- Hematology; board certified
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 comprehensive care models for the treatment of individuals with sickle cell disease and her research has focused on new therapies for sickle cell disease. 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” distinction. 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 I will challenge them to be a partner in their care.
“Partnering in your care involves developing some sort of literacy about whatever condition you’re being evaluated for. I strongly emphasize my role and responsibility for educating the patient and bringing them to some understanding of whatever disease process they are being seen for. When patients gain an understanding of their diagnosis, they make more rational decisions about treatment and end of life issues. I believe that my job is to help them make the right choice - one that preserves their dignity.
“The foundation of my practice is built on compassion, trustworthiness, and feeling safe. It’s important to me that my patients feel that I am easy to talk to and that they can confide in me anything that is relevant to their medical condition. Through compassion and understanding, I hope to make a positive difference in their medical care and even their lives.
“I come from very humble beginnings, and I 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 our mutual patients. I enjoy working in a collaborative fashion, and I pride myself on being approachable and available to discuss the care of our mutual patients.”
- 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