With a master’s in healthcare leadership from Brown, an ob/gyn refines cancer care in his hometown.
When Pedro Escobar Rodriguez, MD, moved back to his hometown of San Juan in 2013 to take care of his sick father—after long ob/gyn stints at Northwestern University and the Cleveland Clinic—he was shocked to find out how much Puerto Rico lacked in terms of health care.
“The technology was behind, the insurance landscape more challenging, and affordable medical choices limited,” he says. He wanted not only to practice medicine there but to attain a deep understanding of the systems he’d need to upgrade services on his native island.
So he applied and was accepted to the Executive Master’s Program in Healthcare Leadership within Brown’s School of Professional Studies. Students are working adults who come to campus only a few times over about an 18-month period; the rest of the work is done remotely. “I liked the program’s blend of finance and management with classes on policy, quality, and leadership,” says Escobar, who chose it over postgraduate health-management programs at Harvard and Dartmouth. “It just felt more balanced.”
But once he was in, things got crazy. He found himself working in oncological ob/gyn at San Jorge Children’s Hospital in San Juan, performing women’s cancer-related surgeries in the middle of last fall’s Hurricane Irma, during which he all but lived at the hospital because the power was out in his own home, where he lives with his wife and kids. (He also needed the Internet at work for his many Brown papers due.)
“I was going nonstop from about 5 a.m. to 3 a.m.,” he recalls. “My program director at Brown said that I could take the year off, but I wanted to graduate with my own classmates.”
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