Christiane Smith, Doctor, Family Physicians of Kansas
Smith experienced a little culture shock when she moved from Hawaii to Kansas in 2008.
“But you know, it’s good. Now I’m eating things like elk and learning about turkey calls. I like to absorb stuff.”
Born in Puerto Rico, Smith grew up in Indiana and Delaware, then completed college and medical training in Ohio.
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She worked in urgent care for a year before moving to Hawaii and starting a family.
She did not practice medicine while raising her three children – Gretchen, 7, Charlie, 5, and Oliver, 2 – until last March, when she started working to establish her medical license in Kansas under Dr. Carol Johnson at Family Physicians of Kansas in Andover.
Johnson, whom Smith called a “great educator and highly respected,” died in February.
Smith is now accepting patients on her own, seeing everyone from babies to the elderly.
“I’m very much into trying to live healthy, exercise and eat well,” she said. “I just try to practice what I preach.”
She also keeps in mind what happened when her grandmother was hospitalized and there were communication breakdowns between her doctor, the hospital and Smith’s family.
“I remember how horrible that was,” she said. “I like to know I can make a difference in terms of talking to people and making sure they understand what’s going on.”