Alumni in Careers
Dr. Thaidra Gaufin, M.D., Ph.D. (MHS 2002) internal medicine.
By Frédéric Martin, Editor-in-Chief
THE YOUNGEST OF five children, Thaidra Gaufin was born in November 1983, in Fresno, to her parents, English (science) high school teacher Brenda and chemical engineer Frank, Madera residents since 1981. She was also eagerly greeted into the family by her four siblings Taunya, Tamera, Tressa, and Carl.
Thaidra was raised with other aspiring professionals, all of them achieving a minimum of two college degrees. Thaidra has continued her family’s vivid aspiration for advanced studies. Her academic career has been exemplary: Kindergarten through 6th grade at Berenda Elementary, she went to middle school in the Madera Ranchos and completed her high school work at the Madera High School through the 12th grade, finishing first in her 2002 class.
She moved to Provo, UT for her undergraduate studies and earned her BS in molecular and microbiology, in only three and a half years at Bringham Young University. A truly driven scholar, she obtained her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Tulane University, less than four years later, in 2009, researching the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV).
Next on her long list of remarkable achievements, she graduated from Georgetown University Medical School in 2013. In 2016, she completed her internal medicine residency at UCLA Medical Center-Olive View, took a Hospitalist job at the Palm Desert Eisenhower Medical Center for two years and, since 2018, Thaidra has been working under a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of California San Diego, where, next year, upon completing this year’s clinical work, she will concentrate her research on salmonella.
Although she recognized her many Madera teachers groomed her well for her academic journey, Thaidra attributes her solid high school preparation for college to Mrs. Sierra, her AP biology teacher. She became an avid runner while at MHS. Her love of running continues to this day, and on her free time, she has managed to run a few marathons, some of them overseas, but prefers the half marathon, whenever she can squeeze one into her very busy schedule. Her education and extracurricular interests have exposed her to many different locations throughout the United States and given her the opportunity to experience many different living environments. She enjoys traveling and trying new things: surfing, guitar playing, and the exhilaration of tidal bore rafting. Her mother told me Thaidra really enjoys helping patients and working with people, but also does have a keen affinity for research.
As her path seems to indicate, Thaidra appears to be torn between academia and in-the-field medical practice, a dichotomous hurdle she not only welcomes, but will likely conquer, as there does not seem to be any obstacle too great for her to overcome.