Eshaa Selvam

Eshaa Selvam, BA is a recent graduate of Columbia University (Class of 2021) and was a student in the English and Comparative Literature program. Her academic studies were focused in English literature as well as pre-medical studies as she aspires to attend medical school and become a physician. Her academic and clinical interests include working with underrepresented minorities in medicine through her work as an EMT and a patient advocate at different hospitals. Her research interests are targeted towards African American literature and the study of forgotten Black print culture to understand ideas of racial identity and representation. She sees herself using her varied interests to become a pediatrician and serve underrepresented communities as well as racial minorities in medicine to promote a more inclusive medical space. Eshaa’s current hobbies include cooking, working out, and writing poetry. 


“Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”  

– Susan Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor

“As human beings, the work that we do shapes the person that we become. Seeing people during their times of good health and their times of bad health as a pre-medical student and an aspiring physician has shown me the fragility of life and the importance of societal support toward dignified healthcare and one’s autonomy over their health. To me, the Completed Life Initiative represents this need to look further into the way that we view our healthcare systems and to critically reflect on and push for change so that we can provide a more inclusive and humanistic healthcare experience for all, not just those who fit into societally “standard” narratives. ”