Timothy Smith

Timothy Smith, MD, PhD, MPH

Neurosurgery, Spine Surgery

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617-732-6600 Fax: 617-713-3050

Personally Speaking

It was a combination of the intellectual rigor and the technical expertise coming together that drew me to neurosurgery. But once I started working with patients, it was satisfying to watch them and their families moving through difficult situations with such strength, and to not only help them with words but through an actual procedure.

I think one of the most undervalued things from my perspective in medical school was the human element of medicine. Ultimately, what the patient wants to know is that you are available to help them, you are able to help them, and that you have an affable bedside manner. We spend a lot of time in medical school memorizing facts, but if we don’t take the time to have that basic compassion and empathy, it’s hard for patients to put their lives in your hands.

I think my strength as a physician is having compassion for people. It’s very important for a surgeon to be technically skilled, gifted, and good at determining who needs surgery, but underlying that has to be a basic care and concern for the patient’s overall welfare.

I think no matter what you think of yourself or your accomplishments, when you go home to your family, they have the effect of re-centering you on what’s important. I love spending time with my wife and 3 teenagers. We love movies and outdoor activities, especially running together as a family.



Medical School

University of California, Los Angeles, 2007


Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL, Neurological Surgery


Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, Pituitary & Endoscopic Skull Base Neurosurgery

Other Training

Harvard University, Boston, MA, MPH, Biostatistics
University of California, Irvine, PhD, Population Health & Disease Prevention

Academic Appointment

Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

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Read Melissa's Story


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