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Securing America’s Future:

The Power of Liberal Arts Education

Richard P. Marrs

Managing Partner, California Fertility Partners
Schreiner University (TX), Class of 1968
Richard P. Marrs, MD, is the founder and managing partner of California Fertility Partners in Los Angeles. He is board certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. As one of the founders of modern fertility treatment, Marrs is considered to be one of this country’s premier male fertility doctors and has dedicated his life’s work to helping couples fulfill their dream of having a family.

Marrs was founder and first president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. He also was a member of the Society’s Ethics Committee, which produced the first document in the United States on the ethical treatment of infertility using reproductive technologies. Marrs has published more than 200 scientific articles and book chapters on human reproduction and wrote Dr. Marrs’ Fertility Book. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the first Career Achievement Award from the American Fertility Association.

Marrs attended medical school and completed postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas. He completed a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Southern California. Marrs graduated from Schreiner University with an associate of arts degree in 1968.
I grew up in the small town of Kerrville, Texas, and even though I graduated second in a class of about 200, I really wasn’t prepared for a large university environment. My parents strongly recommended that I enroll at Schreiner University after high school, and although I was reluctant to stay in my home town, it was probably the best decision in my long academic career. Schreiner offered me a time to understand how to learn at the collegiate level as well as enjoy a broad educational experience.
 
In high school I was involved in sports and science. At Schreiner I was introduced to a liberal arts education. Although it was scary at first, I was encouraged to explore new areas in the social sciences and arts and found it to be exciting and rewarding. The greatest impact of my educational experience at Schreiner was my introduction to the world of literature and the fine art of expressing oneself by the written word. I became a reader and a writer with the guidance of my professors at Schreiner. Little did I know that my career in medicine would involve teaching, research, and the publication of multiple books and hundreds of scientific articles. The individualized learning experience that I found at Schreiner was the source of my academic maturity that carried me through my undergraduate degree at the University of Texas, my MD degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston, as well as my specialty in Ob/Gyn and subspecialty training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

The greatest impact of my educational experience at Schreiner was my introduction to the world of literature and the fine art of expressing oneself by the written word… Little did I know that my career in medicine would involve teaching, research, and the publication of multiple books and hundreds of scientific articles.

As I started my teaching career as an assistant professor at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, I tried to follow the example of my Schreiner professors. I still hear from doctors I taught, who found that approach to teaching rewarding and valuable in their careers. The confidence I gained to go outside my comfort level allowed me to establish a successful center for In Vitro Fertilization in 1982 when there were only five others in the world. In 1986, ours became the first center in the United States to successfully have a healthy baby from a frozen thawed human embryo.
 
I truly believe that without the foundation I received from my liberal arts educational experience at Schreiner University, my career in medicine would have been much different. Even after almost 40 years in medicine, I still question our level of knowledge and look for answers to the mysteries of human function in our area of medicine. This quest for knowledge started with my liberal arts experience at Schreiner University and continues today.
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