Skip to main content

A Look into PD1000 with Dr. Robin Selzer

by Kylie Bachmann (’24)

All Medical Sciences students are required to take PD1000, Exploring Health Professions, during their first year in the MedSci program. What some may not know, however, is that Dr. Robin Selzer only started the class six years ago.

Dr. Selzer teaches several sections of Exploring Health Professions. When asked why she decided to start the class, Dr. Selzer detailed how students are constantly told that to get into medical school, they need service hours, shadowing hours, and a great resume, but they have no structured support in making that all happen. This course is offered to provide that support and educate students about all the career possibilities that are open to them. Often, Medical Sciences students are aware of only a small portion of healthcare careers and options.

“The core of the course originated from the idea that students come to college without a full idea of the scope of health professions available to them,” she said. “They might come in with tunnel vision in medicine based on their own experience growing up and going to the doctor. There are so many healthcare careers available to them. The heart of the class is introducing students to the scope and variety of careers, which is why it’s called Exploring Healthcare Professions.”

The class is not just focused on how to get to medical school, though. “You students are blessed to have Dr. Menon as a mentor who has set the tone of the [Medical Sciences] program. He set a priority on reflection and self-awareness, as well as thinking about who you are — not just as scores and grades, but as people. The way I teach the course, it’s not just about how you get into medical school. You also need to focus on who you are as people and how to be good people.”

Dr. Selzer has an interdisciplinary background, including a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a Master’s in community and school counseling, and a PhD in higher education from Loyola University in Chicago. She has used her extensive background to lay the foundation of the course. “As you can see in PD1000, I sort of infuse all of those backgrounds into the work with pre-health students I teach. I can look at it through a sociology lens, a human rights and social justice lens, as well as another lens to help students see all the opportunities that are available to them. I have that doctoral work, which allows me to understand how different units in college work, as well as an understanding of the college experience.”

Dr. Selzer also mentioned that she considers herself to be a social justice educator, which is apparent when taking the course. Exploring Health Professions is more than just what the name alludes to. There is a heavy focus on healthcare disparities, human rights, as well as social justice. When taking PD1000, not only will you learn to write an effective resume and elevator speech, but you are also able to expand your knowledge about healthcare disparities that you might not have even noticed before.

When asked if she has had any favorite students over the years, Dr. Selzer responded, “There are a few students that do come to mind but one in particular, and I would say I learned as much from this student as I had hoped that I taught this student. The relationship between the mentor and mentee was reciprocal. A lot of times students are intimidated by faculty simply because they feel like [the faculty member] knows more and the student has this deference to respect, but being able to be your authentic self with faculty or a mentor goes a long way. This student put in just as much work getting to know me as I did getting to know her. She also was able to go out and put the things she learned in class into action. She was willing to go out and take risks and do the work, and I just have so much respect for that.”

Finally, on a personal note, some of the best advice I’ve been given so far has come from Dr. Selzer: “Reach back and help somebody else. Reach out sideways to the students around you as well. The people behind you need shoulders to stand on to become giants themselves. I really believe that these journeys should not be walked alone — collaboration over competition! It’s so important to give to others, thank people for their collaboration and help. You don’t need to hold onto experiences because you are afraid they will set someone else a step ahead of you. Share freely and help others! Your only true competition is your best self.”

Dr. Selzer obviously loves working with students and ended our conversation with this sentiment: “Medical Sciences students are the best kinds of students. You all are so thoughtful, hardworking, and committed, and it makes my job easy. Some of my best experiences have been with students in the Medical Sciences program.”

Thank you, Dr. Selzer, for preparing and teaching us well!

Intranet Login

Contact Us

Department of
Emergency Medicine

Medical Sciences Building Room 1654
231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670769
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0769

Mail Location: 0769
Phone: 513-558-5281
Email: Emergency Medicine