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Dr. Robert L. Smith

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Information about Dr. Robert L. Smith

Profile image of Dr. Robert L. Smith

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Professor
Physician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue and Red
Favorite Food:
Collard Greens, Potatoes, Okra, Grits and Eggs
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New Orleans
Favorite Quote:
Keep It Simple

Birthplace

Born:
12/20/1937
Birth Location:
Terry, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Professor
Physician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue and Red
Favorite Food:
Collard Greens, Potatoes, Okra, Grits and Eggs
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New Orleans
Favorite Quote:
Keep It Simple

Birthplace

Born:
12/20/1937
Birth Location:
Terry
See how Dr. Robert L. Smith is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Professor and physician Dr. Robert L. Smith was born on December 20, 1936 in Terry, Mississippi to Willie B. Smith and Lillie Mae Smith. He received his B.A. degree in chemistry from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi in 1957, and his M.D. degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1961.

Smith completed his clinical training at the West Side Medical Clinic of Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and returned to Jackson, Mississippi and founded the Family Heath Center, now known as the Central Mississippi Health Services, Inc. In 1964, Smith worked with the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR) to provide medical services for civil rights workers during the Freedom Summer in Jackson, Mississippi as its first Southern Medical Field Director. Smith later worked as an assistant clinical professor of family medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical School, where he participated in the development of the Family Medicine Program as a co-principal investigator with the National Research Program’s Arteriosclerotic Risks in Community Studies. Smith worked as an adjunct professor at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee and Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi as well as professor emeritus position in the department of community medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. During his career, Smith also assisted in institutionalizing the pre-health program at Tougaloo College.

In 2011, part of Jackson Metro Parkway was renamed in honor of Dr. Robert L. Smith. In 2014, Smith received the Community Service Award from the Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State of Institutions of Higher Learning, and was also named Diversity Educator of the Year. In 2017, the American Medical Association presented Smith with its Medal of Valor Award for his civil rights work. In the same year, the Mississippi State Senate honored Smith for his community health work. Smith was a charter diplomat of the American Board of Family Physicians and a charter fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He was an active staff member of Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital, and Central Mississippi Medical Center.

Dr. Robert L. Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 13, 2017 and April 23, 2019.

See how Dr. Robert L. Smith is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Robert L. Smith's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about his paternal grandfather's journey to Terry, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his home in Terry, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his first piano
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his father's work in the livestock trade
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the movie theaters in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls visiting his sister in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the Terry Grove School in Terry, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his decision to stop studying piano
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his introduction to medicine
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls contracting salmonella
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the Utica Institute-Hinds County Agricultural High School, Colored in Utica, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his parents' disciplinary methods
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his decision to attend Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his experiences at Tougaloo College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his influences at Tougaloo College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his decision to attend the Howard University College of Medicine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his classmates at the Howard University College of Medicine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers the murder of Emmett Till
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about his scholarship from the State of Mississippi
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls his return to Terry, Mississippi
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls being surveilled by the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers his decision to join the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes the State of Mississippi's attacks on Tougaloo College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers meeting Medgar Evers at Tougaloo College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert L. Smith describes his experiences of voter suppression in Mississippi
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers Medgar Evers' mass meetings in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers James Meredith's supporters
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert L. Smith talks about the assassination of Medgar Evers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls the march after Medgar Evers' funeral
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers picketing the American Medical Association, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert L. Smith remembers picketing the American Medical Association, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Robert L. Smith recalls founding the Medical Committee for Civil Rights