Richard E. Miller Elementary and Royal Palm Middle School graduate Yarden Tahan is happy to be back home again; although this time, she is Dr. Yarden Tahan.
Tahan still carries fond memories of her of her years in elementary and middle school including her student council experience, making great friends, and teachers that had a positive impact on her life.
“My fourth grade teacher at Richard E. Miller, Mr. Thiel, is still my favorite teacher ever,” Tahan said. “He made me want to become a teacher.”
Which is exactly what happened. Before changing course and deciding to go to medical school, Tahan was an English teacher at another alma matter, Sunnyslope High School.
“I loved teaching but I also loved school,” Tahan said. “A few years in to teaching, I started taking some night classes and found I really enjoyed biology, which ultimately got me interested in medical school.”
After graduating from medical school at the University of Arizona and completing three years of residency at Banner Good Samaritan, Dr. Tahan will be caring for patients of all ages as a family practitioner at HonorHealth’s Seventh Street Medical Group, starting November 1.
“I wanted to come back home,” she said. “I’m now within a few miles of where I grew up, went to school, and now work. It just all feels like home to me.”
Dr. Tahan’s advice to students is to do what you love.
“Follow your passion,” she said. “I got to be a doctor, but I still get to teach every day—I just teach different material.”
It was while working as a volunteer in high school at a skilled nursing facility that it all “clicked,” and Tahan realized she was a natural communicator. Whether it was visiting with patients, providing social support, or assisting with basic tasks, she enjoyed both the interaction and the feeling of being able to help people.
“Try the things you want to try and try the things your parents and teachers suggest that you try,” she said. “At that age, it’s a good time to just try everything.”
Dr. Tahan points to the similarities, challenges and rewards of both teaching and family medicine.
“It’s like having 30 students in a classroom,” she said. “You learn from each of them and what you learn from one gives perspective and helps when you work with others.”
For this teacher-turned-family physician, WESD provided a solid foundation for her future success.
“I hope I’m a great product of the District,” Tahan said. “Richard E. Miller and Royal Palm were loving, nurturing environments—I felt safe and happy there.”