LAFP is proud to profile James Michael Smith, MD, FAAFP as the May Member of the Month. Learn more about Dr. Smith as he shares his story in his own words of being a family physician in rural Louisiana.
Dr. Smith attended Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe playing football as a strong safety for 4 years and attended LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans graduating in 1977, but part of the Class of 1978. My residency was at WO Moss Regional Hospital in Lake Charles, and served as Chief Resident in 1980. After residency, he spent 4 years at Altus Air Force Base in Altus, Oklahoma serving in the Family Practice Clinic as well as being Chief of Hospital Services.
In 1984, Dr. Smith joined the Acadian Family Practice Clinic in Rayne, LA working with Dr. Mark Dawson and Tom Curtis. In 1986, he moved to his hometown of Bastrop, LA and opened a solo practice that has continued to operate for the last 34 years. He share call at Morehouse General Hospital working as a hospitalist on the weekends, as well as serving as Vice Chief of Staff for the hospital. Dr. Smith is the coroner for Morehouse Parish and the jail doctor for the parish. He serve as Medical Director of Tensas Community Health Clinic in St Joseph, LA working with 4 nurse practitioners in St. Joseph and Vidalia, LA. Dr. Smith also served several years as Speaker of the House of Delegates of LAFP under Jean Aitken, MD along with being a District Director presently.
Dr. Smith is married to his wife, Melissa, for almost 45 years, and they have 3 sons, Brad, Stewart, and David along with 5 grandchildren. He enjoys caring for my patients and making his patients feel that he is doing his best to make their lives as healthy and care-free as possible. He believes demonstrating compassionate, Christian-based care for each patient and being available for his patients’ needs are what his practice goal is each day. He states, "Family Medicine is a rewarding job, but it requires a lot of work to make it profitable."
Dr. Smith plays golf and bow hunts in his spare time while living on a 125-acre farm with a 35-acre cypress lake in the front yard. Fishing and bush hogging on the tractor during the warm months keeps him busy at home.