Randel Smith MD – A Heartfelt Career In Cardiology


In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Dr. Randel Smith is renowned for his 25-year dedication to cardiology, pioneering new treatments, and prioritizing patient well-being. Inspired by his father’s battle with heart disease, Dr. Smith has a distinguished career marked by significant achievements and patient trust.

A standout graduate of the Louisiana State University Health Science Center in Shreveport, he significantly contributed to expanding Mississippi’s cardiac care, especially through his work at Forrest General Hospital and Merit Health River Oaks.

Dr. Randel Smith values relationships, lifelong learning, and family more than his professional successes, making him a respected member of the Mississippi medical community.

From Personal Motivation to Professional Excellence

Dr. Smith’s journey to becoming a leading cardiologist began with his father’s heart disease battle, sparking a lifelong commitment to combating heart conditions. Excelling academically, he graduated in the top 5% from the Louisiana State University Health Science Center in Shreveport in 1991, was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, and received the Dr. Adrian F. Reed Memorial Award. Early in his career, he was recognized as the most outstanding internal medicine intern in 1992 and later became Chief Resident.

Dr. Smith significantly contributed to the growth of Forrest General Hospital and the Hattiesburg Clinic Heart and Vascular group, turning it into a leading cardiovascular center in Mississippi. His leadership in expanding the practice and enhancing regional hearth health standards highlights his dedication to cardiology, his patients, and advancing medical practice.

Advancing Heart Health

Dr. Smith has been a transformative force in Mississippi’s cardiology scene, introducing groundbreaking procedures that have significantly improved patient treatment. He was the first to perform the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) in the state, offering a life-changing alternative for those ineligible for conventional surgery. His work with catheter ablation has also provided vital relief to patients suffering from arrhythmias.

Dr. Smith didn’t stop there; he also introduced biventricular pacing and leadless pacemaker implantation, enhancing treatment options for heart failure patients and those needing pacemakers. His skill in performing minimally invasive closures for congenital heart defects has raised the bar for patient management, promoting faster recovery with minimal discomfort. Through these advancements, Dr. Smith has furthered cardiovascular health in Mississippi and ensured access to the most current and effective treatments for patients.

At Merit Health River Oaks in Flowood, MS, Dr. Randel Smith continues to make a significant impact in cardiology. Focusing on a holistic approach, he addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of patient health, advocating for treating the individual rather than just the symptoms. Dr. Smith’s practice is grounded in his core values of doing “the right thing,” learning from challenges, and promoting resilience. His dedication inspires excellence in the medical field, encouraging future generations to pursue their passions with integrity and compassion. Dr. Smith’s work emphasizes the importance of patient-centered care and ethical practice, setting a standard for professional fulfillment and lasting impact in healthcare.

Balancing Work, Wellness, and Wisdom

Dr. Smith’s daily routine is a blend of personal reflection and professional preparation, starting with Bible readings for spiritual clarity and following up with LSU sports to stay connected with community traditions. He also keeps abreast of the latest news, ensuring a well-rounded perspective crucial for personal satisfaction and professional success. Balancing the demands of medicine, Dr. Smith incorporates exercise, like weightlifting and cardio, into his life, understanding it’s essential for maintaining his physical and mental health and enhancing his ability to provide empathetic and effective treatment.

Committed to staying at the cutting edge of cardiology, Dr. Smith continuously learns through podcasts and reading, keeping his practice dynamic and benefiting his patients. This dedication to personal well-being and professional growth marks Dr. Smith as a lifelong learner deeply invested in advancing both heart health and his development.

Dr. Smith’s commitment to impactful service extends from his clinic to global communities, underpinned by his holistic view of healthcare. Actively engaged in The Way Church and Samaritan’s Purse, he embodies a caring approach that marries spiritual and humanitarian support. At The Way Church, Dr. Smith nurtures spiritual well-being, emphasizing faith’s role in healing, while his work with Samaritan’s Purse showcases his global outreach to aid those facing emergencies. These actions reflect his belief in leveraging medical skills beyond conventional settings to foster community health. Looking forward, Dr. Smith is motivated further to integrate his medical expertise with his passion for service, aspiring to make a difference locally and globally.

Overcoming Hurdles

Dr. Smith’s medical career has been the embodiment of resilience, marked by overcoming significant personal challenges, such as contemplating retirement and enduring hip replacement surgeries. These moments tested his resolve and reinforced his dedication to cardiology, leading him to return to a profession he’s deeply passionate about. Early in life, demanding work on a chicken farm and in south Louisiana’s refineries taught him the virtues of tenacity, determination, and humility—values underpinning his views on medicine and patient care.

These experiences of adversity have not only shaped Dr. Smith into a respected cardiologist but have also defined his life philosophy. By meeting each obstacle with determination and a commitment to his objectives, Dr. Smith stands as an example of resilience, continually inspiring colleagues and patients through his personal and professional growth journey.

Guided by Giants


Dr. Smith’s journey to becoming a distinguished cardiologist was profoundly shaped by the mentorship of Dr. Hank Hanley and Dr. Pretap Reddy, who imparted medical knowledge and the values of compassion, dedication, and leadership. Their influence helped forge Dr. Smith’s practice ethos, focusing on integrity, lifelong learning, and balancing professional and personal life. Similarly, the foundational virtues of hard work and perseverance, instilled by his parents from an early age, have been crucial to his success, emphasizing the importance of the journey and relationships over mere achievements.

The defining qualities of Dr. Smith’s career—persistence, consistency, and empathy—reflect the deep impact of his mentors and upbringing, driving him to excel in cardiology and become a trusted, compassionate figure in the medical community. These influences highlight his professional achievements and the significant role that mentorship and core values play in shaping a life and career.

Fostering Growth Through Leadership

Dr. Smith’s leadership in cardiology is marked by a profound commitment to fairness and empathy, which are fundamental in fostering strong professional relationships within his team. Prioritizing open communication and mutual respect, Dr. Smith has cultivated a culture of trust, cooperation, and ingenuity, driving everyone to give their best toward collective goals. His leadership style, emphasizing the value of each team member’s contribution, has advanced his practice and promoted a conducive environment for continuous improvement and excellence.

Beyond his immediate circle, Dr. Smith’s collaborative technique and respect for diverse viewpoints have significantly influenced the cardiology field. His ability to lead multidisciplinary teams and implement advanced cardiac care has established him as a prominent pillar of the medical community, further amplified by his active engagement in forums and projects to elevate heart health standards.

Looking Forward

Dr. Randel Smith’s journey from personal struggles with heart disease to becoming a leading cardiologist embodies dedication, innovation, and kindness. His work has furthered cardiac care in Mississippi and highlighted his holistic approach to patient treatment, emphasizing empathy and integrity. Dr. Smith’s commitment to continuous learning and leveraging technology for better care, alongside his philosophy of doing the right thing, has significantly impacted his patients and the medical field.

His leadership fosters a culture of growth and excellence, encouraging his team to view challenges as opportunities. Beyond his clinical achievements, Dr. Smith’s involvement in community service and mentorship enriches his professional life and inspires future medical professionals. His story demonstrates that the essence of successful medicine lies in skill, empathy, and an enduring pursuit of excellence.

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