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Med-Peds Physician Can Help Ease the Transition from Pediatric to Adult Care

Dec 21, 2020 02:52PM ● By Med Magazine

For as long as she can remember, Fairfax, South Dakota native Martha Holstein was deeply interested in two things: science and people. 

"I always loved trying to figure out how something works and how to fix it if it's broken," says Holstein, an Internal Medicine-Pediatrics specialist at Yankton Medical Clinic. "At the same time, I love talking to people and building relationships."

For Holstein, a career in medicine seemed to be the perfect way to combine her two passions. She studied biology at South Dakota State University and earned her medical degree from the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. In medical school, she discovered that she also had a passion for two different populations of patients - adults and children.

"I did consider family medicine," says Dr. Holstein. "But I was more interested in pediatrics than in things like obstetrics and surgery. I wanted to feel really comfortable taking care of sicker children, especially some of the more complicated illnesses like cystic fibrosis, Downs syndrome, or congenital defects that they will have to manage as adults."

Holstein completed her residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. She relocated to Yankton with her husband and three children and joined Yankton Medical Clinic this summer. 

"Two of my medical school years were spent here in Yankton so I knew the people here and I knew that they were happy." says Holstein. "I'm from a small town and I always wanted to come back to a more rural community."

As a med-peds specialist, Holstein brings to the clinic a unique perspective on the special needs of adolescents with chronic health concerns. She is particularly interested in helping these patients and their families navigate the continuum of care into adulthood.

"It can be hard if you have a child with complex medical conditions," says Dr. Holstein. "Parents can feel very anxious about moving their child into that adult stage and away from the pediatrician they have always known."

During her residency, Holstein had the chance to help other young patients learn to take responsibility for their own health or make the transition into adult care. She is looking forward to offering that same level of understanding and support to adolescents and young adults in the Yankton area. 

"I have special experience with those early adults who have come from pediatrics, but I also really enjoy the whole range of patients," says Dr. Holstein. "I love building relationships with all of my patients….in pain and sorrow, as well as excitement and happiness."

Dr. Holstein will be board certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.