Harris Ahmed, Haris Ahmed, and Humka Ahmed
Rancho Cucomunga, California and Houston, Texas
In a class of just 162 students, it’s no small coinci- dence when two students from different areas of the country have not just the same last name, but also the same first name. Add to that a prior connection completely unrelated to the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM)—where the two are members of the inaugural class—and the fact that they’re now roommates, and it proves that this is indeed a very small world.
Meet Harris Ahmed from California and Haris Ahmed from Texas. To add another human interest element to the story, Haris’s brother, Humza, is also a first year student at BCOM.
All three of the Ahmeds say BCOM’s focus on Na- tive American and Hispan- ic populations attracted them to the school. “The mission statement drew me towards this program because it specifically mentions Hispanic populations,” says Harris. “That’s where my interests lie and those are the populations I’d been working with before medical school. Plus, the demographics here are very similar to California, so it just felt right.”
That mutual interest in working with Spanish-speaking communities adds another twist to the story. Haris and Humza participated in a volunteer work-study program in Guatemala. Harris partic- ipated in the same study at a different time. When a mutual contact from the program heard they would all be attending BCOM, he put them in touch. The brothers flew out to Los Angeles for a “get acquainted” trip, and the trio got along so well they decided to share expenses and move in together in Las Cruces.
With classes underway at BCOM, the Ahmeds are getting to know both their fellow students and their instructors. “Going through high school and undergrad school, we didn’t deal with the teachers so much, but that’s really important.” Humza notes. “I think on both sides—faculty and students—everyone is making an effort to get to know each other. We’re already cracking jokes with the dean and he’s already called us out a little bit, so it’s a good dynamic. Right now, since we’re the first class, we have the whole building to ourselves and we’re trying to live up to that. We’re trying to build a legacy.”
While they’re enjoying the excitement of the first days of school, all three are also looking towards the future and how they can make an impact in their new home. “One thing that’s impressed me about BCOM is that the faculty are already talking to us about our future and our post graduate jobs,” notes Haris. “It’s not just four years here, it’s a life- time of helping us so we can continue to help this community.”
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