Name: Klea Ahmet
Major: Human BIology
Minor: Law, Justice, and Public Policy
Hometown: Birmingham, MI
It was June of 2019 when I met my good friend, Klea Ahmet, at an Oakland University camp designed for high school students that expressed an interest in medicine. As I sat down for the informational session after admittance to the program, I was greeted with a sea of unfamiliar faces until Klea walked in. With a warm smile and cheerful attitude, she chose the seat across from me and we began to converse. Little did I know that by the end of this camp, we would form a close bond in such a short amount of time, meet up with each other throughout our senior year, and attend the same college. A deep and intellectual soul, she always seeks out the silver lining in the worst of situations, and never fails to lend kindness to anyone that crosses her path. Her optimism, integrity, and enthusiasm for living is inspiring, and she is truly a down-to-earth individual. Despite the busy and hectic pre-medical schedule that keeps us occupied, I managed to find time to ask her a few questions about her Albanian heritage, first semester at the Lyman Briggs College, and her passion to venture into medicine.
Q: If I were to visit Albania, where should I visit and what should I do?
A: There is so much beauty and culture in Albania, it is hard to pick which cities to visit! I would first start in Tirana, the nation’s capital. People from all over the country live and study in Tirana! The city is full of beautiful cafes, restaurants, museums, malls, and so much more! One of my absolute favorite cities in Albania is Krujë. Kruja is known as the “City of Skenderbeu” – the Albanian hero who helped fight against the Ottoman Empire. The Castle of Kruja (Kalaja e Krujës) offers so much history, and if you are able to, go inside and take the tour! It is truly beautiful and you will learn so much about our history within the walls of the castle. Sarandë, Ksamil, Vlorë, and Himarë are great beach destinations, all located in Southern Albania. Last but not least, I recommend my hometown, Korçë! The city is covered in beautiful architecture, ranging from its historic to modern-day styles. The Albanian School, Mësonjëtorja, was the first school in the Ottoman period where the language Albanian was offered to its students. The building still stands today, but it has been transformed into a museum.
Q: Tell me about some of the Albanian traditions that you and your family take part in. Which one is your favorite and why?
A: My favorite Albanian tradition is celebrating its independence days, which are November 28th and 29th. We make a lot of food, dance, sing to Albanian music, and gather with our families and friends. Albanians are very proud of their heritage and love to teach others and show the world what it means to be Albanian! It is heart-warming to see Albanians from all over the world come together on these two days to celebrate our independence and honor our roots.
Q: What has your journey as a pre-med student looked like so far from home?
A: So far it has been going well! It is definitely different than what I originally pictured it, but with everything going on, I believe that MSU has done its best to make the transition to college as smooth as possible. Of course, there are bumps along the road, but we learn and grow from them. Office hours, advising, and pre-med clubs have helped guide me to the right direction and I am grateful for these resources!
Q: Who or what inspired you to pursue medicine? (You can get specific about a certain field if you’d like).
A: My biggest inspiration to pursue medicine is my mother. She is a real-life superhero! With two young children, my mom would take care of her family, go to work, and go to school. She showed me that with hard work, sacrifice, and motivation, you can achieve anything you want. Another one of my inspirations is Dr. Mario Ademaj, an Albanian-American doctor who practices medicine here in America. He is the founder of the “Free Clinic for Albanians”, which is a group of physicians and medical students that travel to Albania and Kosovo and provide free medical care to those in need. This is truly one of the reasons as to why I want to go into the medical field – I want to be able to give back to those who don’t have the resources or conditions to seek medical care. There are many people in Albania that struggle on a daily basis and I want to change that. I want to help my country and eventually other countries around the world!
Q: What are some issues that you would want to address upon entering the medical world?
A: One of the issues I would want to address upon entering the medical world is cost. Medical care in the United States has become increasingly expensive, and many insurances have stopped covering for medical treatments because of the high costs. People seeking these medical treatments are left to pay out-of-pocket. Another issue I want to focus on is equal treatment of medical care for everyone, regardless of religion, race, nationality, gender, etc. Nobody should have to suffer or not receive proper care. Everyone is created equal, and everyone should be treated equally in all aspects of society!