Karen L. Smith, MD, FAAFP, a family physician in Raeford, North Carolina, is a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP represents 129,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. As an AAFP board member, Smith advocates on behalf of family physicians and patients to inspire positive change in the US health care system.
After serving patients at a small rural health center in partnership with Cape Valley Health system and then as medical director for a system-based regional practice with FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Smith established her own independent private practice in 2003. She and her small staff provide comprehensive family medicine.
A member of the AAFP since 1989, Smith has served as chair of the Commission on Governmental Advocacy and chair of the Congress of Delegates Reference Committee on Practice Enhancement. Her personal, clinical, and professional excellence was recognized by in 2017 when Smith was named the AAFP Family Physician of the Year.
At the chapter level, Smith has served as president, board chair and chair of the Health Disparities Council. She currently serves as the NCAFP delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates.
Smith has also been active at the state and national levels, including the North Carolina Medical Society Board of Directors, the North Carolina Hospital Association’s Rural Health Advisory Board, and as a CMS Quality Physician Payment Program Champion. She is often consulted for her expertise on practice technology, opioid use disorder, and rural health care issues, among others.
Smith also served as adjunct clinical instructor in the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health at Duke University, adjunct instructor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and adjunct instructor in the Division of Health Sciences at East Carolina University.
Smith earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She earned her medical degree from the Hahnemann University School of Medicine, Philadelphia. She completed her residency at the Duke/FAHEC (SRAHEC) Family Medicine Residency Program in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Smith is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and has the AAFP Degree of Fellow, an earned degree awarded to family physicians for distinguished service and continuing medical education.