Dr. Abigail Smith: Southwestern Gynecologic Assembly Award
By Lisa Warshaw
Dr. Abigail Smith is on a journey toward fulfilling her dreams. That journey includes numerous adventures and passport stamps that have culminated in a desire to combine her passion for medicine with her love of travel.
While Dr. Smith knew medicine was her calling from an early age, it was not until her yearlong fellowship in Uganda working with a child development organization that she realized women’s health was her true calling.
“I worked on public health projects that covered issues such as educating women about the transmission of HIV from mother-to-baby, issues relating to sex workers, and also served as a midwife,” Dr. Smith recalled. “Looking back on my experiences in Uganda makes me realize that is when I knew I was going to do Ob/Gyn because I was always geared toward women’s health topics.”
Dr. Smith’s African experiences also solidified her desire to couple Ob/Gyn with global health. “My dream is to work in a developing country for six months each year, and spend the other six months working in an academic medical center,” she said.
Her serious case of wanderlust has brought her to upwards of 30 countries; her latest adventure was an Ob/Gyn rotation in Lima, Peru, where she was able to hone her Spanish language skills. The Princeton alumna has an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies and Spanish.
“Dr. Smith’s CV reflects her deep interest in global health care,” said Dr. Mary Jane Pearson, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern, and one of Dr. Smith’s medical school mentors. “She has participated in global health missions and trips in a variety of countries and I am certain that everywhere she has been, she has been beloved by her co-workers and patients,” she said.
Based on her stellar performance and excellence in Ob/Gyn clinical care, Dr. Smith is the 2013 recipient of the Southwestern Gynecologic Assembly Award. The award, established in 2003, is given to an outstanding UT Southwestern graduate who is pursuing a career in obstetrics/gynecology.
“I am honored to be recognized among my classmates and colleagues for this distinguished award,” said Dr. Smith.
Dr. Pearson, herself a 1980 UT Southwestern Medical School graduate, beams with pride over Dr. Smith’s accomplishments.
“Seeing someone so poised, so knowledgeable, and truly interested in global health care makes me terrifically proud to call her a fellow UT Southwestern graduate,” said Dr. Pearson.
Before Dr. Smith embarks on her residency at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the Houston native will travel to Japan to celebrate with fellow UT Southwestern Medical School alumni.