrumental in the expansion of the College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids and served as the community associate dean of the Grand Rapids campus for ten years.

During her long and successful career, Dr. Thompson served in many leadership roles for the college including assistant dean for the clinical curriculum, associate dean for community academic programs, and interim associate dean for academic affairs. More than anything, she was always ready to step up to solve a problem, to help a student, or to create an opportunity for others. This career-defining trait allowed so many throughout the college to benefit from her wisdom, grace, and kindness.  

Dr. Thompson graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, and she received her medical degree from the University of Michigan medical school. She co-authored numerous medical articles on medical education and co-authored a chapter on nutrition in a leading Family Practice textbook. Dr. Thompson was the recipient of Outstanding Faculty awards and was a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

With a passion for teaching and working with medical students, Dr. Thompson approached each student encounter with extreme kindness and respect. During her illness she encountered several former students who became her physicians, and she was proud of each one.

When she retired in 2022, Peggy’s colleagues established a Tribute Fund to recognize her deep commitment to supporting students. When Peggy learned about this special honor, she expressed her desire for the recipient of this fund be a student who demonstrates enthusiasm and aptitude for learning a variety of subjects and disciplines—all qualities that make a good primary care physician. It was also her preference for the scholarship recipient to exhibit a desire to practice medicine in Michigan, which reflects the passion she had for this state.

“Peggy was a stalwart member of our educational team for decades and was an intellectual and emotional leader for us through all that time,” said Aron Sousa, MD, dean, MSU College of Human Medicine. “She was a light when it was darkest and lifted all of us when we were down. Peggy constantly made the college a better place for patients, students, faculty, and staff. We dearly miss her and grieve her loss.”