Margarita M. Ortiz, JD, MA, is a 2001 graduate of Boston University, graduating with degrees in musical performance and business administration. In 2006, she obtained her Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas, where she graduated in the top 15% of her class. Ms. Ortiz is licensed to practice law in both Texas and New York. She began her legal career as an immigration attorney for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, in its Cabrini Center for Immigration Legal Services. There, she guided Unaccompanied Minor Children through the immigration process and represented other clinic clients in obtaining legal permanent status and US citizenship. She later worked as a Contract Analyst for Legacy Community Health through its accreditation as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. Later, as Risk Manager, she began implementing risk and compliance practices and handling care and quality concerns for its clinics. Following her interest in exploring the healing relationship in medicine, Ms. Ortiz obtained a Master of Arts in Medical Humanities from the Institute for Bioethics and Health Humanities (formerly Institute for the Medical Humanities) at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB Health).

Ms. Ortiz will join UTHealth Houston’s McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics as a postdoctoral research fellow in Fall 2022. She brings her love of humanity, interest in medical practice, and diverse experience into her study of the interdisciplinary medical humanities. Her current research focus is virtue in medical practice, specifically the relational dimension of medicine in the dynamic of the physician-patient relationship and its effect on the physician’s resulting clinical judgment. Additional research interests include the role of the humanities in clinical ethics consultations and related questions in clinical decision-making. Most recently, Ms. Ortiz discussed her research at the 2022 Health Humanities Consortium Conference, the Catholic Healthcare Professionals February 2022 Meeting, and the UTMB Collaborative 3rd Annual Academies Retreat in 2020.


Bachelor of Science
Boston University
Juris Doctor
South Texas College of Law
Master of Arts
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

Virtue in medical practice
Relationship between physician-patient dynamic and clinical judgment
The role of humanities in clinical judgment
Humanism in clinical ethics, humanistic clinical ethics



Conference Presentations

  • Ortiz, M. (2022, March). The clinical encounter: A space redefined by the pandemic. Panel presented at the 2022 annual meeting of the Health Humanities Consortium, Zoom.
  • Ortiz, M. (2021, February). A call to virtue. Talk presented at the monthly meeting of Catholic Healthcare Professionals, Houston, TX.
  • Ortiz, M. (2020, October). The clinician chronicles: Lessons from the bedside. Talk presented at the third annual retreat of the UTMB Academies Collaborative, Zoom.