2000 Logan Graduate
If there is a chapter in How to Win Friends and Influence People dedicated to health care, Dr. Michelle Smith might have written it.
She works in a rapidly emerging area of health care, where diverse providers deliver a holistic range of solutions designed to meet the needs of each specific patient.
Dr. Smith joined the Mercy in 2002 to lead the Integrative Medicine and Therapy Services department, and while the Sisters of Mercy were strong supporters of integrative medicine, Smith said there was a healthy dose of skepticism about it among the physicians in charge of medical care. That quickly faded as physicians saw better outcomes among referred patients.
The program started with chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy. Smith added more services to the practice, including auriculotherapy, healing touch, reflexology, guided imagery, aroma therapy and nutrition counseling. The team also expanded to the inpatient setting, and later provided therapy for cancer patients as part of Mercy’s Survivorship Training and Rehab (STAR) certified rehabilitation program.
“We kept track of outcomes with the oncology patients, looking at pre- and post-pain levels, anxiety levels and nausea,” Smith said. “We saw phenomenal outcomes in oncology and that group of physicians shared those results with other Mercy physicians.”
Smith cites collaboration as one of the most important attributes of her position. “I enjoy the best of both worlds. The physicians handle the medical management and we offer ideas and solutions based on chiropractic. We are a group working together for the benefit of the patient.”
Looking back on her time at Logan, “it was tough,” she says. As a single parent facing a demanding course load, she found phenomenal support in her fellow students. “We picked each other up, and while it wasn’t easy, it was rewarding.”
Advice for tomorrow’s students? “Believe in what you are doing. You have to be the image of and adopt what you recommend to your patients. You have to live it.”
Dr. Michelle Smith
2000 Logan Graduate