Patrick Carlsen Smith, MD, MPH, is a faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine. He is a triple Tar Heel, receiving his bachelor’s, medical & public health degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a former goalkeeper on the UNC Men’s Soccer team, he roots for only two sports teams—the Tar Heels & anyone playing against Duke.
Dr. Smith was born in Hawaii (has the birth certificate to prove it) & has lived in Oklahoma, Washington, Tennessee, Colorado & North Carolina. His background includes a variety of jobs such as waiting tables, roofing, data entry, construction work, cooking, remodeling & car sales. Prior to medical school, he worked as a counselor & teacher for troubled teenagers on the Outer Banks of North Carolina & then as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural health in the Amazon Jungle of Ecuador, where he ran around barefoot, drank the local brew called Chicha, was bitten by a monkey named Peco, collaborated with the locals to improve health & made some incredible friends.
Following medical school in Chapel Hill, Dr. Smith completed a residency in Family Medicine in Denver, where he was the Chief Resident as well as the Colorado Family Medicine Resident of the Year. He also completed a fellowship in surgical obstetrics & rural medicine. As a National Health Service Corps Scholar, he worked in a community health center for eight years in rural southeast Colorado providing full-spectrum family medicine care in a remote town along the Arkansas River, including nursing home, clinic, inpatient hospital medicine & obstetrics – he reveled in being the quintessential small-town doctor.
Together with his wife he met in the Peace Corps, Dr. Smith enjoys their four children & rescue dog. They spend time hiking, singing, fishing, reading, movies, gardening, playing games & traveling. They love getting involved in community activities like coaching kids’ soccer, choirs, orchestras, volunteer work & acting – as a family, they have been involved in over a dozen amateur productions like Mamma Mia, Dracula, Matilda, The Christmas Story, Legend of Sleepy Hallow, The Christmas Carol & many more.
“I have wanted to be a physician since I was seven years old. Although I took a round-about pathway, my life as a doctor is amazing. I love nothing better than seeing patients—from births to the end of life to everything in between. I consider it a true privilege to serve my community & every day I thank my lucky stars for what I do. I am happy going to work in the morning & thankful to come home to an amazing family!”
Areas of Interest
Full-spectrum family medicine including obstetrics
Fluent in Spanish, some Quichua