Gifford welcomes fourth podiatrist

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Wed, 08/12/2009 - 7:09am -- admin

Gifford Medical Center in Randolph has added a fourth specialist in an area where demand for local and regional care is great – podiatry.
Podiatric Surgeon Dr. Paul Smith joined Gifford in July and is seeing patients both at the Randolph hospital and Gifford’s Sharon Health Center. Smith, a Vermont native, joins Gifford from a three-year podiatric surgery residency program at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., and following four years at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, where he collected his doctor of podiatric medicine in 2006.
He previously worked as a physician assistant to an orthopedic surgeon in Littleton, N.H., for seven years – work that included assisting in surgeries, making inpatient hospital rounds, emergency room evaluations, patient education and sports medicine, and performing office procedures like casting and suture removal.
“I wanted to perform my own surgeries,” says Dr. Smith of what drew him to medical school and now a career in podiatry and sports medicine. “Plus I had been involved in sports all of my life and I was interested in the sports medicine side of podiatry.”
Dr. Smith was born in Rutland and grew up in Hartland, graduating from Hanover High School in 1988. He attended the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I., and graduated in 1992 with a degree in corrective and adaptive physical education. He went on to Ohio’s Cuyahoga Community College – one of only three schools in the country to offer a physician/surgeons assistant program.
Upon completing his residency, Dr. Smith wanted to return to his native Vermont.
He applied at Gifford and when he met the hospital’s team of podiatric providers – Dr. Nicolas Benoit, Dr. Kevin McNamara and Dr. Rob Rinaldi – Dr. Smith knew it was “fate.”
“All three of us just clicked immediately. It just felt like the right fit,” he said.
Gifford provides podiatry in Randolph, at the Gifford Health Center at Berlin and at the Sharon Health Center, which has a sports medicine focus.
The addition of Dr. Smith to the Randolph and Sharon practices means increased access to care for patients.
“Dr. Smith will help to further enhance the quality podiatric care here at Gifford by increasing podiatric exposure, decreasing time patients may wait for a visit and contributing to our team effort to be the authority on foot and ankle pathology in central Vermont,” said Gifford’s Dr. Benoit.
Dr. McNamara, who has worked at Gifford for 19 years and is specially certified in wound care, calls the medical center’s team with the addition of Dr. Smith “the most well-rounded and complete podiatry group in northern New England, maybe all of New England.”
“Dr. Smith is coming to us right out of residency at a very well-respected institution, where he received topnotch, advanced and thorough training. With such complete training and knowledge, our group can provide comprehensive care for all pathology of the foot, ankle and lower leg,” said Dr. McNamara.
Dr. Smith is a member of the American College of Food and Ankle Surgeons and is board qualified in both foot surgery and reconstructive rear foot/ankle surgery by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. Dr. Smith’s clinical interests include sports medicine, reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, and treating foot and ankle trauma.
Dr. Smith now lives in Randolph with his wife and 11-year-old daughter. In his free time, he enjoys running, weightlifting, hiking and kayaking.
Call Dr. Smith in Randolph at (802) 728-2490 and in Sharon at (802) 763-8000.