Marcus L. Martin, MD (MD ’76), recently was elected Rector of the Eastern Virginia Medical School Board of Visitors. In his role, Dr. Martin — a member of EVMS’ charter class in 1976 and the school’s first African-American graduate — will help guide EVMS toward its vision to be the most community-oriented school of medicine and health professions in the United States.
“It is my honor and great privilege to be elected Rector of EVMS by my colleagues on the Board of Visitors,” Dr. Martin says. “The board has placed its faith and trust in my leadership, and I pledge to do my very best working to advance the school on all fronts, including enhancing relations with our partners and advancing patient care, education, research and community engagement.”
Dr. Martin is Professor Emeritus and past Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Virginia. He was Chair of the department from July 1996 to December 2006 and the first African American to head a clinical department at UVA.
Dr. Martin’s Emergency Medicine responsibilities included oversight of the adult and pediatric emergency departments, chest pain unit, express care, Pegasus air ambulance, the Blue Ridge Poison Center, paramedic training program, emergency medicine residency program and several emergency medicine fellowship programs.
During his tenure at UVA, Dr. Martin served as Assistant Dean of the School of Medicine, Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Equity and Associate Vice President for Diversity and Equity. On July 25, 2009, Dr. Martin was appointed Interim Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity. On April 1, 2011, he was appointed Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity.
A native of Covington, Virginia, Dr. Martin graduated from Watson High School in 1966. He earned bachelor’s degrees in pulp and paper technology (1970) and chemical engineering (1971) from North Carolina State University.
Dr. Martin was appointed to the EVMS Board of Visitors in July 2016.
Dr. Martin was commissioned by the U.S. Public Health Service and later served as General Medical Officer at the Gallup Indian Medical Center in New Mexico.
He completed emergency medicine residency training at the University of Cincinnati in 1981 and held a series of staff and administrative/teaching posts at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He is a founding member of the Board of Visitors of North Carolina State University. Dr. Martin was the first African American to play varsity football at N.C. State.
Dr. Martin served as the clinical director of the summer program for underrepresented pre-med students, the Summer Medical Dental Education Program, formerly MAAP.
Dr. Martin is the lead editor for the books “West Indies Health Care and Disaster Preparedness,” published by Create Space Independent Publishing 2015; “Diversity and Inclusion in Quality Patient Care: Addressing Cultural Competency in Healthcare,” published by Springer International Publishing 2016; and “Diversity and Inclusion in Quality Patient Care: Case–Based Compendium ‘Your Story/Our Story’: Addressing Health Care Bias,” published by Springer International Publishing 2018. He has published widely in journals and has contributed textbook and book chapters in his area of medical expertise.
Honors, Awards and Leadership
With a team of UVA healthcare providers, Martin traveled to Louisiana in September 2005 and February 2006 to serve the disadvantaged populations through medical relief efforts subsequent to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Dr. Martin also established EMCERT (Emergency Medicine Center for Education, Research and Technology) and the Life Saving Techniques course for medical students at UVA using computerized human patient simulation. He was selected as one of “the top 100 most influential Black graduates of N.C. State University.” In April 2007, Dr. Martin was appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to serve on the Secure Commonwealth Panel and as Vice Chair of the Virginia Tech Incident Review Panel.
Dr. Martin has served as a board member and Past-President of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, SAEM. He also is a Past-President of the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors.
He received the 1994 Emergency Medicine Residents’ Joseph F. Waeckerle Founders Award. In 2008, SAEM Diversity Interest Group Leadership Award named the Marcus L. Martin Leadership Award in his honor.
Dr. Martin served as Co-Chair of the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University (PCSU) at UVA. The Memorial to Enslaved Laborers is one of the major outcomes of the PCSU’s work. His office coordinated numerous committees and councils in support of diversity and inclusion as well as the annual Charlottesville Community Health Fair and the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration.
In service to UVA and community Dr. Martin worked on numerous committees and boards including Hospice of the Piedmont, the Jefferson School Foundation, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, Blue Ridge PACE and The Women’s Initiative. He was the Founding Vice President of the 100 Black Men of Central Virginia organization whose goal is to close the achievement gap for African American males.
Dr. Martin currently serves on the board of the Kenan Institute for Engineering Technology and Science. He served as the Principal Investigator for the NSF grant-funded Virginia North Carolina Alliance, a network of twelve Virginia and North Carolina institutions, including UVA, Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Thomas Nelson Community College, Piedmont Virginia Community College, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and others. The group’s work led to a 174-percent increase in the number of underrepresented minority students receiving science, technology and engineering and math degrees and a 90-percent increase in enrollment.
Prior to his arrival at UVA, Dr. Martin served on the Pastoral Care Committee at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. At UVA, Dr. Martin served on the Chaplaincy Service Pastoral Consultation Committee.
Dr. Martin is the recipient of the Serpentine Society “Ally of the Year Award” 2012, the Charlottesville Tom Tom Festival C’ville Founders Award 2014, and the John E. Baker Legacy Award 2014. He was an honoree on September 21, 2015 during Men’s Day “Steps of a Good Man” recognition service at Zion Union Baptist Church Charlottesville. He also is a recipient of the 2015 UVA Lifetime Alumni and Parent Engagement “Faculty Above and Beyond Award.”
He was recognized as the 2015 Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award winner. He is the recipient of the UVA Health System 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Lifetime Achievement Award.
The University of Virginia Board of Visitors established the Marcus L. Martin Distinguished Professorship of Emergency Medicine, December 2016. The university also organized a UVA Founder’s Day Tree Planting in honor of Dr. Marcus Martin, April 12, 2019.
In 2020, Dr. Martin was honored as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2020 by the College of Natural Resources at N.C. State University and he was named the 2020 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Distinguished Alumnus at N.C. State.
Dr. Martin and his wife, Donna, an alumna of ODU, have four adult children and five grandchildren.
In addition to Dr. Martin, The EVMS Board of Visitors also elected the following leadership positions:
- Vice Rector Bruce Waldholtz, MD
- Secretary Betty Bibbins, MD (MD ’82)
- Treasurer Rear Adm. Robert Bianchi (ret.)
- Assistant Treasurer Chet Hart