Natalie Smith, MS, PA-C

Natalie Smith

Clinical Assistant Professor

After graduation from East Carolina University, Professor Smith has been practicing medicine in the fields of emergency and urgent care medicine. She is excited to be back at her alma mater in the professorial role. Professor Smith became the first ever published professor within the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at East Carolina University with her publication in the Journal of Urgent Care Medicine: Hyperbilirubinemia, an Urgent Care Approach.

Her academic areas of interest include advancement of skills based and simulation based learning, which she feels acts as an important bridge between classroom learning and real life clinical experience. Professor Smith has become the first faculty member to integrate the Sim-Man computerized mannequin technology into the PA studies curriculum. The Sim-Man performs dozens of human functions realistically, allowing students to simulate features of a risky procedure or intervention in a "low stakes" environment while not putting actual patients at risk. She feels that while multiple choice tests and oral exams have been traditional methods to assess knowledge and ability for generations, common sense dictates, that once technology advances to the point that real tasks can be accurately simulated, truly demonstrating competence becomes an indispensable part of effective evaluation. Professor Smith strongly believes medical simulation should be the standard mechanism for effective medical education and curricula. She has also worked to advance to the laboratory component of the PA student curriculum at ECU by using her certification as an ACLS instructor to integrate Sim Man technology into ACLS education. In addition to this, she has added ultrasound technology skills to the emergency medicine laboratory as well as adding an emergency ocular examination skill competency including student demonstrations of slit lamp and tonometry examinations. Professor Smith strongly believes in the hands- on approach to emergency medicine education and she has also worked to improve student experiences with the addition of simulated abdominal paracentesis, joint arthrocentesis, joint relocation and nail trephination lab experiences for students. She has also worked to add additional lab sessions for students involving suturing skills competencies, adding multilayer closures and more difficult suturing techniques to ensure proficiency. Professor Smith is also excited that students now have the opportunity to practice IV access skills prior to the clinical year as she has worked with and coordinated laboratory sessions with community emergency department nursing staff (the best in the business at obtaining emergent vascular access according to Smith) who volunteer to train the students on proper IV access techniques, actually allowing students to practice this skill on each other prior to the clinical year.

Professor Smith met her husband, a fellow pirate Stephen Smith as an undergraduate student at East Carolina University, her husband works as an emergency department nurse and emergency nurse educator for Vidant Medical Center. Professor Smith calls the beautiful, historic town of New Bern, NC home where she lives with her husband Steve and her awesome twin sons Eli Davidson Smith and Archer McGregor Smith who keep her insanely busy outside of PA education!


  • BS, Biology minor Business Administration, East Carolina University, Summa Cum Laude
  • MS, Physician Assistant Studies, East Carolina University

Areas of Interest

  • Advancement of skills based and simulation based learning

Course Director

  • Diagnostic Methods I
  • Diagnostic Methods II
  • Surgery and Emergency Medicine course
  • Surgery and Emergency Medicine laboratory course