Provider Spotlight - Carolyn Thumser, MD


A chance to get to know your providers

Carolyn Thumser, MD

Carolyn Thumser is a Pediatrician who works in our Newburyport Office. She joined CHC in 1990.

Dr. Thumser is our most senior physician having joined the practice in 1990! She is entering her 32nd year at CHC. Although born in NJ, she was raised in Garden City on Long Island, New York. Her hometown was about 18 miles outside of NYC. She is the 3rd of 4 children, with a brother and two sisters. She loved the beaches on Long Island and being so close to NYC. She spent a few summers in high school and college working in an office building in midtown Manhattan, right at Rockefeller Center. Ultimately, preferring the country to the city and desiring more snow, she ventured upstate NY for college and medical school. Following in the family footsteps of her father and uncles she attended Colgate University (as did her younger sister). She majored in Biology at Colgate, and then went to medical school at the State University of NY (SUNY) Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. There was a big contrast between going to a small college in “cow country” and then living right off the Syracuse University (neighboring) campus while in med school. She notes that every time there was a football or basketball game at Syracuse, the student body would have spontaneous parades down the main “drag”, which is where her house was. It was fun for her to experience that “big school” environment too!

Coming from a pretty competitive family, she grew up playing many different sports including basketball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, track and volleyball. Her dad had been a state high jump champion, and during her track season, he used to come after work and help coach her in the high jump. She regrets that she did not inherit his vertical jump! In college though, she played softball, basketball, and volleyball. It is interesting to note that she was officially the last athlete at Colgate to play three varsity sports! The early 80’s was the beginning of “specializing” in a single sport and training year-round. It took a lot of discipline and organization for her to be “pre-med” and be in the gym or on the road all the time for competition. She had to manage brief overlaps in seasons where she would have to go to two practices a day, one for each sport. She was also the Sports Editor of the college newspaper!

Medical school seemed very straightforward compared to that! After graduating from Medical School, she completed her pediatric residency at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University. She was happy to be back near the ocean again! After her residency, she moved to Newburyport to join CHC. Finally, she had found a beautiful location where she could have her ocean, but also be close to snow, skiing, and Boston!

Shortly after coming to Newburyport, she met her husband Joe, an electrical engineer. They have been married 28 years, and have two children, Lauren and Peter. When their children were younger, they took numerous trips to Peten, the northern jungle of Guatemala to do medical mission trips through the Christian group “Hearts in Action”. They went out to remote villages, and while Dr Thumser was tending to medical care, her husband helped with various support roles, and their children were involved in the children’s ministry, which was essentially playing with the children while they waited to be seen by the doctors! Dr Thumser and her husband realized how important it was for their children to be exposed to how others live and reach outside of their own comfort zones and help others, even at a young age.

Carolyn and Joe are soon to be empty nesters with their two children now college graduates. Their oldest, Lauren, lives in PA with her husband Ian. She has two very different careers. She teaches voice and piano, but also is a head trainer at an equestrian school. Their son Peter just graduated from college and will be attending law school in the fall of 2021. They also have two cats, Gus and Paws, and a flock of ten chickens that they raise for eggs.

In her spare time Dr Thumser’s favorite activities are cooking, gardening, fishing, and boating.

Carolyn and Joe at their wedding.

Peter, Lauren, Ian, Carolyn, and Joe at Lauren and Ian’s wedding July 2020.

Carolyn rebounding during a college basketball game, Colgate versus Syracuse

Carolyn with her siblings. From left to right: Betty, Elaine, Bob, and Carolyn

The newest addition to the coop.

The family on vacation at the Grand Canyon.

Carolyn on the medical mission field in the Peten Jungle of Guatemala

Carolyn fishing (don’t worry she always throws them back)!

All About Dr. Thumser!

What is your favorite fruit?
Raspberry and peaches.

What music do you love?
The best music is from the 70s and early 80s. I also love Broadway musicals, jazz, and country music.

What is the last TV show you watched?
The shows I enjoyed most recently were ‘The Crown’ and ‘Call the Midwife’. What I found most interesting was that both shows moved through approximately the same time periods, so you were able to see an interesting contrast between life from the Palace versus the impoverished East Side of London.

What is your favorite book?
The James Herriot Series. I loved these as a child. As a young adult, I devoured mysteries, but now I love historical pieces and biographies.

What is your favorite movie?
A toss-up between ‘The Princess Bride” and “Les Mis”.

What is your Favorite Ice Cream Flavor?
Moose Tracks

What is your favorite vacation you have taken?
When our children were younger, we took a trip out west to Arizona and Utah. We visited the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park. Everybody should see the Grand Canyon if they can!

What did you want to be when you were a child?
I decided at age 12 that I wanted to be a pediatrician.

If you could have any other job, what would it be?
Either a veterinarian or a florist.

Do you have any hidden or useless talents?
I had a summer job as a switchboard operator in New York City!

What area of pediatrics are you interested in?
I really love toddlers and their psychology! It’s really a very fun age group, and it’s very satisfying to help parents understand their behavior and help them through those “terrible twos and threes.”

What’s the best part of CHC?
Dr Thumser can’t say enough about her awesome staff at CHC. It is remarkable how strong they stayed during the Covid outbreak and enabled CHC to stay open and be there for their patients. Her absolute favorite thing about CHC is she now gets to see the children of her former patients. It is such an honor! She is well into her second generation of patients, with more every year!


Children’s Health Care of Newburyport, Massachusetts and Haverhill, Massachusetts is a pediatric healthcare practice providing care for families across the North Shore, Merrimack Valley, southern New Hampshire, and the Seacoast regions.  The Children’s Health Care team includes pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners who provide comprehensive pediatric health care for children, including newborns, toddlers, school aged children, adolescents, and young adults. Our child-centered and family-focused approach covers preventative and urgent care, immunizations, and specialist referrals. Our services include an on-site pediatric nutritionist, special needs care coordinator, and social workers. We also have walk-in appointments available at all of our locations for acute sick visits. Please visit where you will find information about our pediatric doctors, nurse practitioners, as well as our hours and services. 


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