James F. Smith, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.P.,
Dr. James F. Smith, Jr. was born and grew up in Macon, Georgia. He graduated from Stratford Academy. He married Sara Anna Michael and has 5 children. He received his undergraduate degree from Emory University and his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in 1972. He completed his fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Alabama in 1977.
Dr. Smith returned to Macon, becoming the first medical oncologist to open a practice at the Coliseum Park Hospital. The field of medical oncology was in its infancy then. He was instrumental in teaching his private office and hospital nurses about chemotherapy (how to mix and administer). He mentored nurses, residents and his peers to think through the entire disease process. Dr. Smith taught his colleagues that oncology care requires a team approach. He was frequently asked to speak on oncology care to a variety of community groups here in Macon as people desired to know more about cancer treatments for themselves and their family members.
Dr. Smith practiced a willingness to try different treatment plans to improve the quality, and not just the quantity of his patients’ lives. His practice included people from all walks of life, cultures and beliefs. His patients always came first. He wanted to make a difference and meet their care needs. He made sure his private office was trained in state-of-the-art cancer-fighting technologies. He has participated in dozens of National Cancer Institute sponsored clinical trials.
Dr. Smith was instrumental in establishing the first hospice agency in Central Georgia (Central Georgia Hospice). He served as the Medical Director until his retirement. This obligation required weekly meetings with the hospice team, which he attended faithfully. He was committed to assist his patients even when a cure was no longer possible.
He served in many leadership roles throughout his professional career. He was the Medical Director of the 9 Main dedicated oncology unit, the Cancer Life Center, at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. He served as the CEO of Central Georgia Cancer Care from 1977 to 2011. He also served as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Mercer University School of Medicine.
Dr. Smith retired from Central Georgia Cancer Care in March 2011. His contribution to Central Georgia, his patients, his office staff and colleagues will always be remembered.