Document Type



Oregon Health & Science University


Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Baptist spent her childhood years, in the 1920s and 1930s, in the small farming community of Nampa, Idaho. She recalls her early schooling, her father’s involvement with the Boy Scouts of America, and the pace of life in Depression-era Nampa. The discussion moves into the period of World War II and Baptist's college years at the College of Idaho and University of Montana. Baptist came to Portland to attend the medical technology program at the University of Oregon Medical School in 1945. She describes the curriculum and the system of rotation that took the students around the various lab stations to complete the twelve-month program of certification. Upon graduation, Baptist was encouraged to remain at the University and she began work "charting" for the patients in Multnomah County Hospital. Soon, she was a full-fledged medical technician, teaching students and lecturing in parasitology and urinalysis. There is some discussion about the qualifications that are important for anyone wishing to become a medical technician, and about the prevalence of men and minority students in the field.


Transcript of oral history interview with Mary Elizabeth Betsy Baptist, conducted on April 23, 1999 by Heather Rosenwinkel.


OHSU Oral History Project




School of Nursing


CC BY 4.0 (

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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