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Meet Dr. Nancy Smith of Frankfort

Published on Apr. 08, 2020

Get to know Dr. Nancy Smith, board-certified family medicine physician at the Frankfort Medical Group.

How do you improve lives in your practice?

Frankfort Medical Group Munson Healthcare

Dr. Nancy Smith: I’ve always told patients that I want them to feel like they’re being taking care of like family and in the way that they choose. I always provide the pros and cons and the evidenced-based information, but their healthcare decisions are ultimately up to them. If a patient tells me that they don’t want to be aggressive about a health issue, we work together to identify a care plan they’re comfortable with.

Why did you decide to practice medicine?

My goal was always to go to medical school. When I was 16, my father got colon cancer and was sick for two and a half years before he passed. This was in 1984, before end-of-life and hospice care were well-established. So we provided nearly all his care at home. This altered my pre-medicine goals and I stayed home to care for him while attending Oakland University.  

He died in September and I was feeling beat up. I didn’t think medicine was an option for me. I transferred to Kalamazoo College as an economics major and ended up going back for my Master of Science degree in public accounting. Once I got into a career as a public accountant, I realized I couldn’t imagine my life this way. So I spent two years getting the prerequisites needed for medical school and got into Wayne State University early admission.

Why family medicine?

Having done something for a career that I didn’t fully enjoy, it was really important to me to choose a specialty that inspired me. I found that in family care. I love the long-term aspect and the opportunity to make a difference in the evolution of patient’s mental and physical health, and to really develop relationships. I was true to myself at the time and I haven’t regretted it since.

What brought you to Northern Michigan?

My Dad used to bring us Up North. We had friends with a place on Clam Lake and we’d stay there in our camper. When I was fourteen, I started bugging my Dad to move here. As I got older, I realized I didn’t want to spend my working years racing back and forth downstate, so as soon as I finished my residency, I moved here and started working with Munson Medical Center. The opportunity to live and work in these northern Michigan communities, to raise my kids here, and to have recently met and married my partner, Ryan Smith, has been a huge gift.

Why Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital?

The great part about Paul Oliver is the engagement of the team and the commitment to really good health care. An engaged team is foundational in providing high-quality health care. I see such a good balance of supporting our healthcare team, so they, in turn, can provide excellence to patients.

What’s special about the Frankfort Medical Group?

I love to surround myself with people who inspire me and who I can really connect and communicate well with. I’ve found that here. Between the three of us, we cover three specialty areas and also work in the Paul Oliver emergency and acute care departments. Our experiences and this structure allows us to provide consistent care lines and eliminate inefficiencies—something that is hard to find in medicine today.

Schedule your appointment with Frankfort Medical Group

Dr. Smith is welcoming new patients at Frankfort Medical Group, a service of Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital. Learn more about the practice and reach out to schedule your appointment.