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Team Member Spotlight: Hector Martinez

Please meet Rush Radiosurgery team member Hector Martinez, Radiation Therapist.

Hector Martinez has been in the healthcare industry for over eight years and is a radiation therapist at Rush Radiosurgery.

After graduating high school, Hector knew he wanted to help people in need.  He learned that a nursing home in his community was looking for individuals who wanted to give their time to residents at the center.  He began working as a resident helper at the local nursing home, assisting individuals suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  The experience helped him understand the reality that modern medicine can only do so much and that he wanted to do anything he could to help others in need.

After two years of working at the nursing home, Hector enrolled in college to earn an integrated undergraduate degree from Elmhurst University and Northwestern Medicine in Health Science Technology with minors in Biology, Psychology, and Communication Studies.  It was during this time that Hector realized what he wanted to do to help people.

“Throughout my years in undergraduate school I volunteered my time in the emergency room at Edward-Elmhurst Memorial Hospital,” Hector said.  “I encountered many individuals and families, but one that I will remember for the rest of my life is a family that came in and was later told that the mother was suffering from a brain tumor.  Just listening to the family’s conversation and them realizing that their world had suddenly turned upside down made me realize that it can happen to anyone.  This would later play an important role in my decision to pursue a career in the world of cancer.”

After graduating in August 2019, Hector took the ARRT licensing exam for radiation therapy and began his professional career at Rush University Medical Center.  After working with Rush radiation oncology for about four months, he was given the opportunity to join the Rush Radiosurgery team.

When asked what he does as a radiation therapist at Rush Radiosurgery, Hector replied, “Officially, I administer ionizing radiation under the supervision of a radiation oncologist.  Unofficially, I walk with my patients throughout their journey of fighting cancer and advocate for them whenever possible.  Medicine may heal the body physically, but I believe that one must also care for the mind and the soul.  Whether it is introducing my patients to social workers to help them with their daily lives or involving therapists to help with any mental road bumps, I will do my best to take care of my patients.”

There are many reasons why Hector finds his role as a radiation oncologist rewarding.  He enjoys the relationships he forms with everyone that comes in through the front doors, as well as those that he has formed with his coworkers.  He finds it a privilege to be a part of the healing journey of his patients and knowing that he can make some sort of impact on someone’s life.

“The interpersonal relationships with the patients and other medical professionals have broadened my skills to effectively treat my patients and help them heal physically and emotionally,” Hector said.  “After working in this field for two years, I can’t help but want to further delve into the world of radiation oncology.  I intend to pursue a career in medical dosimetry, in which I would be able to create radiation plans for patients.”

When not helping those in need, Hector stays busy by being active.  He enjoys playing soccer, walking along trails or on the beach, reading, and hanging out with friends.