Erlanger High Risk & Cancer Genetics Program
For McKenzie Smartt, a fulfilling career has never been centered around a specific specialty. “I’ve worked in several specialties now, but it has never mattered which one I’m in,” she says. “Across the board, making someone feel important, seen, heard, and well taken care of is so rewarding.” Now in her second year as the nurse practitioner for Erlanger High Risk & Cancer Genetics Program, Smartt spends her time seeing patients who have a strong family or personal history of cancer. She aids in performing genetic testing, completing follow-ups, and ordering tests and referrals for patients, all the while bringing them comfort by arming them with knowledge surrounding their diagnosis.
Southern Adventist University – Collegedale, TN
Family Nurse Practitioner, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Cancer Genetics Risk Assessment, National Consortium of Breast Centers
High Risk Follow-Up
1. What is your best advice for patients?
Be proactive with your health, and advocate for yourself.
2. What’s the key to making a great first impression?
Making eye contact and smiling. How you recognize and greet a patient matters.
3. What influenced you to pursue your career?
The world of genetics sort of found me. I didn’t know much about it before, but it’s so interesting and I really enjoy it!
4. What would you consider to be your main strengths?
In my current role, my “type A” personality comes in handy. There are a lot of boxes that need to be checked when managing a hereditary genetic mutation, and it helps me to make sure it all gets done.
5. What is your philosophy when it comes to the care for your patients?
My patients should always leave their appointments with me better than when they came in. That may mean they are more educated, more empowered, or sometimes even more relieved. I want it to always be a positive experience.