Listen to the doctor(s): Best doctor

From staff reports

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Best Of Doctors

Whenever students ask if he’s back by some form of cruel and unusual torture, Pullman’s favorite doctor gets to say no. Dr. Edward Smith, M.D. at Pullman Family Medicine, was voted by WSU students as the best doctor in town.

“Students always assume I’m here as a punishment or because I wasn’t done with school, but I came back per my own choice,” Smith said. “It was a lifelong dream of mine to come back and work for the Cougs and I never thought I’d have until I was much older. I don’t have plans to leave.”

Pullman is Smith’s hometown, which he left after high school to pursue his education in family and sports medicine. After completing his residency in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Smith made a triumphant, albeit unexpected, return.

“I left for about 17 or 18 years to get my education and came back in 2009. I’ve been working for WSU until this year at Health and Wellness and as one of the team physicians for the sports teams,” he said. “I really enjoy working with students and being back in Pullman. There’s a lot of good memories, and I really like the community.”

Earlier this year, Smith left WSU’s Health and Wellness Services to work full-time at Pullman Family Medicine. Being back in the community has given Smith a chance to reconnect with those he grew up with and to cultivate new relationships.

“I think it’s a tight-knit family community. Since I’ve been back, I’ve been able to take care of old high school teachers and friends’ parents. I love the small town atmosphere.”

In second place is Dr. Bruce Wright, M. D., executive director of Health and Wellness and Counseling Services, agreed that the atmosphere of Pullman is a great place to work.

“I just love the students and the energy and enthusiasm,” Wright said. “I love working with a bright, motivated group of people. I love the changes that come with the academic year. I love being in a college town.”

Health and Wellness offers obvious convenience to students, Wright said, but it also offers ongoing quality healthcare.

“We try to do a number of things to look at ourselves and improve quality over time,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know, but we are the only accredited clinic in the area.”

Health and Wellness is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, which conducts tri-yearly evaluations on topics like quality of care, prevention, health promotion, mental health and respect to student patients. The clinic has passed these evaluations with flying colors, Wright said.

“The AAAHC offers a valuable external set of eyes,” he said.

Health and Wellness also encourages students to make their voices heard by submitting feedback on the care they receive and what they would like to see improve. Surveys are offered after Spring Break and are available in the Health and Wellness office as well as online, Wright said.

“We know that most people who come here like us, and most people come back,” he said.

Reporting by Katherine Lipp