William Martinez
Last active: 5/26/2017


WILLIAM MARTINEZ, MD, MS is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine and Public Health.   He received his MD degree from the University of California San Francisco and an MS degree from the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health as part of the UCB-UCSF Joint Medical Program.  He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) where he served as a Chief Medical Resident from 2010-11. After residency, Dr. Martinez completed health services research and medical ethics training as a Fellow in General Medicine and Medical Ethics at BWH and Harvard Medical School. He joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2013.

Dr. Martinez conducts foundation and NIH-funded research in the areas of professionalism, patient safety culture, and digital health interventions aimed at increasing patient activation. He has been privileged to work with a wonderful group of mentors and colleagues and has completed multicenter studies on physician attitudes and behaviors including medical error disclosure and “speaking up” about patient safety and professionalism concerns. Dr. Martinez and his colleagues developed and validated two important measures of patient safety climate, the Speaking Up Climate for Professionalism (SUC-Prof) Scale and the Speaking Up Climate for Safety (SUC-Safe) Scale. In addition, he and his colleagues developed and validated the first measure of moral courage among physicians, the Moral Courage Scale for Physicians (MCSP).  His research has been published in BMJ Quality and Safety,  Academic Medicine, and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons and received media coverage from Reuters Health and recognition from the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) as a Lipkin Award finalist.

Dr. Martinez is the recipient of a K23 award from NIH-NIDDK and is currently working on innovative digital health strategies to increase patient activation among patients with diabetes.  He also continues to work on issues at the intersection of professionalism and patient safety culture. He is a current member of the SGIM Ethics Committee and has served on ethics committees at the local and national level. His clinical work includes practicing primary care internal medicine in the Vanderbilt Adult Primary Care Clinic and supervising and teaching residents as a clinic preceptor and teaching attending.


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Increasing Patient-Clinician Concordance About Medical Error Disclosure Through the Patient TIPS Model. Martinez W, Browning D, Varrin P, Sarnoff Lee B, Bell SK (2019) J Patient Saf 15(4): 305-307
    › Primary publication · 28492422 (PubMed)
  2. Speaking up about traditional and professionalism-related patient safety threats: a national survey of interns and residents. Martinez W, Lehmann LS, Thomas EJ, Etchegaray JM, Shelburne JT, Hickson GB, Brady DW, Schleyer AM, Best JA, May NB, Bell SK (2017) BMJ Qual Saf 26(11): 869-880
    › Primary publication · 28442609 (PubMed)
  3. Processes for Identifying and Reviewing Adverse Events and Near Misses at an Academic Medical Center. Martinez W, Lehmann LS, Hu YY, Desai SP, Shapiro J (2017) Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf 43(1): 5-15
    › Primary publication · 28334586 (PubMed)
  4. Measuring Moral Courage for Interns and Residents: Scale Development and Initial Psychometrics. Martinez W, Bell SK, Etchegaray JM, Lehmann LS (2016) Acad Med 91(10): 1431-1438
    › Primary publication · 27384109 (PubMed)
  5. Patients and families as teachers: a mixed methods assessment of a collaborative learning model for medical error disclosure and prevention. Langer T, Martinez W, Browning DM, Varrin P, Sarnoff Lee B, Bell SK (2016) BMJ Qual Saf 25(8): 615-25
    › Primary publication · 27334866 (PubMed)
  6. Using Coworker Observations to Promote Accountability for Disrespectful and Unsafe Behaviors by Physicians and Advanced Practice Professionals. Webb LE, Dmochowski RR, Moore IN, Pichert JW, Catron TF, Troyer M, Martinez W, Cooper WO, Hickson GB (2016) Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf 42(4): 149-64
    › Primary publication · 27025575 (PubMed)
  7. 'Speaking up' about patient safety concerns and unprofessional behaviour among residents: validation of two scales. Martinez W, Etchegaray JM, Thomas EJ, Hickson GB, Lehmann LS, Schleyer AM, Best JA, Shelburne JT, May NB, Bell SK (2015) BMJ Qual Saf 24(11): 671-80
    › Primary publication · 26199427 (PubMed)
  8. Role-modeling and medical error disclosure: a national survey of trainees. Martinez W, Hickson GB, Miller BM, Doukas DJ, Buckley JD, Song J, Sehgal NL, Deitz J, Braddock CH, Lehmann LS (2014) Acad Med 89(3): 482-9
    › Primary publication · 24448052 (PubMed)
  9. The "hidden curriculum" and residents' attitudes about medical error disclosure: comparison of surgical and nonsurgical residents. Martinez W, Lehmann LS (2013) J Am Coll Surg 217(6): 1145-50
    › Primary publication · 24012297 (PubMed)
  10. Ethical concierge medicine? Martinez W, Gallagher TH (2013) Virtual Mentor 15(7): 576-80
    › Primary publication · 23890428 (PubMed)
  11. "Trust Me. I'm a Doctor.". Martinez W (2005) Virtual Mentor 7(4)
    › Primary publication · 23249553 (PubMed)
  12. Student near-peer co-tutors in PBL groups. Martinez W, Azzam A, Mack K (2009) Med Educ 43(5): 475-6
    › Primary publication · 19422498 (PubMed)
  13. Medical students' experiences with medical errors: an analysis of medical student essays. Martinez W, Lo B (2008) Med Educ 42(7): 733-41
    › Primary publication · 18507766 (PubMed)
  14. Genetic testing of children and adolescents: ethical, legal and psychosocial implications. Martinez W (1998) Princet J Bioeth 1(1): 65-75
    › Primary publication · 11657341 (PubMed)