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Young Doctor Perceives Advantage from UST’s MCTM/MBA Dual Degree

Manuel Villarreal Garcia, MCTM/MBA '23On the road to getting his U.S. license to practice medicine, a young doctor from Monterrey, Mexico, moved to Houston and discovered an academic toolkit he didn’t know was available for his career advancement — the University of St. Thomas Master of Science in Clinical Translation Management/Master in Business Administration (MCTM/MBA) dual degree.

Dual MCTM/MBA Provides an Edge

“Both programs at UST have been a significant addition to my professional goals,” Manuel Villarreal Garcia ’23 said. “The knowledge and credibility I gain from the dual degree further strengthen my profession, making me a great candidate as I begin to apply for my U.S. medical residency.”

As the 38-year-old general practitioner from south of the border wraps up the MBA portion of his UST graduate degree in May, he works in innovative research at the Methodist Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in urology. He mainly focuses on low-intensity shock wave therapy for erectile dysfunction (E.D.) and regenerative medicine with stem cells for E.D. and prostate cancer. He says the MCTM/MBA program has given him the proper foundation to conduct ethical research and transform the research into patient care.

“I like learning and putting knowledge together,” he explained. “With the MCTM, I have learned how to bring a medical discovery from the lab all the way to commercialization. I’m now very familiar with the necessary stages of investigation, development, marketing, and how to successfully incorporate the new product or medical device or treatment into a clinic or hospital to benefit patients.”

Moreover, the MBA content has opened his eyes to understand the healthcare business and administration of the entire, far-reaching industry.

Great Foundation for Starting a Medical Practice

Villarreal said, “I believe the MCTM/MBA creates a great foundation for starting a medical practice. Doctors know how to heal and treat our patients, but we’re not trained to manage a business. Yet we open our practices as entrepreneurs. I needed that extra piece of intensive knowledge for my future practice in the U.S. and to assume a leadership position as a physician.”

He also appreciates the way UST approaches business education through the lens of ethics and morals. “Virtues can be applied in what we do every day,” he said.

UST introduced its accelerated one-year MCTM program in 2015. Courses are asynchronous and online. In the summer of 2022, the University began offering the MCTM/MBA dual program with Villarreal being the first student of the combined program. Students in the MCTM program can earn an MBA by completing 8 additional courses. Villarreal was part of the MCTM’s sixth cohort at the time and seized the opportunity. For more information on these programs, go here.