After medical school at the University of Arizona, Dr. Smith completed an Internal Medicine internship and worked as an emergency medicine physician and medical director for several methadone clinics, while completing specialty training in Psychiatry at UC San Diego. He was Chief Resident at UCSD Medical Center, Chief of Staff at Mesa Vista Hospital, and then founding Medical Director of the Sharp McDonald Center/Vista Pacifica Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital, from 1989 to 2012. He has board certification in Addiction and Forensic Psychiatry, and also in Pain Medicine. He was the past president of the San Diego Psychiatric Society, the San Diego Psych-Law Society, and is now on the California Psychiatric Association Judicial Action Committee.
Dr. Smith is a recognized expert in Addiction Psychiatry and the evaluation and treatment of physicians, nurses, law enforcement officers and attorneys. He has worked extensively with the courts, professional licensing boards and the media to provide accurate information regarding chemical dependency and psychiatric diagnosis, treatment, and recovery while dispelling damaging and stigmatizing stereotypes. He has a clinical psychiatric practice in San Diego and is Medical Director of both RecoveryWorks outpatient recovery program in Mira Mesa/ Scripps Ranch, and the Restore Detox Centers in Poway, California.