Selena Magalotti, MD, approaches patients much like her inspiration “Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda approaches audiences: with a positive, energetic demeanor, impressive insight and incredible drive to lift people’s spirts—or kids’, in her case. It’s these personality traits that better help her establish good rapport, provide comfort and create trustworthy relationships with children and families—key components to getting the most out of treatment, she says.
As Akron Children’s newest child and adolescent psychiatrist in our Lois and John Orr Family Behavioral Health Center, Dr. Magalotti has found her rhythm in creating a safe, nonjudgmental space to treat children and teens with emotional struggles. She spends her days working with hospitalized kids to stabilize their symptoms so they can safely return home and helping patients in her clinic develop the tools, resources and skills to pursue their goals.
Dr. Magalotti was drawn to pediatric psychiatry because there is nothing more rewarding to her than making a positive impact in a child’s life trajectory—from the playground to the classroom to wherever life takes them in the future.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s?
I have good memories of Akron Children’s dating back to medical school. I completed my first child psychiatry rotations here and afterwards made the decision to pursue this field for my career. Fast forward a decade and I was excited for the opportunity to once again join the Akron Children’s team that helped me find my passion all those years ago. I appreciate the positive, welcoming and holistic culture focused on excellent care of children and their families.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish.
I am a child and adolescent psychiatrist. I will be working in the pediatric psychiatry outpatient clinic, and I will evaluate children admitted to the hospital when there are psychiatric concerns. I hope to provide a safe space for children and families to discuss areas of strength and areas that could be optimized. Mental health is so important for children to grow, develop and accomplish their goals.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
I am triple board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry, forensic psychiatry and general psychiatry. In medical school, I was drawn to psychiatry for the opportunity to have a meaningful role in improving people’s mental health and helping them navigate the challenges of life. I chose to subspecialize in child and adolescent psychiatry to help children address mental health concerns and have a positive impact on a child’s life trajectory.
What do you like most about being a provider?
It is an honor and privilege for people to entrust me with the details of their lives. With this information, and working together with a child and their family, it is rewarding to see a child’s mental health improve.
What impression do you hope to leave with your patients each day?
I hope patients feel empowered and safe to be open and honest in their care, and know that they will be received by a nonjudgmental and listening ear. I am here to be a team player in their care.
What unique or different skills do you have that help you practice medicine?
I also chose to subspecialize in forensic psychiatry, which has helped me hone my diagnostic, interviewing and documentation skills to assess and relay information thoughtfully and thoroughly.
How does your personality fit your role?
I am an energetic, bright, inquisitive and nonjudgmental person. These qualities help me develop good rapport with children and families. Good rapport and feeling comfortable with your provider are important for getting the most out of treatment.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me means that I have helped a young person feel comfortable, empowered, engaged and safe in their care. It means that we have worked together to give a child the tools, resources and skills to pursue their goals. We are on the same team: supporting children to improve their mental health.
What’s one thing about you that most people don’t know?
I once made a cake that looked just like a Thanksgiving turkey.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
Something I’ve been able to cross off my bucket list is being on a billboard! In 2011, I was featured in an advertisement for my medical school on billboards throughout Northeast Ohio.
If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be and why?
I would invite Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of “Hamilton.” His positive demeanor, insight and drive is an inspiration to me. Also, “Hamilton” and “In the Heights” got me hooked on musicals, which are now one of my favorite things and bring me so much joy.