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Nicholas Martin: Aspiring Doctor Talks Mission Trips and His Purpose

Name: Nicholas Martin

Age: 21

Year: Senior

Hometown: Parkland, FL

Major: Exercise Physiology

Minor: Business, Chemistry 

Courtesy: Madison Berko


Her Campus (HC): What made you want to come to Florida State?

Nick Martin (NM): I came to FSU for a few reasons. I didn’t want to go to UCF because it was too big and I also didn’t want to go to any schools down south because they were too close to home. So, this was the furthest school that I got accepted to and when I came to visit I loved the campus. I also liked the fact that up here there are seasons, unlike where I’m from.

HC: What organizations are you involved with here on campus?

NM: I am currently the social action chair for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., the vice president of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), a committee member of the Resource for Travel Allocation Committee (RTAC), a member of the Student Organization Advisory and Resource Board (SOAR Board) and I am also a Seminole Torchbearer.

HC: So, you’re studying medicine; what made you want to pursue becoming a doctor?

NM: I grew up with a handicapped sister, so all my life I was around medicine, nurses and everything that comes along with the situation. It made me aware at a young age of this particular career path and it sparked my interest early on. Also, I really enjoy helping others. It’s just a part of my personality that I can’t shy away from. So, I think that being a doctor will really allow me to tap into that side of myself, which would be nothing but rewarding.

HC: Is there a specific field within medicine that you’re looking to study?

NM: I was thinking about sports medicine for a while. Specifically, either orthopedic surgery or family practice because you can do sports medicine through each. But honestly, who knows where I’ll actually end up at this point? Things could change tomorrow.

HC: Very true, can you speak on some of the medical mission trips you’ve been on?

NM: I went on one trip to Cusco, Peru. That was a really cool experience; we helped a lot of people throughout that week. It was a lot of fun. Helping others was a huge part of it, but we also got to explore the mountains and I got to visit Machu Picchu, so that was amazing. I just love traveling in general so I had a great time. I also recently took a trip to Haiti, which was equally as impactful.

Courtesy: Nick Martin 


HC: What did you and your groups do specifically to medically aid the people of Peru and Haiti?

NM: The trips were a little bit different from one another. In Peru, we would set up mobile clinics in villages, schools or neighborhoods every day. They were located in places where people didn’t have access to healthcare for years at a time. They would have to travel miles and miles to the nearest doctor. We performed dentistry, where we helped with pulling teeth and other practices. There was an OBGYN unit, which I wasn’t able to help with, being that I’m a male. Also, we had a pediatrician, primary care section and a distribution of medicine segment. One of my favorite memories from the trips was teaching the little kids how to brush their teeth; they were all so cute.

HC: Did you have a favorite part from either of the trips that stood out to you?

NM: Well I enjoyed Haiti immensely. I was there for nine days. In Haiti we only had fifteen people in our group total, including the doctors. However, in Peru we had forty FSU students alone, plus the people who worked for MedLife and students from other schools. In Haiti I felt more pertinent to the operation and that I was really necessary for the process to function properly. As opposed to in Peru where with MedLife there were fourteen other people who had the same job as me. So, in Haiti I felt like I made a much larger impact as an individual. I remember, there was a little girl in Haiti who was handicapped and was having a tough time getting around, so I just sat her on my lap, gave her a lollipop and calmed her down. She definitely sticks out in my memories.

HC: Awesome, so besides the medical training, what did you learn from taking these trips?

NM: I have learned that whatever obstacle is in my way, I know I can overcome and conquer it. Most importantly, I’ve learned that medicine truly is what I want to pursue. After the Haiti trip I knew that practicing medicine was what I was supposed to be doing for the rest of my life.

HC: Is there a particular place you want to travel for a mission?

NM: I’ve been thinking about doing Doctors Without Borders. They travel mostly to places that have been affected by natural disasters and places of low socioeconomic status. Even here within the United States they have groups that travel in country to help our people here. But, I think maybe going to Africa would be a cool experience.

HC: Do you have any advice for students who want to pursue a similar career path as you?

NM: They should seek out people and make connections with those who share their interest in medicine. It would even be great to find a mentor to look up to and model themselves after. Personally, my mentor is probably Mrs. Anderson, who is the advisor for the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS). Also known as Mama Anderson because she takes such good care of us all. Especially since I’m on the executive board, she hooks us up with shadowing opportunities we might not have otherwise. Students should get involved as early as they can, network and stay in the books. Specifically, if they’re looking to go on a mission trip they should check out the Caribbean American Medical Educational Organization (CAMEO), which is who I went to Haiti with.

Courtesy: Nick Martin


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