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David M. Smith, M.D., F.A.A.F.P

David Smith portrait
Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health

Professional Background

Dr. David M. Smith is an Associate Professor, Clinical Scholar Track, in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He also serves as Medical Director of Youth Sports Medicine for the University of Kansas Health System (UKHS) in the Sports Medicine and Performance Center. He has served as the Program Director for the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship since it's inception in 2018. Dr. Smith also serves on the leadership team for the Center for Concussion Management at UKHS.
In addition to his busy ambulatory clinic responsibilities treating numerous patients with musculoskeletal injuries/conditions and concussion, he has family medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation residents, and his sports medicine fellow working directly with him learning the outpatient management of injuries and conditions in patients of all ages, from recreational to competitive/elite athletes and patients who he encourages to implement "exercise as medicine."
Dr. Smith formerly was head primary care team physician for the KC Chiefs in 2013 and then moved over to the KC Royals where he currently is an assistant team physician. In his 30+ years of practicing sports medicine he has worked with pro athletes, olympic level amateur athletes, collegiate athletes, and high school and younger athletes. He served as Medical Director of the UKHS physicians and athletic trainers who assisted with the medical team from USA Gymnastics for the USA Gymnastics championships in 2020. He also volunteered at the medical clinic at the US Olympic Center in 1997. This earned him an opportunity to travel as the team physician for the US Taekwondo team competing at the World Championships in Cairo Egypt in 1998 and with the US Junior Women's basketball team competing in Argentina in 2001.
Dr. Smith graduated from Kansas State University, received his M.D. from University of Kansas in 1985, completed his family medicine residency at Michigan State University, and a primary care sports medicine fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 1989. He is board certified in family medicine and has his certification of added qualifications in sports medicine. Upon completion of his training, Dr. Smith was recruited by Dr. Stephen Munns, the first sports orthopedic surgeon at the University of Kansas Medical Center and helped Dr. Munns launch a sports medicine program that has grown into the premiere sports medicine program in the metropolitan area that it is today.
Dr. Smith still maintains an active lifestyle, enjoying fitness activities, especially cycling, swimming, and occasional "slower runs" and has completed multiple triathlons. He prioritizes a balanced life with his medical profession, his family, and most importantly his Christian faith.


Research

Overview

Dr. Smith's current research interests are in concussion, especially in the return to driving after concussion. However, early in his career he was active in speaking and writing about the preparticipation evaluation of athletes and still follows the research in that area closely. As a result of the COVID pandemic he has a new interest in young athletes returning to sports and exercise after infection with the SARS CoV-2 virus.