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When the sheriff knocked on the door to foreclose the family chicken farm, young Stuart Smith and his twin brother, Stephen, took note. They decided then that they wanted to pursue a career with a stable income. “We moved to Atlanta, and our family recovered, but I think it inspired my brother and me toward a field like medicine. We were both interested in science and knew we had the smarts to do it,” he says.
Indeed, they did. The twins were both awarded scholarships at Vanderbilt Medical School. Both matched at Carolinas Healthcare System, and both went on to specialize in orthopaedics. His twin practices in Atlanta, and, after a residency in Boston, Smith moved to Nashville to join Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance.
“We had our first child in my fifth year of residency in Boston,” Stuart says. “My wife and I were pushing a stroller in the snow and knew we wanted to head south.”
The decision to go into orthopaedics was an easy one for Stuart because woodworking was a hobby. “It’s all about making things fit together well,” Stuart says. “I truly get to do sterile carpentry now.”
Although he’s been in Nashville 20 years, Boston is still part of his life. As a runner, he returns to run the Boston Marathon. He crossed the finish line, in fact, 20 seconds before the first bomb went off in 2013. “It was surreal,” he admits. “Fortunately, like any marathon, there were already ambulances set up at the finish line.”