Brighid Rickman
Medical Humanities

Where are you from? 

I’m from Roseburg, Oregon. It’s a small town about an hour south of Eugene. 

Why are you interested in psychology and medical humanities as your areas of study?

I want to attend medical school, hopefully OHSU. I have always loved psychology and think it’s one of the most interesting and dynamic fields, so I knew what I wanted my major to be before I even came to OSU. I didn’t know about our medical humanities program until I took a class with Dr. Campbell, who recommended it to me, and I haven’t looked back since. I think it’s so important to approach medicine from both the hard science knowledge and the humanistic perspective, because as providers, doctors are caring for people and it’s crucial to understand them from both views. 

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

I have really appreciated being a part of both. I feel like through the College of Liberal Arts and my major, I really feel connected to both the college and the university as a whole. Being in both has also allowed me to meet a wide range of people, many of whom have become some of my closest friends. I am eternally grateful to both colleges for the different connections I have made and the unique experiences I’ve had. 

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?

Yes, I have started my thesis. I am focusing on how the geopolitical attitudes of my hometown created an environment that made Douglas County rank as one of the worst places to live at the outbreak of the pandemic. I have worked in the emergency department as a scribe since April of 2021, so I saw firsthand the severity of COVID’s impact on our small community and wanted to further explore why. My father is also an emergency physician in the same hospital, and it was really hard during that time to watch him walk out the door every day wondering if that would be the shift he got COVID, so there is definitely a personal connection. 

What have been some of your favorite classes taken?

Biomedical Ethics, Death and Dying, Developmental Psychopathology, or History of Commerce through Board Games. Being in the honors college has allowed me to take a lot of unique and different colloquia that have definitely made my experience in college a lot more fun. 

What are you hoping to do after you graduate?

I hope to attend OHSU School of Medicine and become an emergency physician. My dream is to eventually practice emergency medicine in the PNW one day. 

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

I think the biggest thing has been improving my self-efficacy. Through both colleges, I’ve been in leadership positions and have been connected to a lot of resources and people, so I feel a lot more confident in my abilities to not only advocate for myself, but to also have a clear idea of what I want my future to look like and how to attain that future.