Christopher Smith, M.D., has joined UCF Health, the College of Medicine physician practice, to provide primary care and integrative medicine services, including scientifically-based therapies like nutritional supplements to acupuncture.
“Integrative medicine, which combines certain alternative therapies with conventional Western medicine, has been a growing interest among physicians and laypeople researching healthcare options for many years,” Dr. Smith said. “While I consider myself a primary care physician first and foremost, integrative medicine allows me to take advantage of a growing body of research that supports the benefit of therapies like herbs, supplements, nutrition and mind-body practices. This approach overlaps well with my primary care practice.”
He also will provide medical acupuncture for a variety of health conditions. With roots in ancient China, medical acupuncture was even used by European physicians dating back to the early 1800s.
All UCF Health physicians are faculty at the UCF College of Medicine, where Dr. Smith will serve as assistant professor of medicine. Dr. Smith said, “I’m excited about the opportunity to join UCF Health and offer primary care services with such a talented group of physicians. I am impressed with the future direction of the College of Medicine and look forward to being a part of its positive impact on the state of Florida.”
Dr. Smith earned his certification in medical acupuncture for physicians from Helms Medical Institute, the first program of its kind in North America. The Institute also trains U.S. military physicians, who are increasingly embracing the practice for returning veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain.
Dr. Smith earned his M.D. from the University of Florida College of Medicine, and completed his family medicine residency in the Tampa Bay Area through the Morton Plant Mease/USF program. After residency, he completed a two-year fellowship in integrative medicine through the University of Arizona under the direction of Dr. Andrew Weil. Dr. Smith is a diplomat of the American Board of Family Medicine
UCF Health Medical Director, Maria Cannarozzi, M.D., said Dr. Smith’s expertise fits into the practice’s commitment to providing individualized, evidence-based care. “With so much information available online about health and wellness, the vast majority of our patients have researched their medical conditions and options before even walking through our door. The addition of Dr. Smith adds a whole new dimension to our ability to deliver healthcare in the way that our patients are requesting,” she said.
Dr. Smith will begin treating patients in June at both UCF Health locations—East Orlando near the main UCF campus and at the practice’s newest clinic in Medical City. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith, call 407-266-DOCS (3627).