CONWAY — Dr. Jennifer Smith says family medicine is about developing relationships. “Get to know your patients. Meet them where they are (in their health journey). Give them facts to make the best choices for their health.”
Smith, a resident of Fryeburg, Maine, will join the staff at Memorial Hospital’s Mt. Washington Valley Rural Health Primary Care practice in August.
“I am excited to get started and meet my patients,” she says. In addition to seeing patients of all ages, Smith plans to become involved in Memorial’s addiction recovery and treatment efforts.
Memorial Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Matthew Dunn says Smith is a well-respected family practitioner with years of experience and deep local ties.
“We are fortunate to welcome a provider with Dr. Smith’s credentials and reputation,” he said.
A Michigan native born into a family of nurses, Smith started college at Michigan State University with health care in in mind.
“I was a medical technology major,” she said, before deciding about “halfway through college” to pursue a career as a physician.
Since graduation from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Smith came to New England where she completed an internship and residency at Maine Dartmouth Family Practice in Augusta.
She says a large part of her practice is working with patients so they can make informed choices regarding their health care and lifestyles.
Another important aspect of family medicine, according to Smith, is helping patients “navigate and organize” their health care through a system that often includes multiple providers and services. This will be made easier at Memorial, Smith says, with the hospital’s growing specialty practices located on the campus.
“There are benefits to patients to having specialists right here,” she said, where specialists and primary care physicians work together to provide a cohesive health care team.
In addition to her family practice, Smith will also share her time assisting in Memorial Hospital initiatives such as substance abuse treatment and women’s health, especially as they impact family health. She has been interviewed numerous times on medication-assisted opiate use disorder treatment.
Smith was also a captain of the Army National Guard, serving in the Medical Command Center in Manchester, where she provided physicals for deploying and returning troops.
In her free time Smith enjoys hiking, traveling, relaxing at the river with her girls, gardening and her chickens. She is looking forward to completing the New Hampshire 4,000 Footers hikes.