Penny Smyth, BSc, MD, FRCPC

Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Medicine Dept


Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Medicine Dept


Area of Study / Keywords

adderall cognition multiple sclerosis ocrelizumab immunomodulatory relapsing multiple sclerosis ofatumumab multiple sclerosis relapsing Progressive multi-focal leukoencephalopathy natalizumab laquinimod remyelination repair driving seizure switching therapy fingolimod novel immunomodulatory siponimod fatigue education electronic MRI imaging multiple sclerosis sodium MRI resilience multiple sclerosis epidemiology fatigue patient multiple sclerosis education depre


Personal Statement:

Alberta has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. This debilitating nerve disease, for which there is no cure, can have profound impacts on patients’ lives. My goal is to develop patient education and professional training about MS so that consistent high-quality care is ensured no matter where patients live. I am also deeply involved in professionalism development and training in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. 

Dr. Penny Smyth is a clinical neurologist and multiple sclerosis (MS) specialist. She completed her MD degree and neurology residency at the University of Alberta, followed by a clinical fellowship in multiple sclerosis at the University of British Columba MS Clinic. After working as a clinical neurologist for years, she wanted to pursue her interest in academic medical education. Her recruitment to the University of Alberta in 2008 enabled that goal. In addition to her work at the Northern Alberta MS Clinic at the University of Alberta, Dr. Smyth focuses on medical education in MS and professionalism development. 

Leadership and Collaborations: 

Dr. Smyth was appointed associate dean of Professionalism for Medicine & Dentistry in 2017. She is very active with the national EndMS Training Network for research trainees and was on the steering committee for Alberta EndMS Regional Research and Training Centre. She also works closely with the MS Society.

Dr. Smyth was a co-recipient of a Professional Care Award from the MS Society in 2015 for her work with the MS Mobile Clinic.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Smyth practices general neurology and multiple sclerosis, the latter at the Northern Alberta MS Clinic. She participated in delivering care to remote NWT and Alberta communities through an MS Mobile Clinic pilot in 2015.


Dr. Smyth participates in local and multi-centre clinical trials, helping in knowledge translation of research projects.  She collaborates on single- and multi-centre clinical trials and educational research with results published in BMC Neurology, Qualitative Health Research, Journal of Stroke, Neurology and International Journal of Rehabilitation Research. 


Dr. Smyth has delivered extensive classroom and bedside teaching for medical students and residents, as well as assessments of colleagues’ teaching of CanMEDS topics. Her classroom teaching has centred upon neurology topics in addition to CanMEDS topics such as professionalism, giving and receiving feedback, communication, time management, role modeling and other topics. She has co-facilitated workshops and organized and delivered workshops and retreats. As a former neurology residency program director, she supervised residents and faculty in their teaching.  In her current role of associate dean of Professionalism for the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, she mentors and develops people’s skills in professionalism and effective teaching.

Featured Publications

Askari S., Kessler D., Smyth P., Finlayson M.

Clinical Rehabilitation. 2022 June; 10.1177/02692155221107074

Zaeem Z., Smyth P., King S., Daniels V.J.

Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. 2022 April; 10.1017/cjn.2022.50

Valdés Cabrera D., Smyth P., Blevins G., Emery D., Beaulieu C.

European Journal of Neuroscience. 2022 January; 55 (1):277-294 10.1111/ejn.15539

Santarossa T.M., So R., Smyth P., Gustavsen D.S., Tsuyuki D.R.T.

Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders. 2022 January; 59 10.1016/j.msard.2022.103638

Smyth P.

Canadian Cardiovascular Journal. 2021 December; 3 (12):S118-S129 10.1016/j.cjco.2021.08.004

Smyth P., Watson K.E., Tsuyuki R.T.

Trials. 2021 November; 22 (1) 10.1186/s13063-021-05726-3

Stobbe R., Boyd A., Smyth P., Emery D., Valdés Cabrera D., Beaulieu C.

Frontiers in Neurology. 2021 November; 12 10.3389/fneur.2021.693447

Oh J., Arbour N., Giuliani F., Guenette M., Kolind S., Lynd L., Marrie R.A., Metz L.M., Patten S.B., Prat A., Schabas A., Smyth P., Tam R., Traboulsee A., Yong V.W.

BMC Neurology. 2021 October; 21 (1) 10.1186/s12883-021-02447-7

Effects of Nurse Practitioner care (NP-led care) compared to Community Neurologist care on depression and anxiety levels in people with MS: A randomized trial

8th Joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS Meeting - MSVirtual2020. 2021 September;

Smyth P, Birkman C, Hodgson C.

CMEJ. 2021 July; 10.36834/cmej.71908

Martel K, Smyth P, Dhillon M, Rabi DM, Wirtzfeld D, Ruzycki SM

Canadian Health Policy. 2021 July; 2562- 9492

Sadovnick D., Criscuoli M., Yee I., Carruthers R., Schabas A., Smyth P.

Multiple Sclerosis Journal - Experimental, Translational and Clinical. 2021 July; 7 (3) 10.1177/20552173211032313

Stobbe R, Boyd A, Smyth P, Emery D, Cabrera DV and Beaulieu C

Front. Neurol. 2021 June; 12 10.3389/fneur.2021.693447

�Building Your Neurology Acumen’: A Flipped Classroom Approach to Strengthen Internal Medicine Residents’ Neurological Skills

Canadian Conference on Medical Education 2021. 2021 April;

Steps towards building psychological safety within the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta.

Canadian Conference on Medical Education 2021. 2021 April;

Cheng C., Gomez D., McCombe J.A., Smyth P., Giuliani F., Blevins G., Baker G.B., Power C.

Neurological Sciences. 2021 January; 10.1007/s10072-021-05203-4

The Canadian Prospective Cohort (CanProCO) Study to Understand Progression in Multiple Sclerosis: Rationale and Baseline Characteristics.

8th Joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS Meeting - MSVirtual2020. 2020 September;

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