About May Pian-Smith, MD

My clinical specialty is obstetric anesthesia. Much of my clinical work and investigation centers on improving the health care of women, but within that realm, projects have spanned a wide spectrum from studying markers of endothelial dysfunction in pre-eclamptics to the role of alternative therapies for the management of menopausal symptoms.

In addition to enjoying the fruits of direct patient care, my work at HMS has provided wonderful opportunities to help shape the future of our specialty through innovations in education, including:

  • Developing techniques to engage the adult learner
  • Promoting deliberate practice and personal reflection in medical training
  • Using simulation to create controlled and experiential learning opportunities<
  • Promotion of patient safety practices through improved communication and interdisciplinary collaboration
  • A leadership role in the recruitment of our trainees, with the goal of enhancing an extraordinary, talented and diverse community
  • Tangible ways to contribute to the support, development and retention of talented and diverse faculty in the HMS community at large

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Clinical Interests:



Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
Fax: 617-724-9485

Medical Education

  • MD, SUNY at Stony Brook School of Medicine
  • Residency, Brigham and Women's Hospital

American Board Certifications

  • Anesthesiology, American Board of Anesthesiology

Accepted Insurance Plans

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.


Research Areas

  • Medical Education
  • Patient Safety
  • Simulation
  • Obstetric Anesthesia

Description of Research

I am interested in developing, studying and assessing innovative teaching modalities for adult learners, primarily with simulation-based exercises, theories based in organizational behavior, and with web-based technology. Improving the effectiveness of our learning creates opportunities for further exploration and creativity; it improves our communication, teamwork, professional satisfaction and ultimately the quality of our patient care.

My clinical research has been centered on improving our care of obstetric patients, including high-risk patients with preeclampsia, cardiomyopathy and other co-existing illnesses. I am also developing interdisciplinary and multi-institutional patient safety initiatives and studying the effects of different types of drills, use of check-lists, etc.

In all aspects of my work I take great pride and pleasure in mentoring residents, fellows and junior faculty with case reports and research projects. They have had opportunities to present their work at national and international meetings, and to prepare manuscripts for publication.