I have always been fascinated with breast cancer, at first because I was struck by its high mortality in Southern Europe, where I was born. After finishing medical school, I realized that with the recent advances in genetics, our fight against cancer was soon going to be shaped by these new genetic insights. This led me to come to the United States and pursue a Ph.D. in breast cancer at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota where I worked with the co-discoverer of the BRCA1 breast cancer gene, Dr. Fergus Couch. During this time, I obtained research grant funding from the U.S. Department of Defense which put my research on a national scale. I then completed a General Surgery Residency where I was trained in the full breadth of open and laparoscopic surgery. I was drawn to cancer surgery since it necessitates a strong personal connection with the patient that is long term. Breast surgery, in particular, is a specialty that requires significant compassion for the sick patient, especially since women fear breast cancer more than any other disease, and the associated stress can severely impact quality of life. Breast Surgery also necessitates several skills, including using state of the art technology for accurate diagnosis and treatment, and performing the right operation with a strive for excellent cosmetic result. In effect, it is as much a science as it is an art. Subsequently, I completed subspecialty fellowship training in Breast Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, one of the leading breast cancer programs in the country, and home to the NSABP trials that shaped modern breast cancer care. I was trained in the newest techniques of breast cancer surgery and in the multidisciplinary aspects that constitute modern breast cancer care. At UPMC, I had the opportunity to perform further research in breast cancer. In fact, this research led to a Conquer Cancer Merit Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology at their annual congress in Chicago. A fellowship in breast surgery constitutes additional training for a general surgeon following a five-year surgical residency. It includes extensive training in the surgical treatment of both breast cancer and benign breast disease, obtaining the skills to perform the newest breast surgery techniques. The aim of modern breast surgery is not just to take out the cancer safely, but also to do so accurately, and to obtain the best cosmetic result achievable. During breast surgery fellowship, the surgeon also gets significant exposure to the other specialties that work together to take care of the woman with breast cancer, such as radiology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, breast pathology, genetic counselling and survivorship. Besides arming you with the knowledge and skills to provide cutting-edge breast cancer care, the fellowship's goal is to emerge as a breast surgeon who is a leader in the field and positioned to lead breast programs locally or nationally. Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of my work is to see a patient come in for their first visit certain they are going to die from breast cancer, and seeing their perspective change over the course of our interaction, realizing that breast cancer is in most cases curable and no longer a mutilating disease. It is very heartening to see a patient not just become disease free, but see them become empowered with a strong motivation to live life to the fullest.
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Learn about Dr. Farrugia
No matter how routine a problem may seem to a trained surgeon, it is life changing for the patient out of fear of the diagnosis and how it is going to change their life. My goal is to champion the humanity behind the disease through empathy and understanding, recognizing the inner fight in every patient against the physical and psychological stresses that disease brings. Besides delivering state of the art surgical care, I strive to provide each patient with some sense of peace, lessen their fear and diminish their suffering. To accomplish this, I place great priority on my availability to provide unhurried consultation, reassurance, and emotional support. My overarching philosophy is to treat every patient as if I was treating my own family and return each patient to a life they love living – nobody deserves less than that.
Dr. Farrugia's experience matches your search based on the following criteria:
Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
Specializes in Breast Surgery
Board certified in General Surgery
No malpractice claims found
No sanctions found
No board actions found
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Breast Surgical Oncology
Accredited by: American Board of Physician Specialties*
Why It Matters: Dr. Farrugia's Board Certifications
Board certification should be one of your top considerations when choosing a doctor. Board certification is an official recognition given to doctors who have met specific requirements set by national medical specialty boards in the United States.
Board certification indicates that a doctor is highly qualified in the medical field in which he or she practices. A board-certified doctor is more likely than a non-board-certified doctor to have the most current skills and knowledge about how to treat your medical condition.
Breast Cancer During Pregnancy
Breast Cancer Recurrence
Breast Duct Papilloma
Biopsy of Breast
Breast Cancer Surgery
Breast Cancer Treatment
Breast Surgical Procedure
Core Needle Biopsy of Breast
Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy of Breast
Mammotome® Breast Biopsy
Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy
0 Malpractice Claims
No malpractice history found for Illinois.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is issued when negligence by a doctor causes injury to a patient. For example, a doctor may improperly diagnose, treat or medicate outside the standard of medical care. The three types of malpractice are: a settlement, an arbitration award, or a judgment.
If my doctor has malpractice history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact the quality of care you receive. Claim settlements and arbitration awards may occur for a variety of reasons, which should not necessarily reflect negatively on the doctor's professional competence or conduct. You may want to use this information to start a discussion with the doctor about his or her history and specific ability to provide healthcare for you.
How far back does Healthgrades malpractice history go?
Healthgrades reports details of a doctor’s malpractice history when the doctor has at least one closed medical malpractice claim within the last five years, even if he or she no longer practices in that state.
For which states does Healthgrades collect malpractice history?
Healthgrades collects malpractice information from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact your quality of care. Sometimes multiple states report the same claim. If a provider practices in a state where data is unavailable, please reach out to your local state legislature to help make this data publicly available.
No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What is a sanction or disciplinary action?
A sanction, also known as a disciplinary action, is an action taken to punish or restrict a doctor who has demonstrated professional misconduct. Sanctions may be imposed by a state medical board, professional medical licensing organization, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If my doctor has sanction history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a sanction, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor-quality doctor. Some sanctions are not related to medical care, and involve a doctor’s finances or administrative activities. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, we recommend that you evaluate the doctor’s sanction information and determine how severe or relevant you think the sanction cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades sanction history go?
Healthgrades reports state and federal sanctions from the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect sanction history?
Healthgrades collects sanction history from all 50 U.S. states. Physicians with a disciplinary action in one state may move to another state where they have a clean record. Since Healthgrades painstakingly compiles disciplinary action information from all 50 states, Healthgrades website will show if a physician has a disciplinary action in more than one state.
0 Board Actions
No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What are board actions?
Board actions are non-disciplinary actions imposed upon a doctor based on a complaint investigation. A patient or medical colleague may file a complaint with that state medical board or professional licensing organization, which then investigates the complaint. Board actions are intended to ensure that a doctor is able to perform safe medical and health care tasks.
Types of non-disciplinary actions include an advisory letter, a corrective action agreement, a limitation or restriction on the medical or healthcare tasks a doctor can perform, or a voluntary agreement by the doctor not to practice. A board action can also include a termination of a corrective action agreement or voluntary agreement, which allows the doctor to return to full practice.
If my doctor has a board action, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a board action, it means he or she has had a non-disciplinary action imposed upon him or her. It does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor quality doctor. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, evaluate the doctor's board action information and determine how severe or relevant you think the cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades non-disciplinary board action history go?
Healthgrades reports non-disciplinary board action history from for the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect non-disciplinary board actions?
Healthgrades collects non-disciplinary board actions from all 50 U.S. states.
University of Malta / Medical School
Medical School | Graduated 1997
Internship Hospital | Completed
University of Florida
Residency Hospital | Completed
Hospitals of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Fellowship Hospital | Completed
Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Medicine
Other Education | Completed
Awards & Recognition
Awards & Honors
Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications
Dr. Farrugia has no media or publications listed.
Awards & Recognition
What is a recognized doctor?
Healthgrades Recognized Doctor designation identifies leading doctors who:
Are board certified.
Have not had their license surrendered or revoked since Healthgrades started collecting data in 2000.
Have no malpractice judgments, adverse arbitration awards, or monetary settlements for the last five years in the states in which Healthgrades can collect malpractice data.
Are free of state or federal disciplinary actions (sanctions) for the last five years.
Healthgrades updates the Recognized Doctor list quarterly based on board certification data. Healthgrades also receives sanction and malpractice data throughout the year, depending on how frequently the state medical boards release updates.
We remove a newly sanctioned doctor from the Recognized Doctor list as soon as we receive the information. However, it is important to note that malpractice information is publically available in only 14 states.
Memberships & Professional Affiliations
Dr. Farrugia does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Farrugia and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your profile.