Notable people, papers, and events from PennLDI's first half-century

The Giant Presence of Samuel P. Martin, III

Notable people, papers, and events from PennLDI's first half-century

The Giant Presence of Samuel P. Martin, III

Samuel P. Martin III, MD, left his mark on hundreds of physicians he taught and mentored. His spirit and accomplishments do not fit readily into this space; instead, we let the words of two colleagues speak for themselves.

“Not only a gifted physician, Sam had an unparalleled ability to challenge the existing order and to promote  some of the dynamic strides which we now take for granted in the teaching and practice of medicine. Specific to the University of Pennsylvania, his vision led to his participation in the development of the MBA Program in Health Care Management at the Wharton School. As you know, Sam also founded and directed Penn’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program and served as the Director of the Leonard Davis Institute for several years at its outset. 

“Perhaps most importantly, Sam served as an incredible source of knowledge and motivation for the many  young men and women who looked to him as a mentor. In speaking with a number of his friends and colleagues, I found that all were alike in remembering his dedication to his students and trainees. One young woman stated, ‘{Sam} believed answers were found in yourself. He opened your eyes, your ears, your mind, your soul. His stature, his voice resonated. He inspired allegiance.’ I can think of few better measures of a successful life and career than the loyalty that Sam inspired in all whose lives he touched.”

--- Sankey Williams, MD


“The best advice I ever got came from Nelson Mandela. A caveat: I wasn’t lucky enough to know this great man. But decades ago I was fortunate, while a student at the Wharton School of Business, to have as a teacher and mentor the legendary Dr. Samuel Martin. He taught me about Mandela as a living example of a leader who effectively managed the major anxieties of his people by listening first, then leading from behind. Decades later, it is a lesson that I continue to draw from every day.

“Sam Martin was a transformative figure in American medicine. At Duke University he pretty much invented the modern model of medical residency, and he came to Wharton determined to create a new breed of physician-MBAs. His goal was to populate the health care system with clinicians capable of managing the policies, politics, and economics that shape how America delivers and pays for health care.”

--- Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA

Dr. Martin joined the Penn faculty in 1970 at age 54 after a distinguished academic career at Duke University and at the University of Florida at Gainesville. He was LDI's executive director from 1974-1978, and led Penn's RWJF Clinical Scholars Program for 14 years.

Dr. Martin died on May 2, 1996. He remains a hero and inspiration to a generation.