Conversations with My Granddad

My Granddad is a 93 year old retired internal medicine physician who lives on a farm in the Ozarks. The other day I gave him a call to catch up and see how things were going down in ole’ West Plains, Missouri. He is always very interested in how I am doing in school, especially now that I am in PA school. As much as I have tried to explain to him the role of the Physician Assistant, I am not sure that he completely understands what I am studying and what I will be doing when I graduate. When I first eloquently described to him why I wanted to be a PA, there was a silence on the other end of the phone, and then in his Midwestern drawl, “Yes, Greta, but what does a PA do?” The next few conversations I had with him played out in a similar fashion. Fortunately, since then, my Granddad has been doing some brushing up on my future profession. Now when I talk with him, his questions are not regarding what a PA does, but rather about the rigor of my studies. I repeatedly express how intense the program is and how little free time I have, and he repeatedly responds with, “Greta, is PA school really harder than earning your bachelor’s in neurobiology?” Yes, Granddad, it REALLY is harder. PA school takes learning to an entirely different level. “Well then”, my Granddad replies, “I hope you’re doing something about your stress level. You can’t study all the time.” And my Granddad is right. I cannot study all the time. One lesson I have learned is that I have to take time for myself, and that is exactly what I have been doing all winter break.

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