Complimentary article in the New York Times about Clinton’s surgeon, Dr. Craig Smith ’70.

But in a postoperative news conference and again in the interview, Dr. Smith, a 55-year-old with a laconic manner, made the operation sound downright ordinary. He allowed that “there are always a few minor anxious moments in heart surgery,” adding with a shrug, “It’s heart surgery.”

By his count and Columbia’s, he performs about 350 operations a year, almost half of them bypasses.

“On the days when I operate,” he said, “I do two or three a day.”

Dr. Smith, a professor of surgery at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, has been a leader in developing surgical techniques so high-tech they make Mr. Clinton’s operation look old-fashioned. He has been among the world’s pioneers in using lasers and tiny robotic devices in heart surgery. He was one of the surgeons who, in 2001, performed what Columbia described as the nation’s first coronary artery bypass operation without a significant incision, using tiny robotic arms and cameras. He has helped develop techniques to cool the body and temporarily stop the heartbeat to allow surgery on vessels in the brain.

Although it is nice to see Smith at the leading edge of the field, the most important thing for President Clinton is that Smith does hundreds of by-passes every year.

Practice makes perfect.

Update: Although my googling skills are not good enough to track this one down, I couldn’t help but notice this sentence from the article:

Last week, the Smiths took the youngest of their three children off to begin college. Showing a flair for understatement, Dr. Smith said, “It’s been a big week.”

Could that possibly be Halley Smith ’08? Of course, there are a lot of Smiths in the world, but . . .

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