Dr. Jeanne Montgomery Smith


"A doctor who has done significant research and writing, she has combined an abiding interest in her family with a real sense of community concern underlined by her remarkable service to foreign visitors in Iowa." —Susan K. Boyd, 1981

Dr. Jeanne Montgomery Smith, the first woman physician to join the Internal Medicine Department of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, has taught allergy and immunology to medical students at Iowa since 1955. She has an international reputation in the epidemiology of asthma, having originated a new theory of environmental factors as the cause of this chronic condition now pursued by investigators throughout the world. With her husband, Dr. Smith founded a new medical school at East Tennessee University in Johnston City, Tennessee in 1976-1978. She has written extensively for professional journals and college textbooks and has also been active in community service. Born in 1917, Dr. Smith began her career as a surgeon lieutenant in the men's Canadian Navy during World War II. Smith was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1982.

UPDATE: Smith continued to practice medicine in an academic setting until September 1993, retiring after more than 51 years of practice, teaching, research, and writing. She and her family have, once again, taken a refugee family into their home until they could reestablish themselves. Smith's retirement project, which is already underway, is to write stories of her eventful life, following the great changes in medicine and the roles of men and women.