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Husband-Wife Professors Commit to Family Medicine Education

Husband-Wife Professors Commit to Family Medicine Education
For Charles “Kent” Smith, MD, and Patricia Moore, MD, choosing to practice family medicine was easy. Both wanted to care for patients and their families holistically across the life cycle—“cradle-to-grave care,” as Smith calls it. Reading a patient’s family history on paper paled in comparison to actually knowing the patient’s family across generations and caring for the whole person.

To inspire more medical students to follow their path, the husband- and-wife colleagues at the School of Medicine made a $1 million gift to establish the Charles Kent Smith, MD, and Patricia Hughes Moore, MD, Professorship in Medical Student Education in Family Medicine.

Smith, former chair of the Department of Family Medicine, is the Satcher Society Dean and senior associate dean for students at the School of Medicine. Moore leads the school’s Family Medicine Interest Group, a resource for students considering careers in primary care.

The two met at the University of Washington in 1974 while teaching family medicine. They quickly realized they shared more than their specialty and married in 1979. In 1988, they came to Case Western Reserve to lead the School of Medicine’s program in family medicine.

In addition to practicing and teaching family medicine, Smith and Moore volunteer with local health care organizations. Moore also serves as a sponsor for the Peru Health Outreach Project, a student-run medical mission trip.

With expanding insurance programs, population growth and aging, the need for primary care physicians exceeds national enrollment in family medicine programs. In addition, most current faculty must split hours between patient care and teaching, making it difficult to devote adequate time to medical education. Working with school and university leaders, Smith and Moore created a chair that allows the holder to focus solely on teaching and developing new educational initiatives in the specialty.

“This professorship will allow physician-educators to meet the increasing demands placed on them to educate the next generation of family physicians,” said Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president for medical affairs.

“Trish and I feel it’s critical for family medicine to thrive and help fill the country’s needs for primary care doctors,” Smith said.

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