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Abdimajid Mohamed '14 Learns to Trust Himself as He Learns About Medicine

By Kenneth Stratton '19 SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2019 - 12:00 PM WNE100

It’s not often that Abdimajid Mohamed ’14 makes a decision based on gut feeling alone, but on the rare occasion he does, it proves to be life-changing.

Mohamed is on the path to earning his MD from Tufts University School of Medicine, but that wasn’t always the case. Originally from Somalia, Mohamed grew up in Maine dreaming of playing college basketball.

“My family and I came to this country before I was old enough to remember. We hopped around a bit but, eventually, we found ourselves in Biddeford,” Mohamed explained. “My brothers and I are huge fans of basketball and we spent a great deal of our time growing up playing the game that we love,” he added.

After high school, Mohamed was in contact with several college coaches, including those from Western New England. With plenty of options to choose from, it was time for one of those life changing decisions.

“I will say that there are a handful of times in my life that I trusted my gut to make a decision - choosing to attend Western New England University was one of those moments,” Mohamed said.

So Mohamed fulfilled his dream, playing college basketball as a Golden Bear. But becoming involved on campus as a Resident Advisor (RA), and beginning to reconsider his career path, Mohamed had yet another decision to make.

“I knew practices every day and those long bus rides for away games coupled with my nights on duty being an RA would stretch me a little thinner than I would have liked,” Mohamed explained. “Making the decision to stop playing basketball after my sophomore year was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made,” he said.

Mohamed doesn’t regret that decision, thankful for the connections he built as an RA. Nor does he regret the decision he made the summer earlier: to pursue a future as a physician.

“I started asking myself a simple question,” Mohamed said. “‘When I’m retired, what life will I be most satisfied with when looking back?’ The only thought that I could answer with was a life I lived helping others who otherwise could not help themselves,” he explained.

Mohamed had previously been studying business, considering opportunities in marketing. He recognized that there were plenty of ways in which he could help people that didn’t necessarily require becoming a physician, but that rare feeling in his gut told him this decision was the right one.

“It took six years, but in August of 2017 I reached my new dream and began the path towards my MD at Tufts University School of Medicine,” Mohamed said.

So far, Mohamed has found his time in medical school to be nothing short of challenging and rewarding. He recalled working on the Sharewood project with fellow medical students, providing physicals, confidential STD/HIV tests, and blood pressure screenings to residents in the greater Boston area. Here Mohamed served as Executive Director.

“I jumped at the opportunity because of what Sharewood represents,” Mohamed said. “Most of the patients we saw at Sharewood were a combination of either uninsured, impoverished or newly arrived immigrants,” the medical school student explained. “Continuing to work with marginalized communities is something that I strive for,” he added.

Mohamed is now in his third year of medical school – the clinical phase. After spending much of his first two years learning about systems of the human body, he will now be taking what he has learned and begin applying it. Mohamed’s studies will be focused on treatment, communication with patients, and working as part of a medical team.

“Now that I’m beginning my third year, I’ve recently moved back to my home state and relocated to my new home in Portland, Maine,” Mohamed said. He explained that the move is because he is in the Maine Track Program through Tufts; a program aimed at addressing the physician shortage in the state. In these final two years of medical school, he’ll be working and learning at Maine Medical Center.

Mohamed remains unsure about a specialty of focus after obtaining his MD. But his overarching goal will remain working with marginalized communities.

“When I graduate with my MD in just a couple of years, I will be among only 6% of fellow black medical students graduating with an MD annually in America,” Mohamed said. “I plan to focus on working within systems such as pipeline programs, early exposure to sciences and outreach programs to communities of color to help increase the diversity of medical students,” he concluded.

Mohamed is eager to take what he learned and make an impact on the world. Each day he’s working closer to that goal and trusting his gut - which to this point, hasn’t steered him wrong.