Lawrence G. Smith, MD, MACP, is an Executive Vice President for Northwell Health and the founding dean of the Zucker School of Medicine, which received full accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and whose first class graduated in May 2015.

Dr. Smith joined Northwell in May 2005 as chief academic officer and senior vice president of academic affairs. In addition, Dr. Smith was responsible for overseeing Northwell’s medical student education programs and academic faculty appointments. Dr. Smith served as Northwell Health’s Chief Medical Officer from 2006 to 2011, before assuming the role of physician-in-chief, Northwell Health's senior physician on all clinical issues until December 2021.

Before joining Northwell, Dr. Smith was at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan, where he served as dean and chair of the Department of Medical Education, founder and director of the school’s Institute for Medical Education, professor of medicine and an attending physician. He joined the faculty of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1994 as vice chair of the Department of Medicine and residency program director.

Dr. Smith has held senior leadership positions in national societies for medical education and residency training, authored numerous peer-reviewed publications in the area of medical education, and has received many awards and honors from national and international organizations. In 2011, he was elected to Mastership of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Smith was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society in 2014, invited to join the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Board of Trustees in 2017 and made Chair of the Gold Foundation’s Program Committee in 2018. Dr. Smith serves on the Executive Committee and as Treasurer for the Associated Medical Schools of New York. He serves as the Chair of the National Academy of Sciences Roundtable on Health Literacy and is a member of the NYS Board of Education Advisory Committee on Long-Term Clinical Clerkships and on the University of Rochester’s Board of Trustees Advisory Council. He is a former regent of the American College of Physicians, former member-at-large of the National Board of Medical Examiners, former member of the board of directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine and former member of the Board of Visitors of Fordham College.

Dr. Smith is the first recipient of the Lawrence Scherr, MD, Professorship of Medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He was the recipient of the Solomon A. Berson Alumni Achievement Award in Health Science by New York University School of Medicine. In 2021, Dr. Smith received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northwell Health Physician Partners. The award is endowed and will bear his name when awarded in the future.

Presentation Synopsis

The Continued Evolution of a “Learning” Health System
Northwell Health System, from its earliest days, knew it needed to deliver continual education to its professional staff. This has grown to an internal organization that delivers thousands of hours of education to an entire workforce through multi-modality, theoretical, hands-on training and evaluation of the learners.
Northwell has discovered certain skills to be very hard to find in the job market. That gap in available skilled workers has pushed us to educating our own future work force.

Partnerships with neighboring Universities to deliver “accredited” education with the potential for degrees has grown. Northwell becoming an accredited University is the next logical step to educate and certify the training of skilled workforce.

This is the story of past success and a future need to educate our own workforce in the skills for tomorrow’s medicine.

The Development, Maturation and Current Challenges of Northwell Health
Currently, Northwell Health is the largest health system and private employer in New York State with 21 hospitals and over 850 ambulatory facilities.  Dating back to 1990, it started out as one hospital, North Shore University Hospital. It has grown to be much more than a hospital network and has been the catalyst to make competitors in the region respond by forming similar systems.

The competition in the New York area is fierce. The solution to success reflects the peculiar nature of healthcare reimbursement and “corporatization of the delivery of care.

The challenges to success are many and the complexity of the care, the payment system, rules and regulations in New York and the U.S. have led to a new set of competitors.