Mentorship fund honors ENT, wife
Dr. Thomas Kidder
March 04, 2013 College News - Thomas Kidder, MD, cares for people in their time of need. Certainly, this should be said of all physicians, but Dr. Kidder may have been called to do so more often than most. His selflessness has permeated his clinical work, his dedication to teaching and his love for his family. With his recent major gift in response to the establishment of the Dr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Kidder Endowed Mentorship Fund, his generosity extends to future generations of medical students and trainees.
Fostering the career growth of medical students, residents and clinical fellows, the endowed fund will support events, courses and other educational functions in the spirit of mentorship and young physician development. It will also fund two teaching awards named for Dr. Kidder, an ENT who joined the Medical College of Wisconsin faculty in 1990 and now serves as Professor of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences.
Dr. Kidder’s devotion to his late wife, Eileen, was evident to all who knew him. After she endured a debilitating stroke and a cancer diagnosis, Eileen required comprehensive assistance with activities of daily living. Dr. Kidder embraced this role as caregiver while also balancing his full complement of faculty responsibilities, remaining dedicated to both loves of his life. Eileen passed away in 2010.
The Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences created the endowed mentorship fund to honor the Kidders. Combined with Dr. Kidder’s $250,000 donation, otolaryngology faculty and alumni have contributed gifts to the endowment totaling more than $400,000.
“I am humbled and deeply grateful that so many of my colleagues and former students have chosen to honor Eileen and me in this way,” Dr. Kidder said. “I felt that it was appropriate for me to respond to their kindness with a substantial gift to secure this legacy at the Medical College of Wisconsin, which remains so dear to me.”
Dr. Kidder has been closely associated with the Medical College for more than 48 years, first as a student graduating in 1968, then a resident, then a member of the volunteer clinical faculty while in private practice before joining the College full time and practicing at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital. His commitment to education includes service as Medical Student Director and Residency Program Director for the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences.
Through his leadership and wisdom, Dr. Kidder has helped shape the evolution of the otolaryngology residency program to ensure residents receive the best possible training, according to John S. Rhee, MD, MPH, the John C. Koss Professor and Chairman of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences. As a result, the department’s residents go on to become very successful clinicians, educators, researchers and administrators.
“Tom’s personal integrity and dedication to medical education are commendable and serve as an example at the highest level for all of us,” Dr. Rhee said. “The Dr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Kidder Endowed Mentorship Fund provides a substantial platform for educating our residents and fellows to be tomorrow’s outstanding physicians, a mission in which Dr. Kidder has excelled.”
The Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences awarded Dr. Kidder its Lifetime Teaching Award in 2000, and he is nationally recognized for his educational and clinical abilities.
An engaged member of the Medical College of Wisconsin community, Dr. Kidder served on the school’s Admissions Committee 11 years, two years as chairman. For eight years, he was
a representative on the Medical College of Wisconsin/Marquette Medical Alumni Association Board, including four years on its Executive Committee. He received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2007. He currently is working on his 45th medical school class reunion planning group.
“As a member of the Otolaryngology and Communications Sciences faculty, I feel privileged to have such a talented and humanistic colleague,” said Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, Dean of the Medical School and Executive Vice President. “This fund will extend Tom’s heartfelt dedication to this institution indefinitely and ensure resources will remain available to help the department maintain its excellence in education, patient care and research.”
A father figure in his department, Dr. Kidder has also shown great care for his and Eileen’s children. Their daughter, Terri, has severe disabilities, and their son, Steve, required a kidney transplant in 1999. Not surprisingly, the organ donor was Dr. Kidder, who continues to demonstrate for all generations what it means to care for people in need.