Karen Thiele

Karen Thiele, M.D.

Assistant Professor she/her


I had a long and exciting career as an intensive care nurse, and then as a flight nurse, for two decades prior to heading back to medical school. Having called Reno my home since 1994, I never looked anywhere else but to UNR to pursue a dream of completing medical school. I fell in love with the family medicine specialty during the second half of my third year in med school when I spent a wonderful day on hospital service with UNR Family Medicine seeing newborns, pediatric inpatients, adults and geriatrics all in the space of one day. Since then I've enjoyed the broad scope of practice of a family doctor and have patients that encompass all ages and stages of life. Special interests of mine include primary care of the LGBT+ community, providing cross gender hormone therapy for gender diverse patients, women's reproductive and post-menopausal health, and PrEP. Since joining the Family Medicine department as faculty in 2019, I continue to build a diverse panel of patients who identify all along the gender spectrum.


I met my husband Jon, a Navy veteran, when we were both working on the helicopter together at Care Flight in Reno, where he enjoyed a second career after twenty years flying off aircraft carriers in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. We have a son who is at UNR studying music education. He is an amazing musician specializing in trumpet and all things DCI. We have a very hairy Golden Retriever named Brodie who is our constant companion inside the house and out and who hates the car.


I'm a devoted Band Mom, an ardent fan of DCI (Drum Corps International), and a supporter of all things related to the marching arts, jazz, orchestra, and wind ensembles. I am addicted to Pilates. In my spare time I love all that the Reno-Tahoe area has to offer, especially anything that gets me onto the waters of Lake Tahoe either by kayak or SUP or Sarah’s boat!

Professional experience

  • Chief resident 2019
  • Member, Alpha Omega Alpha


  • Residency in Family and Community Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno 2016-2019
  • M.D., University of Nevada School of Medicine 2016
  • BSc (Nursing)--Nursing, McGill University, 1991
  • Associate of the McGill Conservatory of Music at Montreal, Piano Performance
  • Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music at Toronto, Piano Performance