Russel “Scott” Holliday '92
Medical Imaging Technology
Growing up in Harper, Oregon, college, let alone a medical degree and residency at Yale New Haven hospital, was not on the aspirational radar for Scott Holliday. Muses Holliday, "It was a great place to grow up, but most of the education was very practical - how to balance a checkbook, lots of shop classes. Very few kids go to college." Harper, a small farm town in Eastern Oregon had 40 kids in their high school, and only 15 in Holliday's graduating class.
Holliday’s first venture into higher education was at Treasure Valley Community College in Eastern Oregon. His experience was less than successful “I didn’t do well. I played around a lot.” After having decided that he had “worn out TVCC,” Holliday worked a couple of odd jobs over the winter. One job in particular– loading 50-lb bags of onions in an onion shed--gave him plenty of time to reconsider his options and his future. “It was a brutally hard job – and that’s saying a lot coming from a farm kid.” An aptitude test he had taken in high school indicated that Holliday should pursue careers as an architect, a forestry engineer or an x-ray tech. Holliday had “tried the forestry stuff already at TVCC.” He decided he would enter OITs Medical Imaging Technology program.
After his summer as a smokejumper concluded in Redmond, Scott packed up his truck mid-September and headed to Klamath Falls, showing up at the admissions office just days before the start of fall term. Not having been prepared for the little details of college attendance, such as registration, Scott showed up and was taken under the wing of one of the Registrar’s office, who worked on getting Scott admitted, registered and into classes that term. Fortunately for Scott, many of his credits from Treasure Valley CC transferred for the program. In addition to intro courses in math and Radiology, Scott discovered his affinity for anatomy in Dr. Connors Intro to Anatomy class where he earned straight A’s and ended up as a TA for the anatomy class. “I was an anatomy junkie,” says Scott. “Dr. Connors was a great role model.
Many OIT alums cite the faculty dedication as critical to their success; Holliday is no exception. Dr. Stewart, Holliday’s math instructor “taught why you needed to know math, the reasons, not just the formulas.” In addition, Stewart made sure that Scott understood the concepts that were going to be on a test prior to the test, turning a self-professed math-phobe into a successful student.
Allied health professions careers require a year’s externship working in the field. When this time for Scott, he ended up with his last choice, Twin Falls, Idaho. Little did he realize the great influence his time there would have on his life. In addition to meeting his wife RoseAnne there, Scott had the great good fortune to work closely with an emergency room physician, Dr. Kevin Kraal from OHSU who fostered Scott’s interest in emergency room medicine, and strongly encouraged him to continue his education by going to medical school.
After receiving his degree from OIT and marrying RoseAnne (a former Miss Idaho and current PhD candidate), Scott followed his wife as she pursued her master’s degree in Minnesota. After another stint in Idaho, it was on to Kansas City, Missouri, where Scott entered the University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine (A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine is equivalent to an MD, and has the comparable education and licensure requirements. Osteopathic physicians focus on the musculoskeletal system and embrace a “holistic philosophy considering the body as interrelated systems that work together to ensure good health” according to the Kirksville College of Medicine.) With only two weeks from the time he was notified of his admission to the program until the start of classes, it was another whirlwind move, this time with a family. “My wife has seen me through the whole time,” says Holliday appreciatively.
Scott credits his Medical Imaging Technology degree from OIT with helping him get into medical school and into a highly rated residency program at Yale New Haven Hospital. “Yale is great. They take a lot of people with varied backgrounds.”
No shortage of ambition (though perhaps time) in the Holliday household. While Scott is completing his residency in New Haven, RoseAnne is completing her PhD in Nutritional Science at University of Connecticut, specializing in, and the Hollidays are the proud parents of two young sons. “We challenge ourselves” says Holliday. An understatement, indeed.