Harlingen physician wins national teaching award

Tags: martinez, aafp, award, teaching, harlingen

Harlingen physician wins
national teaching award

Dora Martinez, M.D., a TAFP member from Harlingen, was selected to receive a 2012 Pfizer Teacher Development Award for her scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and dedication to family medicine. The awards program recognizes outstanding community-based family physicians from around the country who have practiced fewer than seven years and combine clinical practice with part-time teaching of family medicine as a preceptor or teacher of family medicine residents or medical students.

Martinez is a part-time clinical professor for the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Family and Community Medicine, through the regional academic health center in Harlingen. She works in a small clinic in Santa Rosa, Texas, that is part of Su Clinica, a larger group of community health centers based out of Harlingen.

Medical students from the RAHC spend three weeks under her direction learning “real-world family medicine” through their experiences in the clinic, and applying their book learning. The students participate in patient history-taking, physical exams, and formulating assessments and plans, and assist with any procedures performed in the clinic.

“I teach because I love sharing knowledge and helping others,” Martinez says. “I enjoy simplifying complex concepts and helping students ‘get it.’ I think I also offer the students a different approach to medicine as I emphasize the importance of the patient-doctor relationship. I am open to integrative medicine practices and emphasize preventive medicine through nutrition and lifestyle changes—subjects that are barely touched on in medical school.”

“I’m honored to receive the Pfizer teaching award and was grateful just to be nominated,” she continues. “Receiving this award means that I’m doing something right and it encourages me to keep bettering myself, both as a physician and a teacher.”

Martinez is one of 13 physicians honored by the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation for her commitment to education in family medicine. Each nomination is reviewed and scored by a panel appointed by the AAFP Foundation. The award provides funding for each recipient to attend an activity of choice to further her professional development and teaching skills. This program is supported by a grant from Pfizer, Inc.