Dr. Kathleen Martin

Kathleen Martin, MD, strives to provide a culture of quality care.

Dr. Martin remembers nuns at her Catholic school taking her under their wings after her father died. They would often tell her, “you should be a doctor when you grow up.”

“Becoming a doctor was ingrained in me when I was a little girl,” said Dr. Martin, now a gastroenterologist with CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group.

While she considered engineering, her love for biology pulled her into medicine.

When Saint Joseph East was looking for a gastroenterologist several years ago, Dr. Martin contacted Laurie Haas, MD, about opening a practice. They approached the administration with the idea and eventually opened a practice on that campus.

While medicine is a serious business, Dr. Martin believes it is important to lighten situations. In addition to asking about medical problems, she said it is vital to open with an icebreaker question to calm people down when they are getting a procedure done.

“It’s so affirming to find that, just by listening to people and trying to understand what their challenges are, I can really make a difference in their lives,” she said.

That attitude extends to other team members, and Dr. Martin credits a range of colleagues at Saint Joseph Eat — surgeons, nurses and radiologists, to name a few — as key to the ministry of care she strives to provide.

“It’s a culture of, if somebody is sick, we’re going to take care of them,” she said. “We’re going to do it efficiently, skillfully and with a pleasant attitude. It really makes my job rewarding when I have good people I can depend on to help treat patients well.”

While Dr. Martin says being a physician means she’s almost always on call, if she weren’t, “I wouldn’t get the satisfaction of knowing I’m taking good care of people.”

This article was originally published in the Winter 2019 edition of Spirit of Health magazine. Subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine to read more stories like this one.