Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been actively practicing medicine since 1999. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Georgia and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville Tennessee. She completed her internal medicine residency at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah Georgia. Dr. Dalton-Smith has been a adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan. She teaches courses on health, nutrition, and disease progression. Dr. Dalton-Smith has offered health care from 2002-2007 through the National Health Service Corp.
Dr. Dalton-Smith is married and has two sons. She is a committed Christian and passionate about helping others experience freedom in Christ. Dr. Dalton-Smith has been published in national medical journals discussing the physicians' role in spirituality and patient care. She is also a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection. Dr.Dalton-Smith has a new book being released May 2011 by Revell/Baker Publishing Group titled Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the Seven Lies Women Tell Themselves that will be available wherever books are sold. You can pre-order you copy today at Amazon.com. Dr. Dalton-Smith is available to speak at women's conferences, lunch and learn meeting, and various church functions upon request.
1. Saundra, what motivated you to become a writer?
I've always loved reading and for me writing is a natural extension of that love. My writings began with my own personal journals. I never thought I would ever pursue publication, but a few precious women helped change my mind. One was a patient who presented to my office during a particularly busy day. I just did not have the time to spend with her that I desired. That night I thought, "I wish I had something I could have given her that shared my heart on her issues." From that I started putting together ideas for handouts to use at the office and it just escalated from there into a book.
2. In Set Free to Live Free, you address not only patient’s physical issues but also their emotional and spiritual ones. To be able to give this type of guidance it seems like you would need longer than normal appointments with your patients. How much time do you set aside for appointments?
My office operates like most medical offices in that appointments are set at 15-30 minute intervals depending on the type of appointment. Every patient visit does not have the dynamics of those discussed in the book. There are quick visits for acute issues as well as longer visits where I manage chronic medical issues for my patients. During all visits I pay attention to the non-verbal language of my patients. I ask pointed questions based on my observations and see if a patient is ready to discuss further those areas. Some will be receptive leading to an extended visit and some will still have their personal walls up cutting our time short. So for every visit that goes over 10 minutes there is usually a corresponding visit that will be under the allotted time. It all just seems to work out in the end.
3. Was there a section or chapter of Set Free to Live Free that was more difficult for you to write? If so, why?
The section on balance (chapters 9 and 10) was definitely the most difficult for me to write. Balance is an area I am still working through myself, so it was as if I had to take a dose of my own medicine with each word. A much needed dose I must add. I think learning how to balance family and career is one of the hardest things a working mom faces. When I finally got to the point of writing Chapter 10 I had a hard time wording what I was feeling. So instead of just talking about what I was feeling I began that chapter actually describing the feelings as an analogy. Sharing your raw emotions has a healing quality of its own. It began as the hardest chapter to write and ended as the one that gave me the most joy and peace.
4. There are many practical responses recommended in Set Free to Live Free. Do you recommend women go through the book on their own, join a study group, or go to a counselor for help in implementing the principles on a deeper level?
It really depends on the woman. I've had women come to me that have such a difficult time with self-disclosure that they would do best beginning the process alone (or one on one with a counselor) and then branch out to a group setting. I love small groups and I wrote the book with small groups in mind. It's beneficial to be with other women who are going through similar issues. You can build each other up and support each other. I would love to see little Diamond Societies popping up all over with women bound together in God's love and a shared journey to living free.
5. What’s next for your writing pursuits?
That's a great question but I don't have an answer for it! I do not currently have any other books penned. Of course I have some ideas and other areas I feel strongly about, but Set Free to Live Free is the book which discusses the issue I'm most passionate about: women living a flourishing and fulfilled life in Christ. For now I'm just thankful for the opportunity to share it with others and elaborate on applying it’s principles through online webinar bible studies and e-newsletter devotionals.
~You can download the entire first chapter of Set Free to Live Free at www.setfreetolivefreebook.com ~
Dr. Dalton-Smith greatly honored me when she chose me to help edit this wonderful devotional.
I encourage you to check it out and sign up!