Thomas Kern Ph.D.

Photo of Thomas Kern, Ph.D.
Faculty profile
  • APOM Director of Pain Psychology

Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine School of Medicine

Accepting new patients

4.9 out of 5 (206 Ratings, 70 Comments)


  • Psychology

Special focus on

  • Health Psychology


  • Ph.D., University of Missouri 1992


Dr. Kern specializes in helping patients manage chronic pain and other chronic conditions.  His emphasis is on improving quality of life and increasing functioning within the reality of having a chronic condition.  Pain affects much more than the part of the body that hurts and Dr. Kern helps patients manage all of the life disruption that accompanies a difficult medical problem.

 He spends his spare time with his family and he enjoys hobbies including making pottery and sculpture, working on an old sports car, and going fly fishing.

Read more


  • English

Patient Ratings

4.9 out of 5 (206 Ratings, 70 Comments)

The patient ratings score is an average of all responses to the question "How likely would you be to recommend this provider to your family and friends (on a scale of 0 to 10)" on our nationally-recognized NRC patient surveys.

Patient Comments

  • May 03, 2019

    Dr Kern was amazing. I felt very comfortable with him. He is extremely knowledgeable and easy to talk to.

  • May 02, 2019

    Dr. Kern is a very good listener. He understands my different kinds of pains and always suggestions many ways I can reduce them or cope with them. I have multiple health conditions which cause me a complex set of pains he has helped me deal with. He has a very friendly and kind in demeanor, which makes him easy to talk with. He appears to have extensive knowledge of how the bodies nervous system work in concert with the brain to create or reduce pain.

  • Apr 27, 2019

    I really liked Dr. Kern. He was the right amount of friendly. I'm in line for a 2nd bariatric surgery, and I'm a little frustrated by the expense of having to do it again. Dr. Kern's easy approach gave me a chance to process how I was feeling, internally grasp that it's not his fault that I'm back and justified the existing process and importance of the policies without being defensive in any way. He was kind and pleasant, accepting of my personal perspectives.

  • Apr 26, 2019

    I thought Thomas Kern was amazingly nice, motivating and knowledgeable.

  • Apr 23, 2019

    Knowledgeable patient willing to listen

  • Apr 22, 2019

    Dr. Kern is wonderful. He listens so well, he's skilled, he's warm, you know, makes you feel real comfortable. He's just very astute and experienced and professional and helpful..... extremely helpful and I think he's wonderful and excellent. I would definitely recommend him and I appreciate his help so much.

  • Apr 15, 2019

    I would absolutely see this provider again, he was understanding had great communication and really connected with me as a patient.

  • Apr 06, 2019

    Dr. Kern was very friendly very open. We had a good rapport and he gave me information that I wasn't aware of regarding bariatric surgery and I appreciated his input and his follow through. Thank you.

  • Mar 30, 2019

    It's easy to talk to them and all my questions are answered to me to understand.

  • Mar 16, 2019

    He is very open and kind, which make him easy to talk with. He is very knowledgeable in was to reduce chronic pain from the neurological side of the equation. I am experiment with his techniques with some degree of success, but take a reel commitment to work. He is preparing me for living with and managing chronic pain in my later years of life.

  • Mar 16, 2019

    I enjoyed having this provider. He was very nice and very appropriate and appreciative. Thank you.

  • Mar 14, 2019

    Dr. Kern provides me with the tools to carry on in my life. I consider him an asset and am grateful to him.

  • Mar 11, 2019

    Dr. Kern is extremely kind, compassionate, a good listener. Helped me come up with wonderful stress relieving techniques, ways to deal with my pain.

  • Mar 08, 2019

    Dr. Kern is excellent in a purely clinical sense, but what impresses me most is his genuine kindness and sincerity and his very practical ideas to better deal with severe, chronic pain. This is literally “pain management.” Other programs I have tried are merely medication and addiction management masquerading as pain management. Each time I start the session I am usually crying and I when I leave I am usually laughing with Dr. Kern laughing with me. It is a pleasure to see him and I am very grateful. —[Name]

  • Mar 03, 2019

    He listened to what I said. I like that. I look forward to more sessions with him.

  • Feb 11, 2019

    Dr. Kern makes me feel so at ease and he really listens and has solid usable comments about how I can improve and do things differently to be more successful. Highly recommended!

  • Feb 08, 2019

    I felt informed, welcome and accepted. Dr. Kern was thorough and took his time with me. I didn't feel rushed.

  • Jan 24, 2019


  • Jan 18, 2019

    When Dr. Kern came out to greet me he was smiling and had a kind look about him. I very much appreciated his professionalism. He was also very open to explaining anything I had questions about.

  • Jan 17, 2019

    He is a great listener and knows how to flow with the client and then give science backed information for different activities that might help my 'issue' become less so.He laughs and is a straight shooter as my dad says. I always walk away with something not radical, but just right for me to integrate into my life. Thanks Dr. Kern.

  • Jan 06, 2019

    Dr. Kern has to be one of the most compassionate, empathetic, caring, individuals I've ever met in the medical field. He listens very carefully and gives excellent feedback. I would definitely recommend him to somebody seeking counseling.

  • Jan 01, 2019

    he was nice easy to understand.

  • Dec 28, 2018

    Kind & Knowledable

  • Dec 24, 2018

    Great provider he was very good explaining everything to me thank you so much for great service!!

  • Dec 22, 2018

    He was really great

  • Dec 13, 2018

    I have going to him for approx. 10 yrs. he is the best mental health Doc I have ever had. He just gets me.

  • Dec 09, 2018

    Dr.Kern was welcoming and answered my questions.

  • Dec 06, 2018

    Caring, insightful, helpful, listens, and provides great feedback.

  • Dec 06, 2018

    I have been seeing Dr. Kern for about a year off and on. He is extremely professional, very compassionate, but also he's able to call you out on something without making you feel bad about it, which is I think a very important part of the therapy, so that you're not in denial about what actually is going on. I always look forward to having my appointments with him because I feel like they are very effective and he is extremely helpful. Thank you.

  • Dec 06, 2018

    Dr. Kern is amazingly helpful. He's wonderful. He's an excellent listener. He has excellent ideas of ways to help. He doesn't offer them too soon, we got to talk first, and then he... he's very perceptive and patient. I just think he's terrific and he's helped me immensely. So I appreciate him deeply and I feel very lucky to have Dr. Kern as a doctor. I appreciate him very much.

  • Dec 02, 2018

    He was very attentive, he offered great suggestions, I never felt judged, I never felt rushed, I felt he genuinely cared smbut my success.

  • Nov 29, 2018

    My experience with the doctor was very fine. He had read a lot of the stuff beforehand about my background. So, he was really prepared to talk with me and understand what my stress issues were and we seem to discover something that you could take - I could take action on, and so that was very useful. So, he's hard to get to. He's got about two months leave time for the next visit. So, I'm kind of disappointed that, but otherwise, he's just a super, super doctor. Thank you.

  • Nov 26, 2018

    Dr. Kern is intelligent and he's in tune with his patients. He has probably giving me the most help of any counselor that I have seen and I'm not a spring chicken ao I've been with Dr. Kern for 10 years and he's just by far the best.

  • Nov 05, 2018

    I thought Dr. Kern was very professional, very compassionate to my situation. He listened very well and responded to my questions that, you know, that I had and effectively answered everything that I was looking to have answered that day. I'd recommend him to anybody that I know personally. I feel confident he would do an excellent job with them.

  • Nov 04, 2018

    It was very enjoyable, and informative. Very professional yet relaxed and welcoming.

  • Oct 31, 2018

    Talks to you in a way you can understand

  • Oct 31, 2018

    Knowledgeable and kind

  • Oct 28, 2018

    Knowledgeable and dull.

  • Oct 13, 2018

    Great Listener! Easy to talk to, great personality, great Dr!

  • Oct 13, 2018

    He was very informative, and brought some issues to my attention

  • Oct 06, 2018

    Dr. Kern was professional, knowledgeable and competentHe provided some great suggestions for me

  • Oct 03, 2018

    He was nice, polite, informative.

  • Sep 29, 2018

    Dr. Kern is my rock. Hes my advisor. I'm glad hes my doctor!!

  • Sep 25, 2018

    He is so easy to talk to and seems to know just the right thing to say to help the situation.

  • Sep 23, 2018

    This was a bit of a stressful thing not really knowing what to expect going into it. The dr. Made me very relaxed and comfortable.

  • Sep 19, 2018

    Wonderful provider! Very kind and informative. Made me feel so relaxed.

  • Sep 17, 2018

    The Dr. is experienced and professional. He is also very honest and down to earth. That friends, is why he?s busy. Great Dr!

  • Sep 12, 2018

    He is amazing. He listens and provides support in many different ways. Always a pleasure to talk with.

  • Sep 10, 2018

    Very nice and helpful

  • Sep 06, 2018

    First time meeting with him. He was kind and listened. I felt heard.