Tidelands Health OB/GYN scores spot in Athletics Hall of Fame

Health

Tidelands Health OB/GYN scores spot in Athletics Hall of Fame

Health Tidelands Health OB/GYN Dr. Monica Selander speaks after becoming one of the first Caribou High School in Maine after becoming one of the first members of the school's new Athletics Hall of Fame.

Tidelands Health OB/GYN Dr. Monica Selander speaks after becoming one of the first inductees into Caribou High School's new Athletics Hall of Fame.

At first glance, you might figure that Dr. Monica Selander was a basketball player.
At 6’, the OB/GYN at Tidelands Health Women’s Center stands out. Check her stats from her basketball days at Caribou High School in Maine, and those stand out, too.
In fact, they are so impressive, they helped her score a spot in the high school’s first class of inductees into its new Athletics Hall of Fame.
Earlier this summer, Dr. Selander joined an elite list of 15 individuals and the 1969 boys’ basketball team to become the first inductees into the special club. She was one of the youngest inductees, who were selected from the school’s history dating back to the Class of 1940.
“I was just really excited and definitely flattered and humbled to be chosen,” said Dr. Selander, a member of the class of 2005. “It was pretty special to be chosen in the first class.”

Impressive athletics resume

As a Caribou Viking, Dr. Selander racked up an impressive athletics resume. While she dominated in basketball, she also played soccer and set records in track and field.
With an excellent long-range jump shot, she is one of only two females at Caribou High School to score 1,000 points during her high school basketball career. Among her many basketball accolades: Big East Conference player of the year, member of the All-State first team and the McDonald’s Senior All-Star Team.

She was equally intimidating in other sports, setting school records in the high jump (5’2”), javelin (112’7”) and discus (110’7”) and was a state champion in all three of those as well.
“Monica Selander was one of the most skilled athletes ever to compete at Caribou High School,” the school said in her induction. “Monica had the drive and determination to develop her talents to become a dominant force on the basketball court.”
She continued to excel on the court at Norwich University in Vermont – where she was named GNAC Rookie of the Year and helped lead the team to the NCAA tournament – until she suffered a career-ending back injury.

Lifelong skills

While she hasn’t donned a jersey or stepped on a court in years, Dr. Selander uses the life skills she developed as a team player nearly every day as a physician. The work ethic, leadership abilities and team mindset all have been vital in her success as an OB/GYN.
“Playing sports helped me develop life skills that made it possible for me to do what I wanted to do professionally,” Dr. Selander said. “It was so much easier for me because of sports.”
For example, her “team” mindset was critical during her residency, “spending long hours together, using teamwork to take care of our patients and develop our skills together to become independent physicians.”
Her athletics background also helped her be more “coachable” and able to accept feedback during her residency. She gained valuable experience as a leader of a team and, in the most competitive games, she learned how to stay calm and perform even under great pressure.
“I can directly identify ways that participation in sports helped me achieve my goals and dreams,” Dr. Selander said.

An enjoyable return home

She traveled back to her hometown in Maine for the induction ceremony in June, even garnering a funny shout-out from a former high school wrestler who chose that sport after Dr. Selander dominantly blocked his shot on the basketball court.
“It was a really nice time reminiscing,” she said.

Today, Dr. Selander doesn’t have much time for sports as she juggles her demanding career and growing family. She’s married to Dr. Earl Han, a Tidelands Health orthopedic surgeon, and they are raising three daughters, Nora, 4; Luna, 3, and Ayla, 3 months.
But the lessons remain.
“My sports career was much more to me than a fun time had in high school and college,” she said. “My experience in training for basketball, track and soccer translated into life skills that were vital in becoming successful in my career.”

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