Dr. Wayne Martinsen is the Medical Director and psychiatrist at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. He provides clinical services through Dakota Family Services, the outpatient clinic founded by the Ranch. He also teaches at the Medical School of the University of North Dakota and actively proctors medical school students and residents as they learn more about the intricacies of the brain and its marvelous functioning. This is all to say, within his wide repertoire of skills – doctor, healer, problem solver, researcher, mentor, counselor – Dr. Martinsen is also a teacher.
Several times a year Dr. Martinsen prepares one-hour educational lectures for Ranch staff. He pours his heart into the research and preparation for each one. He makes sure he brings us the very newest, most evidence based, useful information in a way our staff can absorb and apply.
A few weeks ago, Dr. Martinsen opened one of his lectures to the bigger professional community for the first time. He presented, “The Dynamics of Dementia,” for free, on each of our three main campuses. Continuing Professional Education Credits were available for those who could benefit; and doctors, psychologists, social workers and long term care advocates joined our staff in the learning.
Dr. Martinsen clearly explained the science and statistics of different types of dementia. For the professionals in practice, he shared new research on the medications that enhance brain functioning, and the limitations of those medications, new findings on the prevalence of Traumatic Brain Injury as a contributor to dementia, and much more.
My takeaways, for my own life and for those I love, were in the powerful information he provided about building protective factors against dementia. We can establish behaviors (for ourselves and for the youngest of our Ranch kids) that can delay or impact the effects. Diet, exercise, brain-stimulating activities, sauna, caffeine – each in appropriate doses – have great research-based impacts on the prevalence of the disease. It was fascinating.
I am so grateful for the caliber of people who bring their knowledge and talents to the Ranch… and willingly share them to make the world a better place. Dr. Martinsen could choose to work anywhere. He chooses to work with the complicated, troubled, and amazing kids of the Ranch, and we are blessed he is with us.
To learn more about Dakota Family Services or to schedule an appointment with one of our highly qualified providers, go to DakotaFamilyServices.org or call 1-800-201-6495. To learn more about the career opportunities available with Dakota Family Services, go to "Careers at DFS."