Tomas Villarreal, MD, MPH

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Class of 2017


Undergrad: Brown University

Med School: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine

Hometown: Austin, TX


Why Albuquerque: I grew up in Austin until wanderlust took me to the frozen northeast for undergrad. After realizing this was a critical mistake I immediately made my way back to Texas for sun, instate tuition and border medicine in El Paso. It turned out the southwest is far and away the most beautiful part of the country and I did not want to end up anywhere else for residency. I even ended up writing my MPH thesis on New Mexico’s search and rescue operations, so I like to think I was on the arc to UNM EM from early on. No other program afforded the opportunity to be taught medicine by a gracious community population while leveraging the intellectual presence and university resources of an academic medical institution. The educational opportunities for wilderness and international medicine and the density of local outdoor recreation made it a joke that I would ever want to go anywhere else.

Life Before Med School: After the requisite pre-med life crisis I concluded a period of adventure traveling wasn’t nearly as thrilling as reading about HMG-CoA reductase in medical school so I enrolled straight from college.

Hobbies: Anything outside – climbing, trail running and adventure racing

Worst/Best job: Worst: Trying not to fall asleep sitting in a dark room looking at web data for a computer virus company. Best: Working the night shift on the pediatric ward at a county psychiatric hospital. I got to read lots of books and hang out one on one with the kids who couldn’t sleep.

Favorite Band: TOOL

Favorite Movie: I can’t even commit to dinner plans.

Anything else interesting: I love learning new instruments and can currently play over 8.

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