Sentara Family Medicine Doctor Wants to Be on Your Team
Preventive care: Listen and connect
Dr. Smith's mother is a registered nurse, so growing up, she often heard about her mom's experiences in medicine. Then, when she was in middle school, she witnessed a car hit a little girl riding her bike. "She wasn't seriously injured, but she was hurt and crying. In that moment I felt so helpless. I wanted to help her but didn't know how," Dr. Smith recalls. "That experience is what drove me to pursue medicine."
During medical school, she fell in love with family medicine. "I love treating people of all ages. I get to meet entire families and build connections," she says.
As a primary care physician, she also enjoys working with patients to prevent illness and improve their health and well-being. “I try to be a great listener to my patients and ask about things they might not realize are impacting their health,” she says.
Dr. Smith studied osteopathic medicine, which includes training in osteopathic manipulation. "We use our hands to diagnose and treat various conditions," she explains. "For example, if someone comes in with low back pain, we can use simple techniques in the office to ease the pain before considering medications or other treatments. If a patient has a runny nose and congestion, we can do lymphatic techniques to help relieve symptoms and improve their immune response."
What is integrative medicine?
Integrative medicine is a type of primary care medicine that focuses on wellness and disease prevention. It's a philosophy that combines traditional medicine with complementary therapies, such as nutrition, stress management techniques and other lifestyle changes. "So much of our everyday living can impact our health in ways we don't even realize,” Dr. Smith says. “Medications are great and often necessary, but sometimes we have other tools we can use to enhance their effectiveness or treat a condition.”
Sentara Integrative Medicine Physicians is guided by shared values. Our providers:
- Believe patients and providers are partners in healing.
- Consider all factors that influence health and wellness, including mind, body, spirit and community.
- Blend conventional and alternative methods to help patients be the healthiest they can be.
- Avoid invasive treatments and use natural tools to enhance health whenever possible.
Instead of focusing just on a patient's sore throat or high blood pressure, integrative medicine takes a holistic view and tries to focus on the entire person, Dr. Smith says. “The goal is to provide whole-person wellness.”
Dr. Smith attended medical school at the Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Family Practice.
She grew up in the Shenandoah Valley and is happy to be back in the area, where she and her husband have family. In their free time, Dr. Smith and her husband enjoy hiking and running with their energetic golden retriever. She also enjoys cooking and baking and exploring the great local food options.