BUFFALO, N.Y. — For many that start medical school, the new hallways and coursework can appear daunting. With buzzing fluorescent lights, new classmates to meet, professors that give arduous homework, the next four years can seem dizzying.
But for eight students that are apart of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences' class of 2027, there is a sense of familiarity.
That sense of familiarity has followed them for most of their lives and will continue into the next four years of the medical school grind.
Chidalu and Chidera Anameze, both 21 and from the Albany area, are two of the twins going through medical school together. They are also the only identical twins in the group.
"We've done everything together since we were," Chidera said, "... babies," they both chimed in.
"We've wanted to be doctors ever since we were in middle school because our dad's a doctor and our mom's a nurse," Chidalu said.
The class is 184 students large, and Chidalu and Chidera have not gotten any puzzled looks from professors because of the size of the classes so far.
"In our big classes, I don't even know if they know we [our class] have twins," Chidalu said.
Chidalu said there are two phases in medical school. Phase I covers fundamentals and anatomy, and phase II is year three and four, which includes rotations and clerkships.
Chidalu and Chidera said they wanted to stay together through residency, even if they do different specialties, and want to go to the same city.
Marisa and Camryn Warren, both 21 and from Williamsville, are fraternal twins attending medical school together.
"We didn't expect it to, but we're definitely very excited that it did. We always went to school together," Camryn said.
"We just get each other and so we are already on the same page and there's already a lot of changes and a lot of things that are up in the air so having that one person that is your anchor that you can tie down to and feel comfortable with I think is a really big help," Marisa said.
"... and built-in study partner," Camryn added.
While it is so early into medical school for them, they are leaning toward different specialties. Camryn said she's leaning more toward endocrinology or dermatology and Marisa is looking more towards preventative medicine or surgery.
Marisa added they were leaning toward staying in Buffalo.
"I think we're definitely both on the same page that we want to stay in Buffalo just because this is the area we've grown up in and it's kind of raised us and made us who we are," Marisa said. "We're really excited to try to hopefully give back to the community."
"They're over the moon," Camryn said of their parents.
Hannah and Josef Iqbal, both 22 and from Orchard Park, are the last set of twins at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and are fraternal.
"Both growing up in Buffalo, in the WNY area, both of us have come to love this area and being able for not one of us, but both of us to continue at Buffalo is a really cool thing," Josef said. "Wanting to stay local has been something in our plans but for us to both be able to this is special for sure."
Hannah said their mom signed them up for the same sports as children. From swimming to tapdancing to karate.
"Now that we're adults and we're still together, I think it's amazing," Hannah said.
Josef said fellow classmates were aware of the noticeable amount of twins in the 2027 class.
"Throughout orientation I'd tell someone I have a twin and someone would be like 'Oh, you're on of the twins, you're one of the siblings.'"
Hannah said the four sets of siblings have shared experiences, and grew up in similar ways despite cultural or other differences.
"We have a lot of similarities," Hannah said. "We have so much similar, so much in common."
Josef and Hannah said all eight of them finally came together the first day of orientation for Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
The Iqbals already knew the Warrens.
Hannah, Camryn, and Marisa were in the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students at Canisius College. Hannah said Camryn was the president, Hannah was vice-president, and Marisa was treasury of the organization.
"We're just blessed to be here," Josef said.
Stephen and Eric Dhillon, 24 and 23 respectively and from Buffalo, are not twins but are brothers in the 2027 class.
Stephen was always two years ahead of Eric in grade school, but pursued a professional hockey career after grade 12. He came in behind his brother Eric in undergraduate school, although his plan was always hockey and then medicine.
They are both dual citizens of the U.S. and Canada and went to Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.
"We're very fortunate that everything worked out and we're classmates together," Stephen said.
Like the other siblings, the Dhillons are excited to give back to the community when they're done with school.
"It's really exciting," Eric said. "It's a pleasure to be in our hometown. Hopefully when we're physicians we'll be able to help the community."
Perhaps the best part of having a twin, especially in school, is being able to have someone there with you every step of the way.
"We have this built in best friend, we're never alone," Chidalu said.
Chidera added: "It's just always having someone there to reassure you, to hold you accountable. It's just the best thing."