Smith AAFP Campaign 2023
Brent Smith, MD, FAAFP, for AAFP Board
The Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians is honored to announce the candidacy of Brent Smith, MD, FAAFP, for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Board of Directors. Family Physician’s sometimes feel like we are swimming upstream in the Mississippi River. I ask you to dive in, tackle our issues and Swim with Smith.
A little about Brent Smith
A native of Cleveland, Mississippi, Brent Smith is the son of a high school teacher and a nurse. Growing up in the home of a history teacher/football coach and a nurse instilled in him three lessons early: the importance of education, the value of teamwork and the greater successes it leads to, and the understanding that neither of the previous two points matter if you aren’t helping others.
As a 1st generation doctor, Smith developed a passion for Family Medicine during his third year of medical school at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. After completing residency, he finished his clinical education with a primary care sports medicine fellowship at the University of Alabama, combining an admiration for sports with a desire to treat the entire spectrum of medical conditions affecting athletes. During residency, fellowship, and his early career, Smith worked to broaden his knowledge background by completing a Bachelor of History from Ouachita Baptist University, a Master of Science in Clinical Education through the University of Edinburgh, and a Master of Legal Studies in Healthcare Law through the University of Oklahoma.
Engaged in leadership from the beginning of his journey in Family Medicine, Smith started as an alternate delegate to the Congress of Delegates as a student, worked through several other positions in the AAFP, MAFP and MSMA, and eventually went on to become resident member of the AAFP Board of Directors. Joining the AAFP Foundation, Smith worked with resident and student leadership development programs, a process he continues as lead consultant for the Emerging Leader Institute. Engaging at a state level through the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians, Smith works as a mentor for residents and students in Mississippi, encouraging leadership development and engagement at the state and national levels.
In his community, Smith volunteers as the team physician for local high schools and chairs the sports medicine advisory committee for the Mississippi High School Activities Association where he works to ensure the safety of all youth participants in Mississippi. He balances community service with an active clinical practice in Indianola, Mississippi, and serves as faculty for the Mississippi Delta Family Medicine Residency.
Dr. Smith is a proud uncle of Bailey, Garner, and Erin, godfather to more, and can usually be found after work at one of their sporting events or in his truck with his dog Klover, who will most likely be covered in mud.
Life teaches us some hard lessons, wanted or not. My hardest came at 10 years old, when I lost my father in an accident while cleaning up from storm damage with my brothers. Over the years, I have often thought of the love and wisdom he never got to share, and those thoughts often made me impulsive and impatient. Any opportunity that I felt offered potential for bettering a situation was met with an unfettered sense of urgency. The lesson I took away from losing my dad is that we are not guaranteed tomorrow to pursue opportunities. So, sometimes I push. I call it my passion, and my passion is strong.
As an emerging physician, I first became involved with the American Academy of Family Physicians, attending the National Resident and Student Conference. My involvement over the years with my Mississippi chapter and with AAFP have taught me a new lesson. Passion can spark change, but change occurs best in a setting where passions and perspectives work together with prudence and persistence. It’s the kind of setting where good policies prevail. The Board of Directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians is that kind of setting, and that’s why I am seeking this opportunity.
The opportunities and experiences I have received through working with AAFP have afforded me an outlet to grow and develop and have prepared me for what I hope is this next big step. I see the needs of our physicians, and I am passionate about addressing them. Our members deserve a workplace that does not exhaust them with trivial tasks and endless checkboxes. Our members should make decisions for their patients based on what’s best, not what makes insurance companies the most money. Our residents and students deserve to enter a system that respects their unique potential to impact and reinvigorate the system. I have big passion to see some big changes around these issues. I will bring my passion to the table and work with the Board of Directors to effectuate positive changes and viable solutions. I humbly ask your support to be part of that change.