FQHC TRACK RESIDENT: SILER CITY
Hey friends! My name is Hannah Smith and I am from the amazing state of North Carolina! I grew up in a small town, Mount Pleasant, where I spent my summers as a child hanging out with the cows and bailing hay and then my summers throughout high school volunteering in the local hospital. I went to college at Appalachian State University and then medical school at East Carolina University. I found passion in organized medicine early on when I was the FMIG president the second half of my first year and then got involved with our local North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians. Seeing the disparities day in and day out both in my hometown and in the healthcare field, I knew I wanted to be a part of the bigger picture and help create change for my patients and for my colleagues. As medical students we have so much time with our patients and with our colleagues to dive into the barriers to care, both health care and selfcare. I felt that there was no one better to advocate for change than those experiencing it and walking through it with those around us.
To better understand the health policy standpoint of barriers to care, I became more involved with the North Carolina Medical Society, eventually serving on their legislative cabinet to learn from the physicians who are advocating and discussing legislation that will impact our practice and our patients, and to give a student/resident perspective to different policies as well. To better understand how to impact the future medical students and residents both who choose to specialize in Family Medicine and those who choose a different specialty, I became involved with the American Academy of Family Physicians. I served as a Family Medicine Interest Group Coordinator, working within and amongst organizations to expose students to Family Medicine and grow our colleagues and our allies.
I am a huge advocate for being involved in our communities alongside learning about our patients and colleagues. I completed a public health certificate in ethnic and rural health disparities and hope to continue to use this education as I learn about my clinic and hospital patients across many counties, demographics, and origins. As a rural track resident, I get to meet patients from Chatham County, Orange County, Durham County, and Wake County as well as many others that come to UNC for their healthcare. I also have a huge passion for health education especially around reproductive health, as I was a Schweitzer Fellow and worked to teach “Rights, Respect, Responsibilities” curriculum to 2nd grade through 12th grade students in our community.
I am so excited to continue to grow my network in North Carolina by coming to UNC for residency, and the rural track feels like it was created to encompass all my interests. From caring for patients who are just like my parents, to learning Spanish to better care for migrant farm workers, I am learning so much from my community every day as they learn about their health from our team. My colleagues expose me to new avenues in Family Medicine every day and I see my ideal practice being shaped by the mentors and friends at UNC. Outside of medicine I enjoy reading, being a cat parent and plant parent, Pilates, ballroom dancing, and hanging out at the abundance of outdoor spots in the Chapel Hill and Durham area!