Robert C. Smith, MD, MACP is a University Distinguished Professor and a Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry Emeritus at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA. With many publications, awards, and strong grant support, he has been involved in teaching and research in patient-centered communication and in primary care mental health since 1985.
He and his colleagues behaviorally-defined the patient-centered interview as a replicable model that can be systematically taught and studied. Later, they showed it was evidence-based in two controlled trials. Dr. Smith and his colleagues have written a popular interviewing textbook, Smith’s Patient-Centered Interviewing: An Evidence-Based Method (4th edition, McGraw Hill, 2018). Endorsed by the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare, the text is used in medical schools in the USA and abroad for teaching interviewing and the doctor-patient relationship.
Dr. Smith’s group also formulated a behaviorally-defined method, the Mental Health Care Model, to guide medical clinicians in managing mental health and substance misuse problems. They subsequently demonstrated that the model was effective in two clinical trials and have recently demonstrated in a controlled trial that teachers trained in the method effectively taught it to residents, paving the way for dissemination of the teaching via an outreach program. Based on the model, a second textbook from McGraw-Hill, Essentials of Psychiatry in Primary Care: Behavioral Health in the Medical Setting, was endorsed by the American College of Physicians and published in May 2019 by Dr. Smith and his colleagues.
Dr. Smith and his group have been featured on The Today Show as well as featured and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Elle, the Ladies Home Journal, Time, and Newsweek.