Hedy Smith, MD, PhD, is a hematologist and member of the American Society of Hematology who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hemoglobin disorders, including thalassemia and sickle cell disease; bleeding and thrombotic disorders; cytopenias; immune disorders, such as immune thrombocytopenic (or ITP), autoimmune hemolytic anemias, and common variable immune deficiency; and myeloproliferative neoplasms and other malignant blood diseases. As part of the diagnostic process, Dr. Smith performs bone marrow biopsies to identify myelodysplastic syndrome, leukemias, and lymphomas.
Dr. Smith earned a PhD in immunology from the University of New Mexico before receiving her medical degree from the University of Tennessee. She then joined Tufts Medical Center, School of Medicine for residency training in internal medicine before completing a three-year fellowship in hematology and oncology at the Tufts Medical Center. She stayed at the Hematology/Oncology Division at Tufts Medical Center where she practiced for 11 years as an attending physician. Dr. Smith has a passion for teaching and mentorship of residents and fellows and, in recognition of her dedication to this aspect of academic medicine, she was awarded “The Career Award for Excellence in Housestaff Teaching” in 2016.
Her clinical interest is in non-malignant hematologic disorders including bleeding and thrombotic disorders such as hemophilias, von Willebrand disease, ITP, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), paroxysymal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and Myeloproliferative disorders (Polycythemia Vera, Essential thrombocythemia, hyerp-eosinophilic disorders, myelofibrosis). Much of her research has been on comprehensive care models for the treatment of individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD), as well as novel therapies for SCD. Dr. Smith most recently served as Principal Investigator in the Phase III clinical trial being conducted by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, which evaluates the efficacy and safety of a novel therapy for sickle cell disease. She was also co-investigator of a large national trial exploring bone marrow transplantation as a curative approach in young adults with severe sickle cell disease.
Currently, there is a wide therapeutic landscape in development for sickle cell disease and Dr. Smith is passionate about her role as a clinical leader in this area of Hematology. She has also been heavily involved in community efforts aimed at improving the lives of patients and families affected by sickle cell disease. For this, she was honored by the Boston City Council and the Boston Chapter of the Sickle Cell Disease Association “For Excellence in Medicine and advocacy on Behalf of Patients with Sickle Cell Disease.”
Dr. Smith has been the recipient of US News and World Report’s “Top Doctors” and “Boston Top Doctors” distinctions. She was nominated for and received honorable mention for the “Schwartz Compassionate Award in Medicine” in 2005.
Philosophy of Care
“The right plan of care for all patients should be comprehensive, holistic, and must acknowledge that there is a person and a story behind the disease with which the patient is diagnosed. Patients under my care will always be treated with respect and will be invited to be a partner in their care".
“Partnering in your care involves developing some sort of literacy about your medical condition. I strongly emphasize my role and responsibility for educating the patient and bringing them to an understanding of their disease. When patients gain an understanding of their diagnosis, they make more rational decisions about treatment, including issues related to end of life. I believe that my job is to help the patient make reasonable choices - one that preserves their dignity".
“My practice is built on compassion, trustworthiness, and making the patient feel safe. It is important to me that my patients feel that I am approachable and accessibile. Through compassion and understanding, I hope to make a positive difference in their medical care and their lives".
“I come from very humble beginnings, and have always aspired to give back through my vocation. My current position is the culmination of a dream I had for myself and I can’t imagine doing anything else. My beginnings have formed me and continue to inform the things I consider important".
“Referring physicians should expect that I will be diligent about communicating with them on their patient. I enjoy working in a collaborative fashion, and I pride myself on being willing and open to discussing the nuances of each case.”
- Fellowship Program: Tufts Medical Center (2003)
- Residency Program: Tufts Medical Center (2000)
- Medical School: University of Tennessee - Memphis (1997)
- Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Hematology
- Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine
- MedStar Washington Hospital Center