Dr. Martha Medrano is a pioneer in medical education who wants to be remembered for her efforts to make medical students more culturally competent. She describes herself as a "community psychiatrist," and is involved in Redes En Accion (Networks in Action), a network that assembles organizations nationwide in a major new initiative to foster cancer prevention, training, and research among Hispanic populations.
Martha Medrano is a second-generation Mexican American, born and raised in El Paso, Texas, the fourth of eight children. She obtained her B.S. in biology from University of Texas at El Paso in 1977, her doctor of medicine degree from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 1981, and a master of public health degree from University of Texas Houston Health Science Center-School of Public Health in 1997.
Dr. Medrano is currently a clinical associate professor of pediatrics and an assistant professor of both psychiatry and family practice at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She strives to eliminate language and cultural barriers that inhibit good medical care for the Hispanic community. As director of the Medical Hispanic Center of Excellence, she established the first regional program to mentor Hispanic medical students by matching students with Hispanic physicians, who instruct them in leadership and medical career options. Partnering with the Department of Family Medicine, she created a medical course in Spanish for second-year medical students and a Spanish-speaking-only patient rotation, for senior students. Dr. Medrano also serves as assistant dean of Continuing Medical Education at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Dr. Medrano is also a principal investigator for a multi-state consortium to develop a strategic plan to increase health care delivery along the U.S.-Mexico border. She serves on the advisory board for the National Hispanic Medical Association and the Minority Women Panel of Experts for the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The National Hispanic Medical Association addresses the interests and concerns of 26,000 licensed physicians and 1,800 full-time Hispanic medical faculty dedicated to teaching medical and health services research. Dr. Medrano also serves as an advisory board member for the National Institutes of Health, Office on Research on Women's Health.
Among her many honors, in 2002, Dr. Medrano was named outstanding alumni, College of Science, University of Texas, and in 1999 was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame. Dr. Medrano now lives in San Antonio with her husband.