Although he’s spent but one year at the University of Georgia, Osama Hashmi already has a host of impressive accomplishments behind him.
The second-year Honors Student, who plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in health policy and management, was able to connect with both the Roosevelt Institute and the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO), which helped make for a memorable first year in college.
“Last year was exciting,” says Osama, who spent the summer in Washington, DC, working with a law firm on a host of medical-related cases as a CURO Summer Research Fellow. “Last year, I was involved with the Roosevelt Institute doing policy research, and I was also doing policy research with the Department of Health Policy and Management, so I kind of had two research projects going at the same time.”
Through Roosevelt, a student-run think tank, Osama conducted research on the shortage of primary care physicians in Georgia and presented his findings in April at CURO’s annual on-campus symposium and later at a conference hosted by the Georgia Rural Health Association.
“In the fall, I developed some solutions and alternatives with the help of Roosevelt,” says Osama, who will serve as a Roosevelt Center director this school year. “Presenting at the Georgia Rural Health Association conference was really, really cool, with health-policy experts in Georgia all coming together trying to find solutions to problems.”
In addition, Osama – who has worked closely with Dr. Monica Gaughan in UGA’s Department of Health Policy and Management – took his first graduate-level course last spring semester.
Osama adds that he hopes to have careers as a physician and a health-care policy expert, which he feels is the best avenue for aiding those in need of medical treatment. He says he spent time before enrolling at UGA job-shadowing an oncology doctor, which helped him shape his academic plans.
“We’d go into a room and the doctor I was shadowing would be telling a patient he had terminal cancer, and then 10 minutes later, we’d go into another room and see a patient’s cancer completely gone,” says Osama, who also volunteered last year with the OneAthens Health Network, which he plans to do again this year. “It’s really an emotional roller coaster, but it was definitely a humane field, which is what attracted me to medicine. There’s a lot of humanity involved in dealing with people’s problems.
“That’s where I want to make my career. I thought if I had these interests I might as well try to help my patients in a broader sense. So coming to UGA, I thought I’d focus my education on public health and policies so that if I do become a doctor, I’d be able to help my patients more than by prescribing them medications.”
Although he set the bar high in his first collegiate year, Osama has no concerns about a “sophomore slump.”
“I’m not sure if I could avoid it by myself, but I am sure that the people around me will see to it that I avoid a slump,” he says. “Everyone in Honors is really motivating, as are the people I’ve worked with in my research, so I’m motivated by the work other people are doing.”
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