Fort Worth medical students share COVID-19 experiences with The Harvard Medical Student Review

TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine students living in New York City and Texas share their experiences dealing with school, family and friends during the Coronavirus pandemic.

By Prescotte Stokes III

FORT WORTH, Texas (July 23, 2020) – Two students from the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine were featured in the Harvard Medical Student Review, sharing essays about how they have handled the COVID-19 pandemic over the last four months.

Second-year medical students, Sujata Ojha and Ali Mahfuz, penned two separate essays about how they have adjusted to their medical school experience, while also juggling family responsibilities at home. The essays were a part of the HMSR’s Student Voices of COVID-19 in which medical students from around the country could submit essays about their personal experiences during the pandemic.

“Our goal with Student Voices of COVID-19 is to collect reflections, experiences, and commentary from graduate students in the health care field during this extraordinary time,” the HMSR’s editorial board wrote on their website.

Mahfuz, a native of New York City, reflected on his first few months in quarantine with his parents who are elderly and immunocompromised.

“I know, in the back of my mind, that if my dad catches the virus, he will not survive. He is still fighting lung cancer and receiving regular treatment. Fortunately, my medical school shifted temporarily to a virtual modality, allowing me the opportunity to substantially decrease their exposure to this imminent threat. Without me, there is no one else there to pick up groceries, medications, daily necessities, laundry, and so much more,” Mahfuz wrote in the Harvard Medical Student Review.

Meanwhile in Texas, Ojha reflected on the sentiment she saw from her friends and former high school classmates on social media. She wrote that they seemed to feel more threatened by the U.S. government than the imminent threat of COVID-19.

“I could not fathom how tensions were rising in my suburban Texas neighborhood. On May 1st, Texas Gov. Abbott officially opened the state. This meant my mother would have to return back to work at the grocery store. She would be forced to interact with thousands of customers. Knowing how exposed she would be, I felt it was almost inevitable for her to contract the virus. How could my heart not ache for all the people who are about to suffer,” Ojha wrote in the Harvard Medical Student Review.

You can read their full essays here.

Prescotte Stokes III is the Integrated Content and Marketing Manager. You can reach him at