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tessy thomas


Tessy A. Thomas, DO, MBE

Research Interests

Dr. Thomas’ primary research focus is on moral distress and professional integrity within complex socio-technical systems. The current literature and research agenda for moral distress has focused largely on the nursing population and the psychological dimensions of this distress. As a clinician in pediatric critical care medicine, Dr. Thomas is interested in identifying, understanding, and further exploring the underpinnings of moral distress that exists within multi-disciplinary and inter-professional medical teams. By highlighting the ethically significant moral dimensions of moral distress grounded in professional integrity, endeavors to mitigate moral distress through reflective practice, mindfulness, culture of respect, and shared decision-making can be promoted.

Recent Publications

  • Thomas, T. A., & McCullough, L. B. (2017). Focus More on Causes and Less on Symptoms of Moral Distress. The Journal of clinical ethics, 28(1), 30.
  • Thomas, T. A., & Bruce, C. R. (2016). Moral distress: Professional integrity as the basis for taxonomies. The American Journal of Bioethics, 16(12), 11-13.
  • Thomas, T. A., Thammasitboon, S., Balmer, D. F., Roy, K., & McCullough, L. B. (2016). A qualitative study exploring moral distress among pediatric resuscitation team clinicians: challenges to professional integrity. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, 17(7), e303-e308.
  • Thomas, T. A., & McCullough, L. B. (2016). Resuscitations That Never End: Originating From Unresolved Integrity-Related Moral Distress. JAMA pediatrics, 170(6), 521-522.
  • Thomas, T. A., & McCullough, L. B. (2015). A philosophical taxonomy of ethically significant moral distress. The Journal of medicine and philosophy, 40(1), 102.
  • Thomas, T. A., & McCullough, L. (2015). Moral Distress Matters because it Challenges Your Professional Integrity. American Academy of Pediatrics Bioethics Chapter Newsletter (October).


2004 Master Bioethics (MBE), University of Pennsylvania
2008 DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
2011 Pediatric Residency, Geisinger Medical Center
2014 Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship, Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine

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