BS in Human Physiology, 2009 Bailey Pope has wanted to be a doctor since she was five years old. When her little brother would get hurt, she would take him into the bathroom and cover him with Band-Aids. “I think I was made for it,” she says. “I always liked science and taking care of people.”Pope is currently in the second year of a four-year medical degree program at Oregon Health Sciences University. After completing her studies at OHSU, she will apply for a hospital residency and move on to a specialty after that.Pope’s course work as a human physiology major at the UO have served her well. “I have been very, very well prepared for my anatomy and physiology classes” at OHSU, she says. “I had a leg up on everybody because I was so prepared thanks to my wonderful UO professors, John Halliwill and Christopher Minson.”
In fact, while an undergraduate, Pope worked for two years as a student research fellow in Associate Professor Halliwill’s laboratory. “That was great,” she says, “because research is important for medical school. It helps to understand how advances in science happen.”
Pope spent most of her time in the laboratory studying blood pressure. After exercise, blood pressure goes down. Pope conducted research to determine if that decrease in blood pressure is due to histamine and if exercising over a long period of time would decrease overall blood pressure.
Her experience in the lab and her course work has helped shape Pope’s path. While she entered the UO wanting to be a surgeon, she soon realized how much she enjoyed physiology and the science of disease. “I became less interested in cutting people open,” she explains, “and instead became enthralled and excited about all the diseases we were learning about in class.”
Pope’s goal is to specialize in internal medicine because she enjoys the contact with patients. “I love the idea of being a hospitalist because I would get to help people who are really sick,” she says.
That little girl with the Band-Aids is on her way.
Profile text by Jennifer Snelling