North Miami, Florida , United States
Jan 03, 2016 05:12am
|Info||In the midst of national economic hardship, a history of cultural stereotypes and a history of discrimination, one might say that the Miami Haitian-American community still has many obstacles to overcome. However, the new generation of Haitian-American professionals, who are often first generation United States college and post-college graduates, have empowered themselves with education and have embarked on an upwardly spiraling evolution which has pierced the professional arena to create an educated citizenry and a force to be reckoned with… |
Dr. Smith Joseph is one such remarkable examples in South Florida’s Haitian-American community. Born in Saint-Louis-du-Nord, Haiti, Dr. Joseph completed his elementary and preparatory studies in his native town. Thereafter, he relocated to Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, where he continued his undergraduate education. In 1979, Dr. Joseph and his family left Haiti to settle in Miami, Florida. Upon arrival to the United States, Dr. Joseph thought his dreams of becoming a physician vanished because of his deficiencies with the English language. However, rather than let the language barriers keep him down, Dr. Joseph quickly enrolled himself in English courses and soon after registered in a technical college where he received a diploma in Laboratory Technology.
Upon receiving his lab tech diploma, Dr. Joseph began employment as a Laboratory Technology Specialist with the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital (UM/JMH). While working at UM/JMH, Dr. Joseph continued to take courses at Miami Dade Community College where he graduated with an Associate Degree in Science in 1987. In 1988, Dr. Joseph matriculated in pharmacy school at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida, where he received his Doctorate Degree in 1991.
Dr. Joseph began his professional career as a registered pharmacist at Walgreen’s Pharmacy Corporation. He later accepted a position as a clinical pharmacist at Miami Heart Institute in Miami Beach, Florida. Even with a successful career as a clinical pharmacist, Dr. Joseph still had the burning desire to have his dream realized – that is to become a medical doctor. “In order to realize my dream, I was well aware of the sacrifice I had to make… I knew I had to settle for many indisputable delayed gratifications. I knew I could not wear the expensive clothes, nor drive the up-to-date cars like others.”
In 1994, Dr. Joseph left the clinical pharmacy field and, after garnering a competitive score on the Medical College Acceptance Test (MCAT), was accepted at Nova Southeastern University, where he received his doctor degree in “Osteopathic Medicine” in 1998. Subsequently, Dr. Joseph completed three years (1998-2001) of residency, specializing in Internal Medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital/Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta, Georgia.
It is of no surprise to Dr. Joseph’s former classmates to learn that he pierced through the iron curtain and became a medical doctor. After all, since primary school, he has always excelled in his classes.
Upon completing his residency, Dr. Joseph returned to Miami and re-assimilated into the Haitian community. Within six (6) months of completing his residency, Dr. Joseph received his certification by the American board of Internal Medicine and opened the doors to his medical clinic, Universal Medical Centre, on West Dixie Highway, in the heart of North Miami.
Dr. Joseph cares for his patients at Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Hospital Pembroke, Memorial Hospital West in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, respectively, as well as North Shore Hospital in Miami. While affiliated at these hospitals, Dr. Joseph still found time to run his private medical office, where he treats patients for acute and chronic diseases., including but not limited to, Cardiovascular, lungs, prostate, musculoskeletal problems, as well as rehabilitation for injuries resulting from auto accidents. Dr. Joseph serves as one of the two physicians for the Haitian National Soccer Team. Dr. Joseph is now in the process of incorporating a Comprehensive Rehabilitation Program in his medical building. After the implementation of this specialized program, stroke patients, as well as sports injury patients will have access to a comprehensive multidisciplinary therapy program which will be unique in this community.
In addition to his busy professional career, Dr. Joseph has remained very active in his community. He has delivered many motivational speeches at local churches and various community schools. From 1996 to 1998, while in Medical school, Dr. Joseph founded one of the most prestigious Haitian-American professional associations, Society of Haitian-American Professionals (SHAP). Dr. Joseph lead SHAP through many great events, such as the “Leadership Conference” first Florida first at first at the International University – North Campus.
Dr. Joseph, a diplomat in Internal Medicine, received many awards, including Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, Miami Dade Community College – Wolfson Campus. Dr. Joseph is a member of the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American Board of Disability Analysts. He is married with three beautiful children.