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Joanne Smith
Medical Director DVM

Dr. Joanne Smith grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993 with a BA in Neurobiology. She worked for several years in San Francisco as a research assistant in the gastroenterology department of UCSF, then as a veterinary assistant, and also as a volunteer at the Marine Mammal Center. In 2003, she graduated from Ross University, School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical veterinary training at the University of Illinois, School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Smith practiced as a small animal veterinarian in the New York City area for many years before settling in the Bay Area once again in 2008, where she began her career with VCA. She became the Medical Director of VCA Palo Alto Animal Hospital in 2013. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Feline Practitioners. 

Dr. Smith enjoys all aspects of general veterinary practice but she has a special interest in dentistry, gastroenterology, geriatric care, and minimizing stress in the hospital for nervous pets. She truly enjoys following her patients through their different life stages and experiencing the powerful bond between her patients and their owners. She is also passionate about teaching children about veterinary medicine and she always welcomes them into the exam room.

In her spare time, Dr. Smith enjoys running, reading, cooking and experiencing childhood again through her children's eyes. 


Our veterinarians are a team of highly trained individuals dedicated to the health and well-being of your pets. Explore our veterinarians' biographies and learn about the individuals who make our hospital an excellent choice for your pet's care.