A reprint of his acceptance speech
I would like to express my profound gratitude to the UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Association
for this high honor and thank Dr. Shagufta Yasmeen for nominating me.
In reflecting on my career to date, it is clear that, in certain things, I have been extremely fortunate.
It started with a great suggestion from my father that I consider a career in medicine at a time when
I was finishing graduate school and was uncertain about a career in laboratory science.
I had the great fortune to meet Raymond Teplitz, M.D. at that time. No one had been a physician in my
family and Ray, to whose lab I went to for a postdoc, took me in and was my first career mentor, allowing
me to see that, perhaps, I could contribute in the field of medicine. I have always admired Ray's kindness,
intellectual curiosity and integrity. Peg and I will always be grateful to Ray and Marilyn for treating
us like family, and I want to thank them for traveling far to be with us tonight.
Once more I had great fortune I was accepted at the UC Davis School of Medicine. The thing I recall
most about medical school is the fabulous teaching faculty, both basic and clinical science many of
whom taught and inspired me. During the third year, I enjoyed clerkship, convincing myself that I had
found my career path in each, so that by the end of the year I was thoroughly confused. Fortune again
came to my rescue. During my final clerkship in Obstetrics and Gynecology, I met Dr. Richard Oi.
Dr. Oi's example of a compassionate teaching physician has stayed with me, and he had a tremendous influence
in guiding me toward a career in obstetrics and gynecology, and later in gynecology oncology. I have been
continually grateful that he has stayed on our faculty, providing inspiration to generations of students
and residents. Thank you Dr. Oi for everything and thanks to you and Alice for joining us this evening.
Eventually my career presented me with the challenge of accepting a leadership position. My father, again,
gave me advice: "never be a chairman… but if you must, be sure you have a great administrative assistant."
Again I had great fortune. Pamela Bigelow became our MSO. Her unfailing example of professionalism and
her vision for Women's Health continue to guide me. I would like to thank Pamela for her steadfast commitment
to the School's missions, and for joining us tonight.
Finally I would like to thank Dean Silva for his trust and support, and my family, Peg, Megan, Caitlin,
and Duncan for their inexhaustible faith, encouragement and understanding.
Thank you all. I am profoundly honored.
Dr. Smith has been chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UC Davis Medical Center
since 1997. Under his outstanding leadership, the department has made excellent progress in all areas
of growth, including medical student and resident education, research, and outreach programs for the uninsured.
Dr. Smith is widely respected in the medical community and he is an honor to his alma mater.