Dr. Nathan Russell Martin:
Dr. Richard Mays Smith Memorial Scholarship Award

For Dr. Nathan Russell Martin, internal medicine is not just a specialty he enjoys -- it's almost his birthright.

His father, Dr. John Martin, is an Arlington internist and 1977 graduate of UT Southwestern, so "it was kind of an easy decision to come to UT Southwestern," he said. "[My dad] didn't ever tell me that I should, but he really loves what he does, and I'm a lot like him."

A native of San Antonio, Dr. Martin majored in chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and was mulling over a career in the hard physical sciences before he decided on medical school.

Dr. Nathan Russell Martin

At UT Southwestern he was a standout and winner of the Dr. Richard Mays Smith Memorial Scholarship in Internal Medicine, given annually by Southwestern Medical Foundation to a graduating student who excels academically and exhibits an interest and compassion for patients. Dr. Smith was a former associate professor of internal medicine here and a physician for 45 years before his death in 1975.

Dr. Hari Raja, associate professor of internal medicine and clerkship director for the department, selected Dr. Martin for the honor, which includes a $3,500 award.

"Nathan embodies many of the skills that make an excellent internist," he said. "He has a wonderful knowledge base, interacts well with patients, and was well-respected by his house staff and faculty. He also took many initiatives during his rotation that resulted in better patient care."

Dr. Martin was surprised and pleased to hear he'd been selected for the honor.

"I feel pretty honored to get it. Obviously, that was the goal -- to do well."

At UT Southwestern, Dr. Martin spent most of his time at Parkland Memorial Hospital "doing a variety of everything" from surgery to tending to patients. His subinternship at Parkland during his fourth year helped Dr. Martin decide for certain that internal medicine was the right route for him.

"Internal medicine is the most cerebral specialty," he said. "You get to, and you have to, kind of think things through ... It's a good variety, too."

Dr. Martin credits many people for his success in medical school. He said he feels especially grateful to Dr. David Gerber, a resident who led his group in his Introduction to Clinical Medicine class during his second year.

"I thought he was just the greatest doctor I've ever seen," said Dr. Martin, who will be doing his internal medicine residency at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Despite the challenges and hours of hard work during his medical school years, he said he still found time for one of his favorite pastimes: basketball.

"I spend a lot of time playing basketball," he said. "I've been doing intramurals ... I'm kind of a big sports fan."