Dr. Thomas Rigsby attended Vanderbilt University and he graduated cum laude in 1975, entering Vanderbilt Medical School the same year. Dr. Rigsby interned at the San Diego Naval Regional Medical Center. In 1980, he began a tour as the medical officer of Naval Construction Battalion 40 on the island of Diego Garcia, where he would serve until 1981.
Returning to Vanderbilt, Dr. Rigsby began his neurosurgical residency under Dr. William Meacham and completed his training under Dr. George Allen. During his residency he also completed a fellowship on skull-based tumors under Dr. Michael Glascock. At the completion of his residency in 1987, Dr. Rigsby was assigned to San Diego, where he earned the rank of commander before leaving the U.S. Navy in 1989. He subsequently spent three years practicing in St. Cloud, Minnesota before leaving in 1992 to join a partnership with Dr. Patrick Ryan in Montgomery, Alabama.