What inspired you to go into medicine?
I come from a family of physicians, starting with my immigrant grandfather who came to America when he was 12. He learned English and put himself through college and medical school to become a family doctor. He took care of generations of families in their home town and did regular home visits. He was beloved to all who knew him. I grew up admiring my parents who loved what they did, who had the privilege to do a job every day in which they worked hard to make sick people feel better and heal families. I couldn’t imagine a better job than that.
What do you do as a provider at MGHfC?
I see pediatric patients with gastrointestinal (GI) disorders or symptoms at our satellite clinics at Braintree and Foxboro. I have a particular interest and subspecialty in infants and children with non-IgE-mediated food allergic GI disease, such as food protein-induced allergic proctocolitis (FPIAP), food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) and eosinophilic GI disorders. I also see children in our Center for Feeding and Nutrition for children who have a variety of feeding difficulties and perform endoscopies and colonoscopies for children. Finally, as a member of the Food Allergy Center and the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases, I am a research trying to better understand the infant microbiome and its potential role in non-Ige-mediated food allergic GI diseases. In that capacity, I help run a large prospective observational infant study called the Gastrointestinal Microbiome and Allergic Proctocolitis (GMAP) Study.
What gives you the greatest joy in your profession?
There are many joys in this profession. I love being able to help children who weren’t feeling well to feel better. I love being able to tell parents that their child is better or that they do not need to worry anymore. I also love being an important participant in cutting-edge research to help us better understand the answers to many questions we don’t yet have the answers to.
I recently had a young patient come rushing into the hall from our waiting room, wrapped me in a bear hug and said “Dr. Martin, thank you so much! I feel so much better. I can’t wait to go eat lunch.” It doesn’t get much better than that.