Updated: Mar 29, 2020
Our national pandemic nightmare has me thinking about an old friend and client. Dr. Leon Smith passed away in 2016 after decades of work as a preeminent expert in the world of infectious diseases. Man, could we use his help right now. When I first met him as we prepared to conduct an interview in 2012, he was introduced to me as a real world "House", a popular TV series featuring a maverick doctor who solved unusual and impossible medical cases. The TV character House, played by actor Hugh Laurie, had a wise-cracking sarcastic personality; Leon Smith on the other hand was adored by a large contingent of patients and doctors and friends as showcased in this short film. The late CBS legend Mike Wallace compared Dr Leon Smith to the Marcus Welby character played by Robert Young in the 1960s and 70s. Smith became legendary because he solved many baffling cases while saving literally thousands of lives, but he became a beloved member of the medical community to doctors and patients alike. Dr. Smith was president of the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases and received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Mastership Award presented by the American College of Physicians. He published over 250 papers and articles on infectious diseases and wrote many chapters in highly regarded books on the subject and was voted by his peers as one of the "Best Doctors in America" for his diagnostic skills. His battles with tort reform were featured by Mike Wallace on "60 Minutes"in 2003, and Dr. Smith would have been a valuable resource during the Corona virus pandemic. His foundation continues to raise money and his legacy remains a powerful testament to his life as portrayed in this video production we put together back in 2012.
The Smith Infectious Disease Foundation short film, narrated by Don Criqui