by Mary Nearpass
Marta T. Becker, M.D., 37, of Mt. Airy, radiates a health and vitality second to none with a personality to match. She thrives on perseverance and positivity and has been powering the lives of her patients delivering boundless energy for the past 10 years.
A partner in Berger/Henry ENT Specialty Group (ear, nose and throat and facial plastic Surgery), she is a board-certified otolaryngologist and an attending physician at Chestnut Hill Hospital as well as at Abington Surgical Center, Blue Bell Surgical Center (former medical director), Roxborough Memorial Hospital and others. Additionally, Dr. Becker is an affiliate staff member at Abington Memorial Hospital. Somehow this mother of three small children also finds the time and energy to participate in many local, state and civic associations.
Originally from Los Angeles, California, Marta knew from the age of 6 that she was going to be a surgeon. Her choice of otolaryngology as a specialty was triggered by her own mother’s struggles with hearing problems when she was a little girl. She does not come from a family of physicians or anyone working in the medical field. Her twin brother, with whom she is very close, “is extremely smart in the world of computers,” and most of her relatives are in the education field.
While pursuing her choice for college, Dr. Becker was accepted at the Stanford University and Berkeley Campus of the University of California. However, she always wanted to go to Harvard, so she applied and was accepted. So when she was just 17, Marta hopped on a plane, said goodbye to her parents and headed to Harvard University sight unseen! It obviously did not take her long to adapt as she stayed to continue at Harvard Medical School with a joint degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude and also started working in the school’s chemistry lab in the summer of her sophomore year in order to help pay for her college tuition.
Dr. Becker took two years off to work for two pharmaceutical companies so she could afford her ENT residency. After the two years, Dr. Becker completed her ENT residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received the Resident Research Grant from the American Academy of Otolaryngology for her work on a method for early detection of head and neck cancer. As a resident, her award-winning research focused on methods to detect early metastases in lymph nodes of patients with head and neck cancer. Although Dr. Becker does not conduct research at this time, the body of work she was a part of continues to be an ongoing source of cancer investigation where she did her residency (UNC), as well as at Vanderbilt University and now at Yale University School of Medicine, where her research mentor, Wendell Yarbrough, M.D., is currently chief of otolaryngology.
Since entering private practice, Dr. Becker has been treating children and adults for ear, nose and throat problems, including hearing loss and dizziness, snoring and sleep apnea, nasal obstruction and sinus infection, facial pain, voice disorders, tonsillitis and ear infections. “I really try to treat patients the way I would want to be treated,” she told us in a recent interview.
“There’s the medical factor, and then there’s the human factor. I sometimes am too generous with time, or so I’ve been told, which messes up our schedule. But I want my patients to feel that I want to get to know all about them.”
What’s it like juggling such an all-consuming career and family life? “I have a great staff and colleagues that I am honored to work with every day,” she said. Dr. Becker emphasized that her office staff has no phone options on their medical call-in line. In other words, a live person actually answers the phone at all times during work hours! Quite unusual.
Marta’s husband of 15 years, a lawyer who practices in Philadelphia, and she have children ages 11, 9 and 7. In her spare time Dr. Becker plays ice hockey!! That’s correct! She and her brother played while growing up together, and now she plays for the Philadelphia Freeze Ice Hockey North Atlantic team! “I absolutely love it!” she said.
Dr. Becker wanted to make sure her medical partners and colleagues were also mentioned in this article. They are as follows: Dr. Alan S. Berger, who specializes in nasal and sinus disorders; Dr. Todd C. Morehouse, who specializes in minimally invasive treatment of nasal/sinus disorders; Dr. Donald M. Sesso, D.O., a sleep apnea specialist; and Dr. Lana B. Patitucci, a specialist in pediatric ear, nose and throat problems.
For more information, call 610-279-1414, ext. 116, or visit www.bergerhenryent.com/marta-becker-md.php.