Dr. Robert Smith returns to Northeast after 21 years in U.S. Army
A native of New Jersey, pediatrician Dr. Robert Smith is returning to the Northeast after 21 years spent as a U.S. Army doctor in Texas, Germany and Afghanistan.
Dr. Smith has joined Gifford Medical Center’s Randolph pediatric practice, bringing his decades of experience, commitment to continuity of care and warm sense of humor to Vermont families.
A graduate of Drew University in Madison, N.J., Dr. Smith went on to earn his master’s degree from the University of Vermont and then his doctor of osteopathic medicine from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine. His pediatric internship and residency were at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu.
Joining the Army helped provide scholarship money for Dr. Smith, then a young husband and father, to attend medical school and also allowed him to serve his country while seeing some of the world. He started his career in Texas and then moved to Germany in 1998, serving the majority of his career there as the head of pediatrics departments, primary care offices and health clinics at various U.S. military bases.
His most recent position was as chief of the Department of Pediatrics at the U.S. Army MEDDAC (Medical Department Activity) in Heidelberg, Germany and as a pediatric consultant to Europe Regional Medical Command.
From 2010-2011, he was in Kandahar, serving as a brigade surgeon. It was actually during down time in Afghanistan that Dr. Smith shopped for and bought his current home in Vermont.
He had maintained residency in Vermont since first going to college here in the 1980s and hoped to return upon his military retirement. That came just this month. He left Germany on July 1 and started at Gifford a week later on July 8.
“It’s a friendly hospital. It’s a great area,” says Dr. Smith with excitement over being able to practice medicine in a small community where he can build relationships with his young patients and their families.
Dr. Smith describes his style as warm and trusting. “The best compliment I’ve ever had is a child who said ‘Mommy, this guy is funny.’”
That humor leads to children being comfortable receiving care.
Dr. Smith provides care to children from birth through adolescents. Of special interest is ADHD, asthma, infectious disease and sports medicine or sports injuries, he notes.
Dr. Smith is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. He is a fellow with the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the American Osteopathic Association. He has garnered many awards throughout his career, including the Bronze Star Medal in 2011, an Order of Military Medical Merit in 2004, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Young Outstanding Uniformed Staff Pediatrician Award in 2002, multiple Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, three Army Achievement Medals and much more.
Dr. Smith lives in Fayston. He and wife Rosemarie have four children, two daughters who are married, a third in nursing school and a 10-year-old son. In his free time, Dr. Smith enjoys the outdoors, including downhill skiing, gardening, camping and hiking.
He is now accepting new patients. Call him at Gifford pediatrics at (802) 728-2420.