Before joining the staff of Weill Cornell Medical Associates, Dr. Smerd worked as a primary care doctor at the Manhattan Veterans Affairs Hospital and at Odyssey House, a therapeutic drug community in Spanish Harlem. She was named chief resident after completing her medical residency at New York University. Dr. Smerd studied medicine at the Sackler School of Medicine/NY State program in Tel Aviv, Israel. She has also lived in Kathmandu and traveled the countryside of Nepal researching Vitamin A deficiency. She earned her bachelor's degree from Vassar College, where she graduated with a major in Women's studies focusing on Anthropology. Though originally from Pittsburgh, Dr. Smerd now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.