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Thomas J Smith, M.D.
The Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Medicine
Professor of Oncology
Expertise: Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Medical Oncology, Pain Management, Palliative Care
Research Interests: Palliative Care
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Thomas Smith, M.D., is a professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, director of Palliative Medicine for Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Care.
He is a medical oncologist and a palliative care specialist with a lifelong interest in better symptom management, communication, and improving access to high quality affordable care. Dr. Smith began Johns Hopkins' hospital-wide palliative care consult service as well as an inpatient unit, and he is dedicated to accelerating palliative care research and education.
Dr. Smith is a Fellow in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Association of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and is listed among the top oncologists in the country. He is publishing the Oxford Textbook of Communication and the Geriatric Clinics update on Palliative care. He has taught end of life concepts in more than a dozen countries and helped create the Oncology Module for the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) Palliative Care Leadership Centers curriculum.
Dr. Smith received his M.D. from Yale Medical School and completed his residency at the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in oncology and hematology at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. He joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 2011.
- The Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Medicine
- Director of Palliative Medicine
- Professor of Oncology
- Joint Appointment in Medicine
Centers & Institutes
- MD, Yale School of Medicine (1979)
- Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania / Internal Medicine (1982)
- Virginia Commonwealth University Health System - GME (1987)
- American Board of Internal Medicine / Internal Medicine (1982)
- American Board of Internal Medicine / Medical Oncology (1987)
Research & Publications
Communication about serious illness
Learn more about clinical trials at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Selected PublicationsView all on Pubmed
Smith TJ, Hillner BE. Bending the cost curve of cancer care. N Engl J Med, 2011;346(21):2001-6
Marineo G, Iorno V, Gandini C, Moschini V, Smith TJ. Scrambler Therapy May Relieve Chronic Neuropathic Pain More Effectively Than Guideline Based Drug Management: Results of a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2012 Jan;43(1):87-95. PMID: 22312101
Pachman DR, Weisbrod BL, Seisler DK, Barton DL, Fee-Schroeder KC, Smith TJ, Lachance DH. Pilot evaluation of Scrambler therapy for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Support Care Cancer. 2015 Apr;23(4):943-51. PMID: 25245776
Majithia N, Loprinzi CL, Smith TJ. New Practical Approaches to Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain: Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment. Oncology (Williston Park). 2016 Nov 15;30(11):1020-9
Ferrell BR, Temel JS, Temin S, Alesi ER, Balboni TA, Ethan Basch E, Firn J, Paice JA, Peppercorn JM, Phillips T, Strasser F, Zimmermann C, Smith TJ. The Integration of Palliative Care into Standard Oncology Care: American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline Update. J Clin Oncol. 2017 Jan;35(1):96-112. PMID: 28034065
"Treatment and prevention of oral mucositis with growth factors."
Patent # US Patent 5102870
Co-patentee. Triton Biosciences, Alameda, CA. Royalties used to create 3 endowed funds: VCU Libraries, VCU Excellence in Genetics, Chippewa Local High School college music scholarship.
Contact for Research Inquiries
Activities & Honors
- BS summa cum laude, University of Akron, 1974
- Ramsey Award, Yale University School of Medicine, 1977
- Frank Parker Prize, Yale University School of Medicine, 1979
- MD cum laude., Yale School of Medicine, 1979
- Sharon H. Kohlenberg Health care Service Award, Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation, 1993
- Jessie Ball duPont Fund Making a Difference Award, Rural Cancer Outreach Program, 1993
- Scholarship Award in Patient-Physician Communications, Medical College of Virginia, 1994
- Pioneering programs in Palliative Care, Milbank Memorial Fund, 2000
- “Distinguished Clinician Award” as the outstanding clinician at the medical center, MCV-VCU, 2000
- National “Humanism in Medicine Award”, New Jersey Health Care Foundation, 2000
- Community Outreach Award, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs, 2001
- America’s Top Doctors for Cancer, Castle Connelly, 2001
- VCU Outstanding Teacher Award, M-II Hematology/Oncology Course, 2002 - 2003
- Faculty Award for Distinguished Clinical Care, VCU Medical Center Department of Medicine, 2006
- VCU Outstanding Teacher Award, Hematology/Oncology M-2 course, 2006 - 2006
- University Award to best University-based palliative care program, International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care, 2006
- National Award for service, UNOS, 2001
- HOPE Small Practice Leadership Award: rural cancer outreach, Hematology Oncology News International (HONI), 2008
- “Robert W. Irby MD” Award for philanthropic service to the foundation and VCU, Medical College of Virginia Foundation, 2008
- HOPE Oncology Practice Leadership Award, Hematology Oncology News International (HONI), 2008
- “Statesman Award” for 20 years of outstanding service to ASCO, ASCO, 2008
- Virginia A. Crockford Award, Central Virginia Health Planning Agency, 2008
- Consensus Panel Leadership Award, National Palliative Care, 2008
- Educational Innovation Award, VCU, 2009
- Designated Center of Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care Award, European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), 2010
- Best Doctors in America®, Medical Oncology and Hospice, 2010
- Top Doctors, U. S. News and World Report, 2012
- Fellow, American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2012
- Award for “Best Article in Medical Professionalism”, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2012
- Nominee, AAHPM 25th Anniversary Visionaries, 2013
- Best Doctors in Maryland, America's Top Doctors® Editions 1-12, 2013
- Executive Board, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 2014 - 2017
- Trish Greene Award, American Cancer Society, 2015
- Visionary Award, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 2017
- American Cancer Society, Hanover County Unit, 1995 - 1999
Board of Directors
- American Medical Teams for Africa, World Health Organization/American, 1994
Medical Teams for Africa Cancer Pain Relief Programme, Tanzania-Zanzibar, Director of Cancer Palliative Care Programs
- Ashland Friends of the Library Board, 2004
- Chris Desch Foundation Board, 2007 - 2011
- Free Health Clinic, Richmond, VA, Physician Cross-Over, 1994
- Mountain of Trash (community cleanup and recycling), 1985 - 1997
- Pamunkey Regional Library, Hanover County, Children's Story Hour Reader, 1991 - 1992
- Patrick Henry Half Marathon, Richmond Road Runners, 2008 - 2011
- Richmond Friends Meeting, Richmond, VA, 1984
- Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs Camp Happyland, summer camp physicals, 2000
Videos & Media
Lectures and Presentations
Palliative care in Oncology: the who, what, when, where, and why
Oncology Grand Rounds, Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Baltimore (01/14/2011)
Living better electrically for pain relief; Making room in the cancer budget for new drugs by altering the cancer cost curve.
Reducing the cost of cancer care without rationing.
Washington DC (01/02/2011)
Reusch Center at Georgetown University
Integrating Palliative Care and Oncology: the evidence base
New York City. (01/07/2012)
Changing our practice to incorporate clinical pathways and more advance care planning. Providence Health System
Bending the cost curve with better care. Fred Hutchinson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Bending the Cost Curve of American Medicine
Plenary session, AAHPM, California (01/07/2012)
Designing the best concurrent clinical trial.
When is chemotherapy indicated in the last weeks of life, and when not?
Treatment of post herpetic neuropathy.
Affordability of Cancer Care- A Global Perspective
Chair: Costs of Cancer Care: Affordability Access and Policy, ASCO Annual Meeting Education Session (01/24/2012)
How to talk with people about serious illness
NCCS Rays of Hope event - Cancer Care in America, Washington DC (01/27/2012)
The economics of lung cancer treatment
University of Arkansas Health Science Center, Little Rock (01/05/2012)
Improving the quality of cancer care
Keynote Speaker, National Cancer Business Summit, Dallas (01/18/2012)
Death gets a makeover
New York (01/25/2012)
The evidence that palliative care improves lives while saving money
Plenary Session. (01/26/2012)
Chicago Supportive Oncology Conference
Integrating palliative care into our practices today.
Maryland Eastern Shore Oncology Association.
“Getting oncologists and palliative care to work together” and “How to do palliative care in the oncologist office”
West Virginia University Eastern Branch and Hospice of the Panhandle
NCCS Cancer Survivors Seminar
Washington DC (01/28/2012)
Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Grand Rounds (01/30/2012)
Palliative care and oncolog
Maryland Cancer Collaborative Keynote Speaker, Annapolis (01/05/2012)
Cancer Care Delivery Reforms: A Variety of Approaches
National Coalition of Cancer Survivors Cancer Policy Roundtable, Washington DC (01/07/2013)
New Horizons in Palliative Care: Making the Case for Palliative Care Involvement in Cancer Survivors (SA503).
AAHPM National Meeting (01/16/2013)
Chemotherapy Toxicity or Disease Progression? How Can We Help Patients Understand What’s Happening to Them? (TH331)Cancer SIG.
Educational Forum: Advocacy (TH321) “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question in HPM”: Communicating AAHPM’s Choosing Wisely Recommendations to Patients and the Public.”
Scrambler Therapy – It works but how and why? Ether Dome MGH
Pain and Palliative Care Grand Rounds, Boston (01/20/2013)
Massachusetts General Hospital
Creating hybridomas of oncology and palliative care.
2013 Annual Harvey and Andrea Rosenthal Lecture in Palliative Care. MGH-DFCI (01/21/2013)
What must change for ONC and PC to fully integrate – national policy and finance trends.
Brigham and Womens-DFCI Palliative Care Grand Rounds (01/22/2013)
Getting ONC and PC to work together
GBMC Oncology Grand Rounds (01/25/2013)
Carroll County Hospital Grand Rounds. “Increasing use of palliative care in usual medical care.”
Convincing oncologists to use palliative and hospice care.
California HealthCare Foundation webinar.
Oncologists and hospice – bridging the gaps
OptumHealth national webinar
Living well with advanced cancer
Johns Hopkins Survivorship program national webinar.
Bending the cost curve in cancer care: dreams versus reality
Kings College Hospital, London (01/28/2013)
Dame Cicely Saunders Institute
Palliative care and decision making when cure is no longer possible
National webinar, Philadelphia (01/10/2013)
Improving care across the continuum: the IOM report
Washington DC (01/24/2013)
NCCS Cancer Policy Roundtable
Session on Choosing Wisely as a November Webinar;
Train-the-Trainer Session at 2014 Assembly (01/07/2013)
Reprising AAHPM Annual Assembly
Improving the quality of cancer care by integrating palliative care…really
University of Maryland Greenbaum Cancer Center Grand Rounds
Improving quality of life throughout the oncology treatment spectrum
Symposium on survivorship and dying, Moscow (01/13/2013)
Russian Oncology Association
Transitioning to palliative treatment at end of life
NCCN National webinar.
Ways for oncologists to reduce the cost of care today
Summit on Optimizing High Value Cancer Care: Addressing the Cost of Drugs and Novel Technologies., Alexandria (01/27/2014)
Persuading physicians to engage palliative and hospice care earlier -- the anti-death panel approach.
NHPCO national webinar
The Institute of Medicine report on Medicare Cancer Care
Annual meeting plenary, Tampe (01/14/2014)
American Psychosocial Oncology Society
Palliative care of the breast cancer patient
7th Annual Johns Hopkins Breast cancer Program. (01/08/2014)
Pain management in the cancer patient
25th Annual Johns Hopkins Nuclear Molecular Imaging Conference, Baltimore (01/08/2014)
Choosing Wisely - “Choosing words wisely – integrating costs into discussion”
AAHPM annual meeting: “Institute of Medicine Report on Medicare in Crisis”
It’s not just about code status anymore. The modern view of palliative care.
Las Vegas (01/25/2014)
Hospitalist Medicine Annual Conference
Integrating palliative care into the Oncology office.
St Barnabas Medical Center
Palliative care to improve health system performance.
Atlantic General Health Systems, Summit (01/29/2014)
Overlook Medical Center
Improving Oncology Practice
Plenary Lecture, Toronto (01/12/2014)
2014 Applied Research in Cancer Control (ARCC) Conference
Effectiveness and cost effectiveness of palliative care
Plenary Session, Sapporo (01/12/2014)
Japanese Palliative Care Conference
The Coalition Against Pediatric Pain Medical Think Tank on EDS and Co-Morbid Conditions
Clinical experience with Scrambler Therapy: mechanisms and clinical results.
Plenary Session (01/28/2014)
Korean Pain Society
Making palliative care work in the real world
All-Caribean Palliative Care conference, Cayman Islands (01/01/1900)
Integration of Palliative Care and Communication Strategies for Patients on Phase 1 Clinical Trials
Medical Grand Rounds, Duarte (01/07/2014)
City of Hope National Medical Center
Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Symposium
Talking with patients and families about money. (01/12/2014)
American College of Osteopathic Internists national meeting
It’s not just code status: update on palliative care., Baltimore (01/09/2014)