Tess Smith-Thomas, PhD



Dr. Tess Smith-Thomas is a licensed pediatric psychologist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine and Kentucky Children’s Hospital. She provides clinical care to children and families experiencing difficulty adjusting to an injury or illness. Dr. Smith-Thomas utilizes evidenced-based treatment approaches to reduce symptoms that may be interfering with medical care or life more generally. Dr. Smith-Thomas is also committed to conducting applied, clinically relevant research alongside and related to her clinical work. Broadly, her current program of research focuses on improving psychological outcomes for children with medical conditions through 1) developing refined screening approaches to better identify at risk children 2) reducing disparities through equitable dissemination of resources, and 3) increasing treatment efficacy by developing tailored interventions. She has also conducted a body of research focused on investigating etiological models of early childhood behavioral disorders in order to improve diagnostic assessment and intervention. Dr. Smith-Thomas also collaborates with the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress to implement trauma-informed care throughout the medical setting.

Faculty Rank

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Pedatrics

Training & Education


BS, Psychology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
BS, Psychology, Purdue University
MS, Clinical Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington


Health Psychology Internship Consortium, University of Kentucky


Pediatric Psychology, University of Kentucky