student sitting and smiling at camera with a book in hand
Medical Humanities

Where are you from? 

I am from Newberg, Oregon. Go Tigers!

Why are you interested in history and medical humanities as your majors?

I am pre-med, so I initially declared a STEM major when I came to OSU, but I gravitated toward history and switched early on. History is a lot more than learning about the past; it’s about thinking through a critical lens, reading against the grain, and getting down to the root of things. And the medical humanities certificate is similar in that it critically analyzes the US medical world from multiple angles. One class can be on ethics, while the other could be on culture or anthropology. It’s helped prepare me for issues that a chemistry or biology class couldn’t educate me about.

What has been your experience as a student of both the College of Liberal Arts and the Honors College?

It’s been great! The faculty and staff are fantastic in both. I’ve loved all of my CLA and Honors instructors. All of my advisors have been fantastic, especially as having to schedule so many classes for pre-med outside of my major has been a challenge, to say the least. Both colleges also have tight-knit communities and it’s easy to make long-lasting connections.

Have you started your honors thesis? If yes, what’s the topic and/or focus of your research? If not, are you considering any ideas so far?

I’m currently in Stage 2 of the thesis process, where I’m exploring and narrowing down ideas from meetings with various faculty. It’s definitely going to be focused on medicine and have a liberal arts spin, but I’m not married to an idea yet. I’ve narrowed it down to two choices: a history of medicine project or a medical anthropology project where I’d interview physicians and other caregivers about their thoughts on a current medical issue. But I don’t know yet! And that’s okay; research is “me-search.” I’m not committing until I feel confident about my topic. 

What have been some of your favorite classes taken?

I really enjoyed Leadership: 2 Perspectives Colloquia, Intro Fiction Writing, Medical Anthropology, and all of my history classes. My history classes are small and never in a traditional lecture format, with my professors actively engaging the class. 

What are you hoping to do after you graduate?

I plan on applying to medical schools and I hope I’ll get in! For my specialization, I’m currently considering  oncology or family medicine, but I’m sure that will change as time goes on. 

How do you feel that your experience in CLA and HC is setting you up for success?

Both colleges provide a lot of opportunities for their students that enrich the experience at Oregon State and connect you to a lot of resources, and of course, the thesis provides me an opportunity to show medical schools I apply to a project I’m passionate about. The College of Liberal Arts also gives me a unique pre-med experience that focuses on writing, communication, and critical thinking skills, as well as STEM.