A life in medicine

In Memoriam: Former OSU-COM dean, AOA leader and mentor Thomas Allen, DO

“Dr. Allen made memorable contributions to osteopathic medicine, especially in the area of education,” said AOA President Ira Monka, DO.


Thomas W. Allen, DO, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, died in October 2023.

“We are saddened by the passing of Thomas Allen, DO, a friend and mentor to many in the profession,” said AOA President Ira Monka, DO. “Dr. Allen made memorable contributions to osteopathic medicine, especially in the area of education, as a specialist in internal medicine with subspecialty expertise in pulmonology. As the previous editor in chief of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) [now the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine] as well, Dr. Allen took many strides to extend the word of the profession, and encourage others to make positive changes for their patients and themselves.”

As a former Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine (OSU-COM) dean and a longtime team physician for the Oklahoma State Cowboys wrestling team, Dr. Allen was an integral part of the school. He first relocated to the state from Illinois to become vice president for health affairs at Oklahoma State and dean of OSU-COM. He joined the wrestling staff shortly after and worked with the Cowboys wrestling team until 2020.

Dr. Allen was awarded the Lifetime Service Award in 2012 by the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

“Dr. Allen played a great role for a lot of years for our wrestling program,” current head coach John Smith told OSU. “He was a good friend, and I just wasn’t prepared for him to be gone, but I’m very grateful that I got to spend so much time with him. He really made a difference in how I looked at a lot of things, and he wasn’t just a team doctor. He was a great friend to a lot of young wrestlers as well as several of my staff members and myself. He will be missed.”

In addition to his work at OSU, Dr. Allen was an active leader and mentor in the osteopathic medical community.

“Dr. Allen’s service as president to the American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI) advanced the professional standing of that organization and contributed to the growth of training programs nationally,” says Felix J. Rogers, DO. “Dr. Allen strengthened the academic standing of the JAOA and broadened its range of clinical publications. He used the JAOA as a forum to promote basic science and clinical research in the profession; he stimulated the participation of students and young physicians and supported the publication of expert opinion and clinical studies that would advance the distinctive role of osteopathic medicine.

“His clinical acumen, research and editorial skills, combined with a positive and supportive personal approach, allowed him to be a mentor to young doctors and established physicians alike. Above all, he demonstrated an enthusiasm and love of life that was infectious and permeated all his work.”

One comment

  1. John D’ACONTI DO

    He was a great teacher who was more concerned about you learning than ridiculing you in front of your peers.He was a gentleman and a scholar!!

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