Ronald E. Smith M.D.

Obituary
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October 7, 1942 - March 17, 2014 Ronald E. Smith, MD, was a giant in the field of ophthalmology. He will be remembered for his many outstanding qualities, including the trust he so capably established with patients, colleagues, and friends the world over. Dr. Smith died from cancer on Monday, March 17, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Suzette Smith, his previous wife, Dr. Sara Watt and their daughter Kelly Parker, her husband John, and their two sons, Cole and Austin; their son Dr. Matt Smith, Matt's wife Tirza, and their two daughters, Sophia and Catalina; and his brother Dick Smith, Dick's wife Ann, and their two sons, Mike and Mark. As a clinician and researcher, Dr. Smith specialized in uveitis, cornea, and external diseases of the eye. As an executive, he was highly respected as medical director of Doheny Eye Institute and, before that, as chair of the USC Keck School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology. To his good friend Bartly Mondino, MD, chair of the UCLA Department of Ophthalmology and director of the Stein Eye Institute, "Ron was always bringing out the best in the rest of us and was a joy to be around. He was funny and kind." In the new Doheny affiliation with UCLA, Dr. Smith was eagerly awaiting his new role as vice-chair of its Department of Ophthalmology. Formerly President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. Smith served for more than ten years on the Academy Board of Trustees. He received numerous awards, including being named among America's Top Doctors; being acknowledged by the Academy with its Life Achievement Honor Award; and being selected for the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. Dr. Smith was raised in Maryland and received his MD degree and residency training from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, followed by fellowship training at the Proctor Foundation at UCSF. In 1975, after returning briefly to Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute as instructor and chief resident, he turned west again to join his close friend Stephen Ryan, MD, former Doheny Eye Institute president, with whom he shared a vision for Doheny as a place of excellence and generosity in teaching, research, mentorship, and clinical practice. Marissa Goldberg, COO, CFO for Doheny adds, "The Doheny Eye Institute family is deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Dr. Ronald E. Smith. Ron helped create what Doheny Eye Institute is today - a world renowned eye institute. He cared passionately about patients, faculty, residents, and staff. Ron was excited about Doheny's new affiliation with UCLA and was the first faculty member to resign from USC to join Doheny-UCLA. In Ron's memory, we are more committed than ever to ensure the success of our new affiliation and Doheny's mission -- the conservation, improvement and restoration of human eyesight." In lieu of flowers, the Smith Family requests contributions be made to the Ronald E. Smith Memorial Fund, Doheny Eye Institute, (323)442-7107, 1450 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 29 to Mar. 30, 2014
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