Phoenix, Arizona


bsmith@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


Benn E. Smith, M.D., has spent his clinical and research career focused on disorders of the peripheral nerve and neuromuscular system. His areas of study include clinical neurophysiology — studies of how the peripheral neuromuscular system can be investigated to diagnose, treat and follow individuals with neuromuscular disorders. Dr. Smith's research incorporates natural history studies, standard values studies and the exploration of novel neurophysiological techniques. Using these tools, Dr. Smith hopes to provide new information regarding the health and detection of diseases of nerve, muscle and neuromuscular junction.

Focus areas

  • Identifying symptom patterns. What are the most common symptom patterns reported by people with neuromuscular disorders?
  • Understanding neurological exams. What findings from a neurological exam are most likely to lead to an accurate diagnosis?
  • Assessing neurophysiological testing. What neurophysiological testing results are most closely associated with specific diagnoses among people with neuromuscular disorders?
  • Evaluating biochemical testing. What biochemical testing is most useful for arriving at a final diagnosis?
  • Documenting test values. What are the normal values for nerve conduction studies undertaken in Mayo Clinic neurophysiology laboratories? These tests are used frequently, but optimal values have not been identified. Or standard values were collected years ago using legacy techniques and procedures no longer used in the 21st century.

Significance to patient care

Each of Dr. Smith's research focus areas directly impacts patient care. The first four guide evaluation strategies used in the neuromuscular clinic to provide patients with the most up-to-date and state-of-the-art strategies for diagnosing and managing their neuromuscular disorders. The final focus helps determine with crystal clarity the normal values used every day in the Mayo Clinic neurophysiology laboratories to precisely define when an abnormality is present and provide information about its nature and severity.

Professional highlights

Dr. Smith is involved in several neurology-related leadership positions nationwide.

  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
    • Member, board of directors, 2023-present.
    • Member, Article-Based Continuing Certification Clinical Neurophysiology Committee, 2023-present.
    • Member, Adult Neurology Examination Committee, 2020-present.
  • American Academy of Neurology.
    • Member, Member Engagement Committee, 2022-present.
    • Chair, Member Research Subcommittee, 2020-present.
  • Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
    • Director, Neuromuscular Fellowship, 2000-2015.
    • Director, Electromyography Laboratory, 1998-2003.
  • American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine Professional Practice.
    • Committee member, 2003-2010.
    • Annual meeting program chair, 2004-2005.
  • President, Society of Clinical Neurologists, 1991-1995.


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Neuromuscular Medicine, Department of Neurology

Academic Rank

  1. Associate Professor of Neurology


  1. Fellow - Peripheral Nerve Department of Neurology
  2. Resident Neurology, Programs in Rochester, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  3. Fellow - Electromyography/Evoked Potential Department of Neurology
  4. Resident - Neurology Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  5. Internship - Internal Medicine Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  6. MD University of California, San Diego
  7. BA - Physiology University of California, Berkeley
  8. Bethel College

Clinical Studies

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