Dr. Mark Holterman is a very busy man. He’s a surgeon, but also works as a researcher, and is a full-time educator and philanthropist. Holterman is perhaps best known for his philanthropic efforts with the International Pediatric Specialists Alliance for the Children of Vietnam (IPSAC-VN). This organization has had a huge hand in protecting and saving the lives of children in Vietnam. Medical students in the country are also taught about cutting edge procedures and technologies that make surgery safer and more efficient. Individuals who want to help with this cause can volunteer to travel to Vietnam to directly assist pediatric patients, or provide their financial support. Read more at Vitals to know more about Dr. Mark Holterman.
Holterman was born and raised in Wisconsin to parents who owned a farm and never attended college. He was an exceptional student in high school, and one of his teachers recommended that he apply for Yale University. While his parents were very skeptical initially, the future Dr. Holterman was accepted into Yale and enjoyed his time there.
Holterman was a biology major and received his bachelor’s degree in 1980. He then entered medical school at the University of Virginia. He planned to become a pediatrician and got involved with the National Institutes of Health program so that he could also become a medical scientist. Read more about his interview at ideamensch.com.
Dr. Holterman also met Ai-Xuan Le while studying in Virginia. Le was an intelligent and promising student who would become a surgeon as well. She’d previously graduated from Texas Christian University, and she and Holterman found that they shared a number of similar goals and aspirations. Dr. Mark Holterman was inspired to become a surgeon in addition to being a pediatrician as a result of Le’s influence; Le was motivated to become a pediatrician as well as a surgeon after being inspired by Holterman. The two realized that their bond was romantic as well, and they become husband and wife in 1988. The couple now have three sons.
Holterman and Le have continued their work to save the lives of Vietnamese pediatric patients, and work with philanthropic organizations to provide services like brain surgery, organ transplants and tumor removal. Holterman also serves as a professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.