Before joining the staff of The University of Kansas Health System Sports Medicine and Performance Center, Lucas Thompson, MD, was playing on the fields and in the gyms of metro-area high schools.
Dr. Thompson grew up in Olathe, where he played football and basketball and threw the discus and shot put on the track team for the Olathe North Eagles. Dr. Thompson was part of a high school program that won 3 state football championships. In 2001, he was selected as a Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete.
He went on to play football at Baker University. And after medical school and residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Dr. Thompson completed a sports medicine fellowship at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Fortunately, Dr. Thompson did not have to travel far to follow his calling. He is joined primary care physicians on staff at the Sports Medicine and Performance Center. He and his colleagues are responsible for high schools in the Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley school districts.
Dr. Thompson works with the youth sports medicine program overall and spends much of his time as the main contact for Blue Valley West High School. He also serves as a primary care physician for the Kansas City Chiefs.
"We're the primary care point of contact. We consult with the trainers, provide recommendations and see athletes in clinic," Dr. Thompson says. "We offer guidance when deciding whether a patient needs to see a surgeon."
Dr. Thompson staffs the clinic at the Arrowhead Stadium practice facility and also works at the Indian Creek location. He sees all sports medicine-related patients, not just Chiefs players or high school athletes.
As someone who has been on the field as an athlete and now as a physician, Dr. Thompson has a clear goal for those he treats.
"The most important thing is that athletes play and have fun, and that they’re able to play next week, next month and in the years ahead," he says. "I try to make the best decisions for an athlete's long-term health and physical fitness. Whether it's an athlete who wants to compete in the next game or a dad who wants to play with his kids, my goal is to make sure they're able and healthy."