“I’m excited to go to work every single
day, and the people I take care of can
Growing up in small-town Minnesota,
Dr. Joshua Smith always thought he
would become a veterinarian like his
father. As he got older, he shifted his
pursuit to combine helping and teaching
others with his interests in science,
research and surgery. Dr. Smith’s interest
in otolaryngology took form during his
first few months of medical school, even
before he knew much about Ear, Nose
and Throat (ENT) as a specialty.
“I was involved in a research project with
my anatomy department that involved
the complex anatomy of the inner ear
and its connections to the brain stem,”
he said. “I thought this is just fascinating.
This is what I want to do.”
Dr. Smith cares for patients who have
balance disorders that cause symptoms
like dizziness and vertigo. He also treats hearing impairments, rare diseases and tumors of the ear, side and bottom of the skull. This includes some problems which cause facial weakness or paralysis because those nerves run through the ear.
“Marshfield Clinic Health System is sort of the perfect marriage of small-town life, which my family loves and is used to, but also a health system that is large enough to have patients who need someone like me,” he said. “Otology is a broad subspecialty with a lot of complexity but I love all of it.”
One of the most rewarding aspects for Dr. Smith is helping someone regain their hearing. “Hearing is tied so closely to emotion and cognition,” he said. “It’s a very emotional experience for someone to suddenly have hearing restored.”
Outside of work, Dr. Smith enjoys the outdoors – rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, camping, hunting, fishing, and winter and water sports. He and his wife Megan have been happily married since 2008 and have three children.