Dr. Crystal Martin

Crystal Martin, MD, took a winding Path to become a family medicine physician. now that she’s caring for patients in her hometown of Lexington, she’s right where she wants to be.

Crystal Martin, MD, says her family claims her interest in science and medicine stems from childhood, but she’s not so sure. She jokes that her pursuit of a career in medicine began with her affinity for comfy attire.

“I went to Bethune-Cookman University intending to major in accounting, but when I learned we had to dress up on Business Wednesdays, I decided to go into science so I could wear scrubs,” Dr. Martin said. “I changed my major to biology.”

Dr. Martin entered medical school at the University of Louisville but left after a year to work as a medical researcher at The University of Memphis. During her time in the workforce, her desire to become a physician didn’t fade, so she returned to medical school. She completed her coursework at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine and her clinical rotations in the United Kingdom before performing a residency in family medicine at the University of Kentucky.

“It’s gratifying for me when people who are at their most vulnerable seek my advice as a medical professional and want to know what I could do to help them,” Dr. Martin said. “That’s why I chose family medicine.”


Dr. Martin practiced family medicine in Cookeville, Tennessee, for several years after residency before she and her husband decided to return to Lexington. It was more than a hometown homecoming. When Dr. Martin joined CHI Saint Joseph Medical GroupPrimary Care at 1401 Harrodsburg Road, Suite B-160 in Lexington, on Jan. 1, 2020, she returned to a health system she knew well — she’d worked as a medical assistant at Saint Joseph East before beginning her residency.

“My faith is important to me, and I like that CHI Saint Joseph Health has a faith-based foundation,” Dr. Martin said. “Believing in something greater than me helps motivate me each day.”

Helping people in the community in which she grew up is a dream come true for Dr. Martin.

“I’ve encountered people who knew me when I was younger and are proud of me,” she said. “It’s nice to be home where people know me and recognize what I went through to become a physician.”

“I’m here to be a health advocate for every patient who comes to see me.”

A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.