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Margaret D. Smith, M.D. (1939–2010)

A crash landing of a small plane she was piloting claimed the life of Margaret D. Smith, M.D., senior associate dean and professor of clinical medicine. Dr. Smith, a licensed pilot, was attempting to land her single-engine Cessna at Essex County airport in Fairfield, N.J., on July 5, 2010, when the plane crashed, killing Dr. Smith and her two passengers. Dr. Smith, 70, was married to Matthew J. Ferguson, M.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine from 1979 to 1998. The couple’s son and his wife were also killed in the crash. In her role as senior associate dean at St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan, where she also served as program director of internal medicine, Dr. Smith was among several key individuals who worked tirelessly to relocate residents whose training was interrupted by the hospital’s closing last April. Dr. Smith, who received her medical degree from Georgetown University, was an authority in the field of arthritis and rheumatology. An active member of the New York chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, she was awarded its inaugural Women of Distinction honor in 2009. She was recognized by Cambridge Who’s Who for her “dedication, leadership and excellence in arthritis and rheumatology,” and was named its Professional of the Year for her contributions to medical education. She received eight Excellence in Teaching Awards, which are voted annually by graduating students at New York Medical College.