As an internist at Memorial Cornerstone Medicine and a pediatrician at Pacific Crest Family Medicine, Martin Bäcker is passionate about taking care of patients. He believes as a doctor, his job is not just to treat disease, but to help people live healthier lives. After living in New York for several years, Martin now enjoys the outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking and biking that Yakima has to offer.
What inspired you to choose medicine as a career?
As the son of an engineer, I always enjoyed math and science. I thought I was going to be an engineer, but as I was finishing high school I realized that even though that was interesting, I needed something that I would find more rewarding and gratifying. So, I ended up gravitating to medicine where I have the intellectual and scientific component, but also the human component of interacting directly with people on a day-to-day basis.
Do you have a philosophy or approach to working with patients?
As an infectious disease doctor, we listen and pay close attention to a patient's history. Where has the patient been to? What has the patient eaten? Who has the patient interacted with? Those kinds of things give us a clue to a diagnosis. Nothing can replace the information you get from listening to the patient and the things that he or she has to tell you.
What do you appreciate most about the doctors and staff you work with?
My wife and I both work for Memorial and we work with great people. The doctor is sometimes the most visible face of the healthcare team, but certainly not the only participant and we depend heavily on all of our team.
Tell me a little known fact about you or talk about what you like to do outside of work.
My wife and I enjoy the outdoors. In the winter we enjoy skiing and in the summer we enjoy hiking. We have a couple of dogs and we enjoy going out with them. I also enjoy jogging and biking.
What do you like about Yakima?
There are lots of things I like about Yakima. I moved here from the east coast. I certainly don't miss the traffic. I like that the people here are nice to each other. My day-to-day involves interacting with people and when people are nice to you and you are nice to them, it's much easier and more rewarding. Then of course, the natural beauty around here. My wife and I enjoy the outdoors and the four distinct seasons.