Name: Alexa Martin, MD
Hometown: Waukegan, IL
Title/Position: Resident Physician in Family Medicine
Briefly describe your role:
My role as a Family Physician is to take care of patients at every milestone in life. I am fond of saying we take care of you from “the womb to the tomb.” Such training puts me in a unique position of being able to work in a variety of environments. Currently, I’m deployed to work at UAMS’ drive through triage as a lead physician, trainer, and screener during this Covid19 pandemic.
Q: Is what you’re doing now what you always pictured you would do?
A: No. Two big dreams of mine have been to run a think tank foundation to solve big problems and to be a physician. I pictured myself running women and children clinics around the world, but I don’t think any of us imagined being in the midst of a pandemic. Working at the front lines is not what I pictured my life to be right now; I am not the type of person to stand on the sidelines when called to help. I’m a big believer in this idea that we are where we need to be, and at this moment, I’m where I should be: assisting, learning, and growing as my physician landscape changes daily.
Q: What do you see as the greatest challenges for women in your chosen industry? What are the greatest opportunities?
A: Confidence for women in any industry can be a challenge to rise as a leader and be seen. In medicine, although the United States has more women physicians than at any other time in history, women still have a long way to go with representation in medical leadership.
However, I find that there is an excellent opportunity for my fellow female medical colleagues and me to mentor, build up and support each other. When we lead by example and take on more responsibilities, we provide a path to build up the next generation of women physicians.
Q: Who has inspired you in your life/career?
A: In life, my biggest inspirations have been my family. My father pushed my siblings and me, including two sisters to be our best selves and to never settle for anything less than 100% effort. If a person we admired achieved something great, he instilled in us the idea that we had a blueprint for striving for and achieving more. My grandparents taught us fearlessness and a spirit of charity. They left their home country with little education and six children but provided those children
with a home and higher education while still being supportive pillars to the community. They taught us to give back and to be kind to all people we encountered. Most importantly, they taught us the importance of education: knowledge is power, and education is that superpower.
On my journey to becoming a physician, I’ve also had wonderful mentors along the way. These mentors are my cheerleaders, teachers, colleagues, and friends who continue to push me. They build me up when needed and influence the doctor I am today.
Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring professional?
A: Don’t stop chasing your dreams and never settle. When in doubt, “fake it until you make it!” When you believe in yourself, you will attract the mentors and teachers you need in your life. Failure is inevitable. Learn from your failures and incorporate them into your armor to make you better. Think big, and don’t be afraid to take risks. Be compassionate with yourself. As women, we sometimes unconsciously pull ourselves down, while striving to pull others up. Fight that urge! Embrace every strength and quirk, and you will embody the highest version of yourself.
Q: What’s been your secret to success?
A: Finding the joy in my work. Being kind but firm. Building up those around me. Learning every day with humility. Embracing life lessons. Continuing to laugh. Ignoring the naysayers. Finding hope in dark moments. And remembering to be thankful for everything I have and what’s to come.