Dr. Marlene Martin, Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCSF School of Medicine and hospitalist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, spoke on our “Addressing the Latino Physician Shortage” panel last month. She articulated the ethical tensions that Latino physicians face, and explained the framework she utilizes to move beyond clinical care and towards patient advocacy. Here, Dr. Martin answered our questions about her background, COVID-19, and how she works to mitigate health inequity by improving care systems.
How has your background shaped your goals as a physician?
My identity as the daughter of hard-working, social justice oriented, Mexican immigrants directly impacted my desire to improve safety net healthcare systems. I am proud to serve in a system where I feel I can positively impact Spanish speaking patients, practice culturally competent care, and reduce healthcare inequities for patients in the safety net.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in your professional trajectory?
Navigating clinical care, advocacy, work life integration, and self-development. In medical school, you don’t get leadership training. Leading and building interprofessional teams and collaboration comprises the bulk of my work and requires strong leadership skills.