Fabregat Chose a 1,000-Mile Commute to Get His Ed.D from UST
When physician Dr. Juan Ramon Fabregat, Ed.D ‘21, decided to earn his doctorate in education, it required a 1,000-mile commute to and from class in Houston, Texas. That was the level of commitment it took for the Mexico City-based M.D. to attend the Catholic university of his choice. The cardiac electrophysiologist and hospital administrator sought an institution with a strong liberal arts foundation. He found it at University of St. Thomas, along with an exceptional Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership program.
Why an Ed.D?
Fabregat said, “I had begun to teach other doctors in my specialty and wanted to change the way we teach medicine. To move the healthcare system to become more ethically motivated, we have to teach ethics in addition to medical knowledge and science. I want to be part of educating physicians in a manner that results in a more humane way of practicing medicine.”
The dedicated doctor contends that less than 20% of physicians practice what he calls humanized medicine.
“And the 80% who don’t practice humanized medicine don’t even know that they don’t,” Fabregat said. “I’m counting on being able to get through to them in medical school.”
One example he offered of non-humanized medicine had to do with pacemakers.
“Not all pacemakers are equal,” Fabregat explained. “Many aging people need pacemakers, but insurance only authorizes the cheapest models, rather than the ones that are in the best interest of a particular patient. The same thing happens when authorizing the most effective therapy for that patient. The human quality of the patient should come first instead of big profits.”
Acknowledging that medical practices and institutions have to be financially viable, Fabregat talks about revolutionizing the healthcare system by way of ethical leaders who think things through and truly put the patient at the center. His vision would impact everything from patient care at the bedside to the pharmaceutical and device manufacturers to the insurance companies.
He plans to see ethical leadership curriculum represented prominently in the academic hospital he has been working to develop. The first clinic is set to open by September 2021 in Mexico City and care for patients from all economic levels.
“There are three aspects we should take care of: the biological, social and spiritual aspects,” he said. “My Ed.D dissertation was on the integration of these three in healthcare. My commute was well worth it. I would recommend the UST Ed.D program to educators and all people who have leadership responsibility.”