Chana Gable Selmon '90, MD
Chana Gable Selmon ‘90, MD
Doctor Paves Path to College for Family
It was not easy for Chana Gable Selmon ’90, MD, to become a doctor—not just because medical school is notoriously hard, but because she was forbidden to attend college. She is the oldest of 10 children in an Orthodox Jewish family. Her father was concerned that attending college would cause his children to abandon their religious values. “But I was determined to get an education,” Selmon said, “I wanted to do something with my life.”
Without her parents’ knowledge, she met with the late Sam Draper, director of the Mentor/Talented Student Honors Program. Although she was uneasy about defying her parents and had no financial support, she decided to enroll. Selmon said that Draper and other professors did much to support her. ‘“Mentor’ is hardly an adequate word for the interest they took in me personally and academically. They became my family.”
Despite struggling with several part-time jobs to help her pay her way, Selmon graduated with a 4.0 GPA and was accepted to Harvard on a full scholarship. Her mother, but not her father, attended her RCC graduation. But he did attend her 1993 graduation from Harvard, where she earned a BA in History.
She attended Cornell University Medical Center medical school, then returned to Harvard for a residency in Emergency Medicine. She now works as an Emergency Medicine physician at Englewood Hospital and Hackensack University Medical Center, and lives in Suffern with her husband Eric and four children.
Five of Selmon’s siblings followed her example by pursuing their goals at RCC.