Photo of Alumna Lihani du Plessis

Lihani du Plessis HST, MHC '18

Lihani came to Oregon State University after being recruited for the rowing team from Alberta, Canada. She was drawn to OSU because of Corvallis’s small-town feel and its location in the West Coast. Lihani is a student-athlete with the women’s rowing team and has been active in the community by volunteering in the Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, the Multiple Sclerosis exercise program and Stone Soup Kitchen.

Why did you choose to seek a certificate in the medical humanities?

I want to pursue a career in the medical field, so I added the medical humanities certificate because I thought it would complement my biohealth science and history majors by increasing the depth of my understanding of medicine and health care.

What has been your favorite course so far and why? 

It is difficult to choose just one course, but a medical humanities course that I particularly enjoyed was biomedical ethics with Dr. Campbell. I enjoyed learning about ethics and I realized that practicing medicine is a lot more gray than black and white. In medicine, there are many complex decisions that need to be made. This course also taught me that difficult decisions are best made through consulting advice from appropriate sources such as an ethics committee, and considering all the options. In addition, this class helped me gain perspective about multifaceted and politically heated issues such as abortion and physician assisted suicide.

What skills do you feel you have learned by taking medical humanities courses?

I have improved my critical analysis skills and gained perspective about various topics related to medicine and health care.

How has a medical humanities certificate helped you see your majors differently?

It has helped me bridge my science and history majors. The certificate has also increased my value for the humanities and the importance of a well-rounded education.

What are some extracurricular activities you are involved in and what do you like about them?

Throughout my time at OSU I have been a student-athlete on the women’s rowing team. Rowing allowed me to participate in challenging physical activity with other strong women and grow in leadership and team work skills. I have also volunteered with various organizations including the Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, the Multiple Sclerosis exercise program and Stone Soup Kitchen. I enjoyed these experiences because they allowed me to meet new people who I could help in a tangible way.

What do you hope to achieve in your future career?

After graduation, I will be doing my masters in the history of medicine at the University of Cambridge. Afterwards I hope to attend medical school to become a surgeon. Throughout my career I would like to combine my passions for history and medicine as well as be involved in global health and international development.