Selena Taha

The supportive role of physicians fuels my passion for primary care.


Medical student Selena Taha with a patientI’m a first-year medical student at The Ohio State University College of Medicine within the three-year primary track program. I knew I wanted to be a physician from the age of six. I remember going to the library with my dad and opening up a pop-up book that revealed the inner workings of veins and arteries throughout the body. I instantly wanted to understand what was happening in the illustration. My dad told me that doctors specialized in understanding what goes on in the body and how to fix things when they go wrong. I was hooked.

Throughout my childhood, I witnessed my mom endure chronic health issues. I also saw the dedication and care she received from health care professionals, especially doctors. This taught me that doctors provide more than just a diagnosis – they also provide comfort.

Doctors aren’t just people who give diagnosis or medication. They stand by you and give you support emotionally and mentally. These experiences solidified my commitment to pursuing medicine so I could offer that level of care to patients in need.

During my undergraduate studies, I volunteered at a free health care clinic in my hometown. I was shocked to see the disparities in access to health care in my own community. It was really eye-opening and made me realize that a person’s socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion or culture shouldn’t hinder access to good health care.

I witnessed another amazing thing at the clinic. I saw firsthand how physicians would take the time to deeply connect with patients, and how these connections could lead to better health outcomes.

My formal medical training at the Ohio State College of Medicine has been built on a foundation of science, relationship building and skills building. The innovative curriculum is designed to empower students to envision the difference we can make in patients’ lives. This makes me want to work even harder.

Early in my first year and a half, I began learning about various body system disorders and began to see patients with these disorders in clinical practice. The chance to see real patients so early in my medical training reinforces the foundational concepts we learn in lecture, while integrating procedure-based training, history taking and physician examination.

We’ve been taught to think critically so we can pose scientific-based questions during classroom and clinical experiences. This is developing my ability to speak up and advocate for patients within the very complex medical system.

For medical students within the three-year primary track program, we automatically match into Ohio State’s Family and Community Medicine residency program. This gives us the opportunity to work closely with family medicine physicians and residents throughout all three years. I’m learning from real-world situations, and I have the support of my program directors, professors and my advisor, who all truly understand primary care and family medicine. The Ohio State College of Medicine is ranked as the best medical school for primary care in the state of Ohio!

I made the right decision coming to Ohio State because not only was I granted the opportunity to become a family doctor even earlier, but I’m provided with such a supportive and encouraging environment and have made really great friends. I’m just so happy to be a Buckeye.

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