Zena Salim

Residency Photo Zena Salim

Hometown: Kenya

Name of Undergraduate Institution: University of Southern California

Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Major: Biological Sciences, Minor: Sociology

Name of Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Favorite Quote: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

Contact Info: salimzen@msu.edu

Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?

I am currently a fourth-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. I decided to pursue medicine because I have seen what life can be without healthcare from my Kenyan family.  It was the loss of one of my closest family members that keeps me passionate about what I do and grateful for where I am every day. I am here because I have a passion to serve the underserved on a global level through increasing access to healthcare.

If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell her?

You don’t have to do what everyone else did to end up where they are; you can get there through your own unique path.

What is your favorite thing about your medical school?

I love that MSU cares about accepting individuals who are incredibly kind, talented, and passionate about making the world a better place. My classmates inspire me every day! MSU also places a strong emphasis on patient-centered care and serving the underserved. It’s everything that I stand for and I am so grateful to be in a learning environment that reinforces my values.

Did you take some time off before medical school? If so, what did you do during that time?

I took a year off and worked as a scribe and an emergency unit coordinator. A few months before school started, I traveled to Tokyo, Kenya, Uganda, and Britain.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to explore new foods- follow our Instagram @unexploredtastebuds that I run with some fellow foodie med students. I also love to paint and create art.

What do you feel is the most challenging part of medical school? The easiest part?

I think the most challenging part is knowing when to ease the pressure off of yourself. It’s a balancing act of wanting to be successful but simultaneously acknowledging your accomplishments. I think the culture of medicine is one that will always push you so it’s important to be reflective.

The easiest part is talking to and learning from all the patients and physicians that I encounter. Medical school has allowed me to meet such inspirational individuals!

What do you do to get through the stressful nature of medical school?

I think it’s so important to have a strong support system who can help take your mind off of school. I have been so lucky to have friends and family who understand how stressful med school can be.

What is it like attending school in your city?

I am currently on the Flint campus and with all the negative press Flint has received, I must say that it is an incredible town. The people of Flint are truly the most resilient, welcoming, and loving people I have encountered and I am proud to call myself a Flintstone!

This is awesome Zena, thank you for taking the time to share some of your wisdom and experiences with us! You are much appreciated, and your passion to help others who aren't as fortunate to have adequate access to healthcare will carry you to incredible heights! Best of luck to you as you continue on your fruitful journey!

Health Career Spotlights Home Page

Posted on August 21st, 2017


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