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Dr. Joseph Martinez Named Lead Physician for Patient-Centered Communications (PEP) Program

February 21, 2019

Joseph Martinez, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

Dr. Martinez Has Conducted Numerous PEP Workshops Since 2016

University of Maryland School of Medicine Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs Anthony Lehman, MD, along with UMSOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that Joseph Martinez, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, has been named Lead Physician for the Program for Excellence in Patient-Centered Communication (PEP). He succeeds David Schwartz, MD, BCh, who retired on Jan. 11, 2019.

Dr. Martinez, who is also Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and for Clinical Medical Education & Residency Programs, is a Certified Trainer for the program and has conducted numerous PEP workshops since 2016. He is well known to the UMSOM community.

“We are delighted that Dr Martinez has agreed to take over the helm of this important and successful program from Dr. Schwartz,” said Dr. Lehman. “Dr. Martinez brings essential commitment to the mission, outstanding educational skills, and strong leadership qualities to the effort. He exemplifies the qualities promoted by PEP.”

The UMSOM PEP program, launched in March 2016, is an evidence-based curriculum developed by the Academy of Communication in Healthcare (ACH) to enhance communication between faculty physicians and their patients. Since its launch at UMSOM, the program has trained nearly 600 of the 1,000 UMSOM clinical faculty in the art of enhancing patient-provider communications—with the goal of bringing the highest levels of satisfaction to the patient experience.

A recent survey showed that positive patient response to communications with PEP physicians rose in aggregate by 66% in the past two years. The interactive PEP workshop uses instruction and participant practice of specific communication skills to ensure that more attention is paid to prioritizing a patient’s concerns about their illnesses, addressing the impact of suffering on their personal lives and emotional state, and ensuring that patients have a clear understanding about their diagnosis. The interactive PEP workshop uses instruction and participant practice of specific communication skills to address these and other issues, ensuring a more effective patient-clinician partnership.

Dr. Martinez completed a combined residency in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine at the University of Maryland in 2003, and joined the faculty of both departments at UMSOM. He was appointed Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in 2005, and Assistant Dean for Clinical Medical Education and Residency Programs Liaison in 2016. In addition to his clinical and administrative duties, Dr. Martinez is an active lecturer on the local, national, and international level, with a particular interest in abdominal and gastrointestinal emergencies, as well as medical student education.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Martinez leading the Program for Excellence in Patient-Centered Communication and look forward to his leadership in this important area of patient care,” said Dean Reece, who is also Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “Evidence shows that that these relationship-centered communications skills can be incorporated into the usual assessment process, and physicians who adopt these skills report increased professional satisfaction.”

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and more than $530 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact more than $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit


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    University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs James B. Kaper, PhD, along with Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that Joseph P. Martinez, MD, Associate Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine, has been appointed Assistant Dean for Clinical Medical Education, and Residency Programs Liaison. In this new capacity, Dr. Martinez will continue with his prior duties, and will also maintain his current title, of Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.