Make The Connection

Medical Research at Mayo Clinic

September 29, 2016 – by Gopika Nair '18

Eric Baughman ’17 shares results of the summer research he performed at Mayo Clinic. His work involved hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition in which the left side of the heart fails to develop and function properly. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

OWU Connection Experience ‘Showed Me the Future that I Want to Pursue,’ Student Says

Name: Eric Baughman ’17
Majors: Pre-Professional Zoology and Pre-Medicine
Minors: Chemistry and Psychology
Hometown: Springboro, Ohio
Experience: Baughman worked at Mayo Clinic over the summer, participating in a research laboratory and gaining clinical experience by shadowing a pediatric cardiologist.

Lessons Learned: “From this project, I learned a lot about the heart and stem cells, both practically and theoretically. I also learned many lab techniques that, while common to many cell culture labs, were unique and more difficult than most other labs. 

“Professionally, I was able to see what a full-time research lab entails, the duties required for research scientists and PIs (principal investigators), and how a doctor in a hospital conducts his or her daily activities. This experience taught me how to conduct myself in a lab, how to go about research, and how much the field of research operates. 

“From everything I learned, I was able to see that while I enjoy research, practicing medicine is my true aspiration. I enjoyed my time in the lab, but by the end, I was ready to be done; whereas I want more of the clinical experience that I was only able to see a few times. 

“Therefore, this experience taught me many practical skills that I will be able to use throughout my educational career, but also showed me the future that I want to pursue.” 

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan: “I first heard about OWU from an alum from my high school who spoke highly of the education she was receiving and the amount of personal interaction she was able to have with professors. 

“I didn’t want to become some number at a school with tens of thousands of students, so I decided to look into OWU. After a tour and learning about the high acceptance rate into medical school as well as the small class sizes, I decided OWU was for me, especially since it was just far enough away from home.” 

My Plans After Graduation: “I have never regretted my decision and love OWU dearly. I’ve made many lasting connections with students and faculty, been offered opportunities that I wouldn’t have believed before coming to OWU, and been very well prepared for my future at medical school, which I will hopefully be attending starting either summer or fall of 2017 after I gain acceptance.”

Alumni Connections: Baughman’s experience was facilitated by OWU alumnus E. Rolland Dickson, M.D. ’55, an emeritus professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Baughman also earned an Ohio Wesleyan Theory-to-Practice Grant to support his Mayo Clinic work. The grant utilized funds from The Andres Duarte ’65 Endowed Fund for the Ohio Wesleyan Connection.