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Esther Pauline Smith

Esther Pauline Smith, MD



A board-certified pediatrician, Esther Smith, MD, is Cone Health’s inaugural foster care medical director. Her professional interests include foster care, abuse and sexual abuse, pediatric palliative care and pediatric hospice.

Previously, she worked as a staff physician with KidsPath, which is part of Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro. More recently, she has trained to provide certified medical examinations for suspected victims of abuse in Guilford County.

A non-judgmental, active listener, Dr. Smith strives for compassion. She empathizes with the complexities of her patients’ lives, and her goal is to make their lives better in some way, whether big or small. She is guided by her own experiences as a pediatrician and mother to help those in her care find balance.

Originally from Indiana, Dr. Smith is married to Ben Hooker, MD, also a pediatrician. Together, they are busy raising two young daughters.

“What sets me apart in my specialties is my strong desire to make the health care system work better, especially for the most vulnerable members of society: children, children with special needs and child victims. Advocacy has always been an important part of being a physician for me.” – Esther Smith, MD



Medical School

American University of Integrative Sciences, St. Maarten School of Medicine


East Carolina University

Board Certifications