Dr. Dorothy L. Smith

Dorothy L. Smith: A Leading Voice For Patients


Based on her real-life interactions with patients in clinical practice settings, Dr. Smith developed one of the first ambulatory patient counseling programs in which patients received private counseling from a pharmacist every time they received a prescription. Unique counseling techniques were developed for use in teaching patients how to manage their medications, including side effects, so they could receive the most benefit from the therapy. Her extensive clinical experience has convinced her that consumers hold the key

to controlling health care costs. The only way a medication
can be cost-effective is to provide patients with all the information they need to make wise decisions while taking prescription medications.

Patient Adherence Expert

At the outset of Dr. Smith’s career, she recognized the need for a clinical reference guide that translated medical terminology about medications into language patients could understand. Based on her clinical expertise and ground breaking research in patient education, she developed the Medication Guide for Patient Counseling. Designed to make it easier for health professionals to counsel patients, the work became a required textbook in many schools of pharmacy and medicine in the U.S. and Canada. Recognizing that patients still needed information they could take home with them, Dr. Smith created patient information leaflets on the most commonly prescribed prescription medications. These leaflets give pharmacists and doctors a new and effective patient counseling tool to help improve patient compliance.

Educator and Policy Advisor

Dr. Smith has held academic appointments in schools of pharmacy and medicine throughout her career. She is
committed to help professionals learn how to effectively counsel patients in their busy clinical practices. She is
presently Associate Clinical Professor at the Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy, and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine in Washington, DC. She has served on many national professional committees, including the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Multidisciplinary Symposium on Verbal Counseling, and the Surgeon General’s Task Force on Aging and Health
Promotion. She has served several terms as a Board Member of the National Council on Patient Information and Education, National Advisory Boards of the University of Arizona and University of Cincinnati.