Dr. Mark Holternman’s schedule is pretty full these days. In addition to being a surgeon, he is also a researcher, educator and philanthropist. Dr. Holternman’s most notable work in philanthropy includes donating to the International Pediatric Specialists Alliance for the Children of Vietnam (IPSAC-VN). The organization has helped to save the lives of Vietnamese children, by introducing medical students in the country to new surgical procedures and technological advances. Dr. Holterman has also helped to raise money for the organization so that those who are interested give can either volunteer their time and skill or contribute financially.


Dr. Holterman is a native of Wisconsin to parents who have never attended college. His family were farm owners. Holterman proved to be a great high school student, and a teacher recommended that he apply to Yale. His parents were apprehensive, but Holterman decided to go through with his teacher’s recommendation and enjoyed his time at the university.


Holterman majored in biology while at Yale and graduated in 1980 before going to medical school at the University of Virginia. While in medical school, he had plans to be a pediatrician and participated in the National Institutes of Health program so that the could become a medical scientist.


During his time at the University of Virginia, Dr. Holterman met a fellow medical resident who would later become a surgeon. Her name was Ai-Xuan Le. Le was a graduate of Texas Christian University, and She and Holterman had a significant influence on one another. They were impressed with each other’s intellect and had a shared passion for surgery. This influenced Holterman to become a surgeon in addition to being a pediatrician (http://medicaldailytimes.com/medicine/dr-mark-holterman/2946/). Holterman also inspired Le to learn more about pediatrics, and she becomes a pediatric surgeon. The two young surgeons began to grow closer in their personal lives as well. Their bond blossomed, and they decided to marry in 1988. The couple would later have three sons.


Holterman and Le continue to work to improve the lives of Vietnamese children by providing major surgeries like tumor removal, organ transplants, and brain surgery. Holterman has also been a professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine since 2011 (Crunchbase).