Dr. Richard J. Smith
25th Annual Richard J. Smith Residents/Fellows Conference
May 30, 2014 - Massachusetts General Hospital
Smith Day is in honor of Dr. Richard J. Smith, MD, who served as the Chief of the Hand and Upper Extremity Service from 1972 until 1987. Smith Day is a time for hand surgeons to present their original research and discuss this research with their peers. Dr. Smith was devoted to education, the pursuit of excellence and the advancement of the specialty of hand surgery, and Smith Day commemorates his legacy.
About Richard J. Smith, MD
Richard J. Smith, M.D. was an extraordinary individual and one who will not be easily replaced. Henry Mankin, MD, in writing Richard Smith’s obituary in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in 1987, stated so eloquently, “his capacities, talents, and commitment made him, in the eyes of man, our finest flower and the thirty years he gave to hand surgery, one of its finest periods.”
Dr. Smith was born in the Bronx, New York, attending the prestigious Bronx High School of Science. He received his college education at Brown University, graduating in 1951. His medical education was obtained at New York Medical College, where he was elected to AOA and graduated in 1955. Following a surgical internship at Bellevue Hospital, Richard began his Orthopaedic surgical training at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City, completing the program in 1960. During his training at the Hospital for Joint Diseases, he became a disciple of Emmanuel Kaplan, M.D., a then leading authority in anatomy of the hand and became determined to pursue a career in the relatively new field of hand surgery.
Following a two-year obligation to the Public Health Service in Boston, Richard Smith spent a year of Hand Fellowship, divided between Mr. Guy Pulvertaft in Darby, England and Dr. Joseph Boyes in Los Angeles, California. In 1963, Dr. Smith returned to the Hospital for Joint Diseases to join Dr. Kaplan and later in 1968 to succeed him as the Director of the Hand Service. During this time, he began to quickly establish himself as an outstanding clinician, surgeon, and most of all, educator.
In 1972, Richard moved to Boston along with Henry Mankin, M.D. to become the Chief of the Orthopaedic Hand Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital and, in 1980, was named Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. During his tenure at the MGH, which ended tragically with his untimely death in 1987, he expanded his activities in hand surgery to an international level and in 1982 served as President of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Despite all his commitments, he somehow found the time to be a devoted husband to his wife Jane and a devoted father to his daughters Lisa and Tracey, and late son James.
For all who had the unique good fortune to have known Dr. Richard Smith, studied under him, or worked with him in any capacity, what will endure most of all was his remarkable skill and devotion to education, the pursuit of excellence, and the advancement of the specialty of hand surgery.
Dr. Douglas Campbell
2014 Richard J. Smith Memorial Lecturer:
Douglas Campbell ChM, FRCS.Ed, FRCS(Orth), FFSEM(UK)
Doug Campbell is a Consultant Hand and Wrist Surgeon in Leeds, UK. In the last decade, he has established a renowned clinical service in the areas of injury reconstruction, sports related problems, and complex conditions of the wrist and hand.
Doug has always maintained his interest in surgical education and has been a member of the AO International Faculty since 1999. He has chaired courses in Switzerland, Holland, South Africa, Dubai and at the Instructional Course of the ASSH.
He has been Visiting Orthopaedic Professor in Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Hong Kong and to the Royal Society of Medicine. He has an established and specialist Sports Medicine & Performance practice in hand & wrist problems, being a Member of the Medical Advisory Board of the European PGA Tour as well as acting as specialist medical adviser to Olympic associations, professional soccer clubs, the Scottish Rugby Union, Premiership Rugby Union clubs, international cricket sides and Gymnastics. He is also a consultant to the Northern Ballet Theatre and he regularly treats professional musicians, both classical and contemporary.
Doug's research interests are mainly clinically based, although he has been involved as a lead clinical investigator in bone mineral density work in the distal radius. He has been the Chairman of the AO Hand Expert Group since 2005, leading the design of many of today’s contemporary hand & wrist implants.
In his spare time, Doug enjoys cycling, playing golf and travelling (increasingly with his wife, Kathy, now that his children are in postgraduate education). His daughter is a Physical Therapist and his son is studying Economics at Edinburgh University.