Melissa D. Tonn


Dr. Melissa Tonn is one of the most respected occupational medicine physicians in America.  She holds three degrees from Rice University and two degrees from the University of Texas, and is licensed to practice medicine in many states (Texas, California and Florida). Dr. Tonn holds three teaching appointments within the University of Texas system, including Dell Medical School. 

Dr. Tonn is board-certified in occupational medicine. As president and chief medical officer of OccMD Group, she delivers expertise on complex work injury issues, including extent of injury and return to work. Dr. Tonn has published papers on these and other subjects, including ground-breaking research in peer-reviewed medical journals found here. For decades, she has been integrally involved with workers’ compensation programs for major public and private employers, and served in leadership roles for large Texas and national occupational injury and disability professional associations and local non-profits.

Dr. Tonn is a fellow in the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American Academy of Disability Evaluation Physicians (now International Academy of Independent Medical Evaluators) and is a Diplomate in the American Academy of Pain Management.

She is a two-time past president of the Texas College of Occupational Environmental Medicine and served on the medical advisory committee to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission for many years. A past member of the American College of Occupational Environmental Medicine Board of Directors, Dr. Tonn has also been elected to the American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians (now known as the International Academy of Independent Medical Evaluators) Board of Directors, where she served two terms on the board and in additional leadership positions, including president in 2012. In 2019, Dr. Tonn was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Academy of Independent Medical Evaluators for her contributions to the field.

Dr. Tonn was appointed by Governor Perry to serve on the Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents from 2011 to 2019. She also holds an appointment to the Texas Medical Board District 2 Review Committee, to which she was reappointed in 2012. She has been an adjunct assistant professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health since 1995 and an associate professor and site preceptor for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler since 2003. She was appointed as clinical assistant professor of population health in the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin in September 2017 and to The Rice University Alumni in Medicine Board of Directors in October 2017. In 2020, she was appointed to the Parkland Foundation Board. She served for many years as teaching faculty for the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation Designated Doctor training.

Dr. Tonn has extensive experience in the development of physician networks, cost containment and utilization management programs and on-site clinics.  She consults with a number of large, nationally recognized corporations on occupational and non-occupational issues, including workers’ compensation, employee health and wellness, disability management and international travel. For almost 30 years, she has worked with many of the companies offering responsible alternative injury benefit plans in Texas. She has been actively involved in developing educational programs for physicians, nurses, adjusters and employers, most recently on such topics as evidence-based medicine, causation and extent of injury, assessment of minor head injuries, the effects of biopsychosocial comorbidities and social determinants of health on claim outcomes and return to work.

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