STUDENT PROFILE Dr. Felicity Fishman
Becoming a Better Advocate
Dr. Felicity Fishman is earning her MJ in Health Law
As an orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in hands and upper extremities, Dr. Felicity Fishman holds many degrees. But her educational journey isn’t over. In December, Dr. Fishman will graduate with a Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) in Health Law. This online degree program prepares health professionals to better understand the intersections among health care, law, regulation, and policy.
Fishman, who is on staff at Loyola Medicine and Shriners Children’s, shared her thoughts on the program.
Why did you decide to pursue the MJ in Health Law degree?
In medical training, you are hyper-focused on the medical aspects. You’re learning your craft, how to be a safe surgeon and how to make good decisions for your patients. You’re not really learning about the larger environment in which you practice.
As I got further along in my career, I kept encountering issues that I didn’t have much knowledge about—and a lot of it was health law-based. For example, are we truly getting informed consent with pediatric patients? For patients who don’t have insurance or aren’t citizens, what are the legal implications when they seek health care? These are the kinds of health law issues I wanted to understand so I could be a better advocate for my patients.
How has the program informed your medical career so far?
It’s given me a wider lens to look at my day-to-day and long-term activities. I find myself thinking about problems a bit differently. Some of the law learning is very analytical and it’s a different approach for me.
I took a class on leadership that was extremely useful. I didn’t receive any formal leadership training in medical school; you just kind of wing it. In the Loyola course, I learned techniques for leading a meeting, organizing around a goal, and how to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Given your dual perspective as a student and an employee, what do you think makes Loyola special?
The Loyola community truly tries to follow an ethical model. At the hospital, we have a patient-centered approach. Loyola Medicine is really dedicated to caring for every person that walks in the door. There’s an emphasis on maintaining a high standard of ethics and care. And the graduate programs have the same vibe—a pervasive theme of “do the right thing” that you’re not necessarily going to find elsewhere. –Kelsey Schagemann (September 2022)