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Life During PA School

Although it is a overused cliche to ask whether there is life during PA school, there is....and most students of the Emory PA Program would say that life is full, but exciting, for the 28 months of the Program. The Program brings together a diverse group of students each August. Their backgrounds and life-experiences are rich, and they meld together into a unique class. 

Families, Significant Others, and PA school

Coming to Emory does not mean forsaking your significant other, spouse, or family.  Whether you decide to bring your family with you, commute home on the weekends or holidays/vacations, or already live with your family in the Atlanta area, there are some things to consider.

Everyone’s situation is unique.  Your first year at Emory will be difficult.  There are many adjustments that you will need to make.  One biggie is juggling time between class, studying, family, and personal needs.  Stress levels will rise and your time will become a priceless commodity.  Sitting down with your significant other or family before school begins and discuss issues together.  Remember, your family will have to make adjustments too.  If you are considering bringing your family with you, keep these factors in mind:

  • Current/potential employment status of spouse/significant other
  • Age and grades of your children
  • Child care
  • Special family medical issues/health insurance
  • Do you own your current residence?  Will you sell or rent it out?
  • Family/marriage/relationship issues and stresses

Finding housing in a new city can be a big job. Students have helped compile information for incoming students on housing- transportation,  utilities, and other useful resources. Incoming students will also receive a comprehensive Survival Manual prior to matriculation.

Fun RunYou might also want to visit the website of the  Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, which provides details on Atlanta events, attractions, dining, shopping, vacation packages, accommodations and much more.

Finally, Atlanta and the southeast is a fun place to live. Here are some resources for recreation, compiled by students and graduates.

What did several recent graduates have to say about families and PA school?

"I moved down to Atlanta  in the late summer  with my wife and my infant daughter  At the time my wife did not have a confirmed job, nor did my daughter have any confirmed daycare.  There was also much to be done, due to simply moving into a new area.  This was compounded by the added stress of worrying about getting my wife and daughter settled.  As far as school goes, the less outside commitments you have the better.  There is so much going on with classes, committees extracurricular activities at school and class activities.  You will really miss out on quite a bit if you feel like you need to get home whenever you are not in class. It is a huge dilemma whether to bring your family with you or not.  It really depends on how needy they are for your time.  As for me, I would miss my wife and daughter immensely if they weren’t here with me.  However, at times it would make things quite a bit easier if I didn’t have the added day to day responsibilities and commitments of dealing with my family and could just concentrate on school."

"When my wife and I decided on Emory as my PA school, it was exciting to see the work opportunities and school opportunities available for her.  My wife looked online for jobs with the Atlanta journal Constitution  There was plenty of work available in her field as well as new ideas if she wanted to try something outside of her field, which is what she decided on doing. 

"It was not always an easy transition.  I was instantly with a group of people that I had something in common with and my wife was in a big city - with me as the only close person in her life.  In retrospect, I realize how hard that must have been for her."

"The temptation is to live like your spouse will always be there for you whether you appreciate her or not.  In truth, however, your spouse may need your time when time is scarce; you’re then presented with the choice to make the right decision and be with the one who loves you.  Your career is what you do, not who you are.  Nurturing the person who is a part of you is extremely important to make this time great with no regrets."

"My husband and I were forced by job obligations to be in different states once school began.  He flies to Georgia often and we make the most out of the time he’s here.  I try to accomplish as much work as possible while he’s not here so that I don’t feel guilty spending time with him while he is here.  Make sure you have a mutual understanding of how PA school will change both of your lives, together or apart.  He/She will need to be your strength when you run out- whether it be by phone, e-mail or when you walk in the door at night..  Make sure it's an arrangement that you can handle because you will have all the stress you need with school!!"

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