Stephen Smith, MD
- Clinical Practice Director, Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute since December, 2009
- Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology board certified
What are your major responsibilities at Northwestern?
I function administratively as the Clinical Practice Director for the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute in management of the outpatient practice. I am basically a clinical, noninvasive general Cardiologist but I am also engaged in hypertension clinical trials. I have been interested in and involved in the business of medicine for years. In previous positions, I have been the Cardiovascular Service Chief of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, and an Associate Division Head of Henry Ford Hospital.
I am interested in Cardiovascular Disease in Athletes and have spoken nationally about this. I became interested in the topic years ago in the course of managing professional athletes with heart disease.
Is teaching important to you?
In my previous positions, I taught medical students, nursing staff, housestaff and fellows in physical diagnosis, electrocardiography, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular consultation. Teaching is very important to me and I always look for ways to do it better. It is always best to know your audience, work on their level and be interactive. Encourage questions, listen to their analysis of the data, and direct them to think beyond the didactics. As in all teaching and mentoring relationships, the learning occurs on both sides. It is not unusual for a student, resident or fellow to ask me something which made me think of the topic in a new way. I think the less effective instructors use only a didactic non-interactive approach.
How do you plan to make the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute the destination for cardiovascular care in Chicago?
We already have the talent, skills and quality. Having been in a number of medical institutions, I can assure you that the medical care here is superb. I see my role as making sure that everyone knows who we are and what we can do that the others cannot. This includes providing the best cardiovascular care, giving the most accessible service, and being the most responsive providers to our patients. We have already streamlined our clinics into using a LEAN process approach and expanded outreach will follow. The vast majority of the effort will be on an individual practitioner level where we interface with the patients and the community of providers. In the end, I want all of our patients and providers to know that when they want the best, they go to the Bluhm.
I was born in Bethesda Maryland and grew up in a military family near Washington, DC. Prior to coming to Northwestern, I lived and practiced cardiovascular medicine in the Detroit Metropolitan area. I am married to Cathrine Frank, MD, a Staff Psychiatrist with NMFF. We live downtown, near Northwestern. For fun I travel, read, and listen to a variety of music. I also scuba dive.