Marcela Smid, MD
Salt Lake Cty, Utah
Name: Marcela C. Smid, MD, MS, MA
Institution: University of Utah
Title: Assistant Professor
Medical School: University of California San Francisco
Residency: University of Chicago
Fellowship Training Institution: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Fellowship: Addiction Medicine (clinical route)
Tell us about someone who had an influence on you as child: My softball coach Kelly Ivy, Sr. (Big Kelly) was an important part of my life. He was kind of a third parent for me and reminded me that joy in playing is one of the greatest gifts we have.
Was there a mentor(s) and/or a patient who inspired you? Kevin Mack. Kevin was my professor at the UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco Joint Medical Program (aka Montessori Medical school) and a psychiatrist. He taught me so many things including how surrogacy works and that one way of understanding mental illness is that when you walk out of a room and you feel depressed/anxious/manic, that’s important data. Kevin died nine years ago in a tragic accident. His kindness and generosity to his students lives on in all the lessons he talked us about ourselves as humans and as doctors.
How has your cultural background shaped you as an MFM? My family defected from communist Czechoslovakia in 1985 and emigrated to the United States. Coming from an immigrant family can humble a person. It makes me particularly reticent to ever call someone “non-compliant.” We don't know what is happening in someone’s life.
Tell us about one of your most memorable patient encounters. Since starting the Substance Use & Pregnancy – Recovery, Addiction, Dependence (SUPeRAD) clinic with Jasmin Charles PA-C, there have been so many. It’s an incredible thing to watch women overcome addiction. It’s so great when we meet someone with severe substance use disorder and as they recover we get to meet the human, not the disease.
Tell us about an MFM colleague who has been an important part of your MFM career. Dr. Nancy Chescheir – I mean, do I need to say more? She is the definition of total bada*s. We all stand on the shoulders of her legacy.
What role has SMFM played in your career? The actual meeting was the key to convincing me to do MFM. I was between family planning and MFM until my third (!!) year of residency. It turns out, I really don’t like outpatient GYN. I came to the SMFM Annual Meeting to see if I could “find my people.” I was total overwhelmed on my first day. Dr. Joanne Stone walked by wearing something 10000% fabulous (pretty sure it was leopard print tights and amazing shoes) and I went right up to her and said, “Who are you? Because I think you could be my people.” She was SO NICE and welcoming. It was basically the moment I decided to do MFM.
The best day I ever had as an MFM was…Everyday? Honestly something “best” happens everyday.
The hardest day I ever had as an MFM was…Same answer. Everyday. Honestly something “hardest” happens everyday.
I might be the only MFM who…Gets favorable patient comments because I’m covered in tattoos and curse liberally.
My MFM colleagues would be shocked to know…I taught myself to bow hunt during fellowship after reading Hunger Games in residency.