Christopher Smith, M.D., has rejoined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Arkansas Children’s as professor and vice chair for primary care in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics and primary care service line director and medical director of ambulatory primary care services at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH).
Smith previously served UAMS and Arkansas Children’s in numerous leadership roles from 1989 to 2016, including as regional associate dean for the College of Medicine at the UAMS Northwest Campus in Fayetteville in 2011-2016. From 2016 until his return to UAMS, he was a professor and the Daniel C. Plunket Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Smith received his medical degree from the University of Mississippi in 1983 and came to UAMS for his internship and pediatrics residency. He spent three years in private practice in Clinton, Mississippi before joining the UAMS Department of Pediatrics faculty in 1989.
Smith served as associate director of the Pediatrics Residency during his first three years as a faculty member and then directed the program from 1992 to1997, when he was appointed vice chair for education in the department. Smith served for 12 years on the UAMS Graduate Medical Education Committee, including four years as chair.
As an educator, Smith has received numerous honors, including the 2008-2009 UAMS Chancellor’s Faculty Teaching Award, the 2009 College of Medicine Master Teacher Award, and numerous student-selected Red Sash Awards.
Smith’s clinical leadership roles at ACH included developing and serving as director of the Pediatric Hospitalist Service from 2003 to 2010. He also served as medical director of the ACH Express Care Unit in 2004-2009 and as associate medical director for the hospital in 2005-2011.
As regional associate dean for the College of Medicine from 2011 to 2016, Smith oversaw much of the initial growth of the medical education program at the UAMS Northwest campus. Among many initiatives, he worked with students and leaders of UAMS’ Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Professions colleges in the region to develop interprofessional educational experiences. While chair of pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine, Smith emphasized faculty development and promotion, and student, resident and faculty scholarly work. Under his leadership, the department developed a research infrastructure that led to more than doubling of the publications produced by the department while continuing as the largest provider of care in the state for children insured by Medicaid.