26th Annual Richard J. Smith Residents/Fellows Conference

May 29, 2015

The 26th annual Smith Day was held May 29, 2015 at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge, MA. This Smith Orator was Dr. Graham King from London, Ontario, Canada.

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.

Graham King, MD, Memorial Lecturer, Smith Day 2015, Hand and Upper Extremity Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

Dr. Graham King

2015 Richard J. Smith Memorial Lecturer: Graham King, MD

Dr. Graham JW King received his MD degree at the University of British Columbia. After completing a rotating internship at the University of Alberta, he went to the University of Toronto to train in orthopaedic surgery. During a research year in Toronto, he became interested in orthopaedic biomechanics and soft tissue healing. After qualifying as an orthopaedic surgeon in 1989 he completed a clinical fellowship in hand and wrist surgery and a Masters of Science degree at the University of Calgary. He then travelled to the Mayo Clinic to gain further clinical experience in wrist and elbow surgery and additional research experience in upper extremity bioengineering.

In 1992 he joined the Department of Surgery at the University of Western Ontario. He established the Bioengineering Laboratory at the Hand and Upper Limb Centre at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. With his collaborators he has developed strong linkages with the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Mechanical Engineering. Over the past 20 years the laboratory has been successful in attracting extensive peer review funding including CIHR, CAS, CAN and NSERC and has numerous industry collaborations. His current research interests focus on the biomechanics of the wrist and elbow as well as computer and image guided surgery. He has received the Premier’s Research Excellence Award from the Government of Ontario and the J. Edouard Samson Research Award from the Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society. He has represented the Canadian Orthopaedic Association as a North American Travelling Fellow and an American, British and Canadian Travelling Fellow. He has also served as the president of the Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society. He is currently a Professor in the Departments of Surgery, Medical Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Western Ontario, Chief of Surgery and Director of the Roth McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre at St. Joseph’s Health Centre.

Richard J Smith Day

Dr. Richard J. Smith

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.

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