Thomas J Smith, MD
Disclosures: Royalty-Up To Date-Other_Role-I am an Editor to Up To Date Symptom Management. I receive about $2500/year which i donate to JH Fellowship Program. - 04/06/2021

Smith photo 11Thomas J. Smith MD FACP FASCO FAAHPM

Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Medicine and

Director of Palliative Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Professor of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

600 N. Wolfe Street, Blalock 369

Baltimore, MD  21287-0005

Phone 410-955-2091; Fax 410-955-2098; Cell 443-742-5978

[email protected]



University of Akron, B.S., summa cum laude 1971-74

Yale University School of Medicine, M.D. cum laude 1974-79

Yale University School of Organization and Management (core curriculum, one year) 1977-78

Special Visiting Fellow, National Cancer Center Biological Response Modifiers Program, Frederick, MD 1986

Virginia Commonwealth University Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology 1982-87

Project on Death in America Faculty Scholar, 1995-98


Current position: Professor of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center of Johns Hopkins, and the Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Medicine, and Director of Palliative Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD


Dr. Smith is an oncologist and palliative care specialist with a lifelong interest in better symptom management and improving access to high quality affordable care. As an oncologist he specialized in comprehensive multi-disciplinary breast cancer for 25 years. With the late Dr. Chris Desch he helped start the Rural Cancer Outreach Program (RCOP) of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center. This brought state of the art cancer care including clinical trials and palliative care to five rural hospitals in Virginia. The RCOP improved care dramatically, saved patients millions of travel miles, and ensured that indigent patients could receive care near their home. As an oncologist, he worked to remove the financial incentives for giving chemotherapy, and to standardize guidelines for care.

With Patrick Coyne and others, he helped start the Thomas Palliative Care Unit and Program at VCU-MCV in the late 1990s, one of the first academic palliative care programs in the country. He and colleagues showed that palliative care improved symptoms, allowed patients and families to choose the care they wanted, did not cost more than usual care, and even improved survival.

Currently, he is the Director of Palliative Medicine for Johns Hopkins Medicine, charged with integrating palliative care into all the Johns Hopkins venues. The PC consult service sees over 1500 new patients a year, and a research agenda with “Scrambler Therapy” for chemotherapy induced neuropathy, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder pain, and central pain; palliative care for patients on Phase I drug trials; palliative care for patients undergoing Whipple procedures; and auricular point acupressure for cancer pain, among others.

Dr. Smith has been recognized in “Best Doctors in America” for many years and is a Fellow in the American College of Physician, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He received the ACS Trish Greene Award for “outstanding research that benefits cancer patients and their families”, and in 2018 was recognized as a “Visionary in Palliative Care” by AAHPM. In 2019 he received the Project on Death in America (PDIA) Palliative Medicine National Leadership Award, and the Walther Foundation- ASCO award for excellence in supportive oncology. In 2020 he received the Ellen Stovall Award from the National Coalition of Cancer Survivors that recognizes individuals, organizations, or other entities who demonstrate innovation in improving cancer care for patients in America. He has published over 400 articles, editorials and reviews, and helped write the test questions for the ABIM hospice and palliative medicine exam.

Dr. Smith is also a metastatic prostate cancer survivor, experiencing first hand surgery, recurrence, “salvage” radiation therapy and androgen deprivation therapy with many significant side effects, and recurrence. He knows all too well the experience of living and working while waiting for the other shoe to drop. He and his late colleague Terry Langbaum pointed out the trials of “metastatic cancer survivorship” in an opinion piece published in the New England Journal of Medicine, hopefully stimulating research into this area.