In her job as a Medical Assistant at LVMC: Physician Services, Patricia Martinez sees her patients as more than a number or diagnosis on a chart. For the past five years, she’s developed relationships with people coming to receive medical care, watching their children grow up and learning about their lives.

“I absolutely love my job,” she says. “I love the patient rapport. I see people and ask how they are. They’re more than just a patient.”

As an M.A., Patricia was initially assigned to work with Dr. Lisa Ercolini, who has since left the area. Now, she helps with the patients of Dr. Nancy Mutoro and Dr. David Cortese. Since she began work there, Physician Services (formerly Valley Medical Group) has “grown a lot. We have more doctors. It’s nice to watch that. We’re more of a family-based clinic.”

She says she and her coworkers operate like a team, and are able to help one another in their efforts to get appointments for patients.

Patricia, who grew up in Lompoc and graduated from Lompoc High School in 2009, earned her Medical Assistant certificate at Boston Reed College. She’s earned several Associate degrees from Allan Hancock College and is working on her prerequisites to attend nursing school.

“Dr. Mutoro talked me into it,” Patricia said of the physician who was once also a registered nurse. “I’m good at my job, so I have to do it. I want to further myself.”