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UH medical students adjust to learning during the pandemic

The current COVID-19 crisis has only strengthened the passion of the 30 students who make up the College of Medicine's inaugural class.

HOUSTON — The pandemic has affected so many people in different ways including those on a mission to help others.

For the 30 students who make up the inaugural class at the University of Houston’s College of Medicine, the current COVID-19 crisis has only strengthened their passion to become future doctors.

Nabeel Ahmad is a former Houston ISD teacher.

He’s now working toward becoming a pediatrician with a focus on adolescent medicine.

“It definitely has ingrained in me a stronger sense of duty to serve vulnerable populations because they are exposed most to the disease,” Ahmad said. “When I taught at Sharpstown I would see a lot of health issues that as a teacher I can’t treat or diagnose or something but I always kept in the back of mind in terms of obesity, diabetes, students not getting their physical checkups.”

Credit: KHOU
Nabeel Ahmad

His classmate, Diamondneshay Ward, wants to work in internal medicine after being affected by Hurricane Katrina.

“All of the volunteers and just their willingness to pour into people that they did not even know was really touching so it made me want to; it affirmed that I wanted to help people,” Ward said.

Credit: KHOU
Diamondneshay Ward

Both students felt disconnected during their first semester because COVID-19 didn’t allow them to socialize.

“Medical school is already isolating in itself like before the pandemic in a way because you’re always studying, you’re always alone,” Ward said.

However, they’ve adjusted to the curveballs the pandemic has thrown at them including online learning.

At the moment, they remain committed to serving those affected the most by the virus.

“I will say that it has definitely given me motivation that I have to stay the course and I have to finish and get to the other side so I can serve these communities,” Ward said.