Faculty Profile: Bret Benally Thompson, MD

We are pleased Bret Benally Thompson, M.D. has joined the Department of Family Medicine. Bret has been with the department since November 2011.

Bret is a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe.  He did his undergraduate work at Colorado State and the University of Minnesota Duluth in Human Development and Family Studies.  He earned his medical degree at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine completing the first two years at the Duluth campus with a focus in primary care.  Following his residency at the Alaska Family Medicine Residency, Bret completed a Palliative Care and Hospice Medicine fellowship at the Providence Alaska Medical Center and trained in the Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice through the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care.  He was twice the recipient of the Indian Health Service Area Director’s Award for Outstanding Health Care Provider while working as the hospitalist, palliative care specialist and long-term care medical director at the Red Lake Indian Health Service Hospital in northern Minnesota.  He is a former EMT, mountain search and rescue worker, deputy sheriff and U.S. Army Infantry officer.

Bret’s professional interests include improving palliative care for all people, especially American Indians and Alaska Natives and others in rural and limited-access areas.  He has given numerous presentations across the country to help train providers to this end.  He has been the course director for a week long joint palliative care course taught at Mayo-Rochester in conjunction with the Indian Health Service.  One of his passions is to mentor and guide American Indian students in health career pathways.

When not working, Bret enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters, visiting with his elders, extended family and friends, attending pow-wows and traditional ceremonies of both his and his wife’s tribes.  He also enjoys camping, doing beadwork, and burning up the back roads and paved trails of Wisconsin on his road bike.

Welcome Bret!