Meet The Doctors
Patricia W. Smith, M.D.
Dr. Patricia Walsh Smith is a native of Washington, D.C. A National Merit Finalist at Immaculata High School, she attended Duke University, graduating cum laude in 1977. As a student at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, she achieved honors in pathology, ophthalmology and surgery including the George Hauser Prize. Her research interests and publications earned her a residency position at the prestigious Wilmer Institute of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. After residency, she was selected to continue as a Fellow at Johns Hopkins in Cornea and Anterior Segment, under the mentorship of Dr. Walter J. Stark and the late Dr. A.E. Maumenee.
In 1986, Dr. Smith accepted a faculty position as assistant professor in Ophthalmology and Pathology at the University of Virginia. After four years, she moved on to a sabbatical at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in molecular biology on a grant from Prevent Blindness to study corneal endothelial (Fuchs’) dystrophy.
Dr Smith has continued her education in refractive surgery, with certifications in microkeratomes, 3 excimer laser platforms, the femtosecond laser used in all laser Lasik, dating back to 1996.
Dr. Smith has authored numerous articles and chapters in textbooks in her subspecialty, as well as having served on the Publications Committee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) as lead author on brochures, videos and other media for patient education. She continues to lecture to both professional and lay audiences; has served as a reviewer for a number of professional publications including the American Journal of Ophthalmology, the AAO’s Preferred Practice Patterns, and articles detailing results of the Corneal Donor Study, an NIH funded multicenter, multiyear trial on corneal transplants.
Dr. Smith has been married to Dr. Lyman Smith, an orthopedic surgeon, for over 25 years. The Smith family moved to Raleigh in 1991, where both Dr. Smith and her husband have been in private practice. They have three children.
Dr. Smith maintains hospital privileges at Rex Hospital, where she served for two years as Chief of the Division of Ophthalmology, Department of Surgery. Dr. Smith is a member of a number of professional societies, including fellowship in the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the Ocular Surface Society, the International Society of Refractive Surgery, the Cornea Society (corneal subspecialists), and others.
Her special interests include medical and surgical diseases of the ocular surface, corneal disease, corneal transplantation, refractive surgery and cataract surgery.
Franklin T. Li, M.D.
Dr. Franklin Li, a native of Houston, Texas, attended John Foster Dulles High School and then went on to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. There, he received the prestigious Trustee full-tuition scholarship and was accepted into the Thematic Option Honors program. He graduated magna cum laude in 2000 with a B.A. in Biological Sciences and minor in psychology.
Dr. Li received his medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston where his interest in ophthalmology began. This eventually spurred his research in inherited corneal dystrophies, which he has presented at international meetings such as the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Dr. Li went on to complete a one-year internship at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois, followed by a residency in ophthalmology at the University of California, San Diego. Here he pursued research on the reliability of novel imaging machines used in the diagnosis of glaucoma. At graduation, he received the Outstanding Teacher award for his enthusiasm in educating and instructing medical students. Despite the demands of residency, Dr. Li joined surgical trips to provide aid to underserved communities such as Tijuana, Mexico.
Dr. Li is happy to make the Raleigh/Durham area his new home with his wife Jessica, who will be an Infectious Disease fellow at UNC.
He is a 2nd generation Chinese-American whose parents emigrated from Hong Kong. He enjoys the outdoors whether it is golfing, playing tennis, surfing, or snowboarding. He also finds pleasure playing the guitar and cooking Asian cuisine.
Dr. Li is Board Certified in Ophthalmology and currently holds memberships in the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Dr. Li offers management of a wide range of eye diseases, with a particular interest in glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, as well as in cataract and oculoplastic surgery.