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ThePALife: A Few Of My Favorite Things

Medelita HIP Ambassador and current PA student Jourdyn Mootz brings new meaning to the term "compassionate caretaker". As one of the sweetest and most genuine people we've been lucky enough to work with, her positive attitude and passion for life is truly infectious!

Whether she's documenting her journey in the field of medicine on her blog or exploring her passions outside of medicine, this future PA is all about staying true to her roots and appreciating the beautiful things that life has to offer.

Here are a few of her favorite things...


 

1. Travel, travel, travel

I absolutely love to travel! Over the past year I have visited Florida, California, and Washington D.C.! In addition to my U.S. adventures, this past spring, my boyfriend and I traveled to Italy and visited the cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice. In a few weeks, my classmates and I will be traveling to Belize for a medical mission trip! This world is an incredibly beautiful place, and I plan on exploring every place I can!

2. My family!

At the top of my favorite things in life is my family! I am the oldest of 6 kids, and also the only girl (how that statistically worked out still amazes me)! My brothers are some of my best friends, and I absolutely adore being a part of a big family! Also, my parents are seriously saints and are always so supportive of my siblings and I in whatever we do! My parents have worked so incredibly hard to raise my siblings and I to be respectful, caring, and passionate individuals…and there is not enough thank you’s in the world that I can give them.

My mother is one of the most selfless people I know, as she has definitely put her life on the back burner to make sure we had the best opportunities to achieve our goals in life. She has been a stay-at-home mom for the past (almost) 24 years, and it is a sacrifice I am so thankful for. Without her gift of time in my life, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today. She made sure that I learned how to read at a very young age, spent some serious quality time with me making sure I knew how loved and special I was (as only moms can do), and chased after me in whatever activity I was interested in at the time (which ranged from ballet, to sports, to school fundraisers, and beyond). When my mom decided to dedicate her life to being an incredibly awesome mom, my dad was right behind her working hard to support our family at work. After putting in long hours at his job, he came home and helped make dinner, did laundry, helped with homework, or coached one (or more) of our sports teams. Never once have I heard him complain about how tired he was, even though there is no way he wasn’t exhausted every night. I have had the very best role models growing up, and I really hope I can channel a fraction of their parenting style into my own children one day. I am so lucky and blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

3. My PA Program

Most days I feel like I’ve won the PA school lottery. Not only have I been blessed with the most amazing and supportive staff, faculty, and classmates…but I also get to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  One of my favorite parts about campus is Memorial Union. Memorial Union is the place to be in the summer, and I spent the majority of my time last summer studying anatomy at a table overlooking Lake Mendota while enjoying some Babcock Ice Cream (which is the most amazing ice cream I have ever tasted…and it is made on campus by the agriculture department. I mean c’mon, I am from Wisconsin…what do you expect? haha). There truly is something magically about calling yourself a Wisconsin Badger.

4. My amazingly supportive boyfriend, Sam

Another one of my favorite things is my absolutely wonderful (and adorable) boyfriend, Sam. Sam was a year above me in high school and we were only acquaintances that occasionally crossed paths in the hallways. Fast forward to my junior year of college. While home for the holidays, we found ourselves at the same dive bar. After a few drinks, I found the courage to walk up to Sam and make small talk. By the end of the night we had exchanged numbers (which I ended up accidentally giving him the wrong number…oops) and we agreed to try out the new restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin, where we both attended college.

After many months of hanging out as friends, we realized that we actually had a ton in common: we both were pursuing a career in the medical world, loved sports, family, and dogs, and shared a ton of the same values and beliefs. Long story short, we realized that we would be missing out on something special if we didn’t at least give “us” a shot…and two years later here we are!  Sam has easily become my best friend in the entire world. He is so easy going, has a hysterical sense of humor, is extremely intelligent, and is straight up just one of the most genuine people I have ever met…it truly would be hard not to love Sam!  He has been extremely supportive since I have started PA school, offering words of encouragement when I am feeling stressed, being flexible and understanding when I need to study for exams instead of going on dates (in fact some “date nights” have consisted of him quizzing me on flashcards), and has let me do countless histories and physical exams on him. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in crime during PA school, and I can’t wait to return the favor for him when he starts medical school this summer!

5. Coffee - all day, every day!

As small of a thing as coffee is, it really is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. Coffee has gotten me through some really late night study sessions in undergrad and PA school, has lured me into some really unique and marvelous coffee houses (which I am a huge sucker for locally owned coffee shops), and really hits the spot on some of those cold Wisconsin mornings. It’s amazing how a simple cup of coffee can make your whole day better! 

 

6. Dogs aka a (wo)man's best friend

I absolutely love dogs. This is my boyfriend’s adorable Bernese, Baxter (he is a lot bigger now) Bax and his big brother, Bowie, are the most lovable and energetic puppies I have ever met! Their favorite things in life are treats, belly rubs, and squeaky toys! As a graduation gift to myself next year, I am planning on adopting a rescue puppy!! You’ve never felt a pure love, until you’ve felt a dog’s love.

7. The Great Outdoors

Growing up with a father who’s favorite place in the world was to be in somewhere in the woods, I naturally gravitated towards spending the majority of my time outside exploring the world around me. Living in Wisconsin, the four seasons are in full-force year round. This means spending time on the lakes and rivers fishing and boating during the summer, going on brisk-weathered runs in the fall while being awestruck at the beautiful leaves, skiing and ice-skating during our snowy winter-wonderlands, and splashing through puddles after a rainstorm and watching the trees bloom back to life in the spring.  Truly, the great outdoors is my “happy place”. 

 

8. A Love of Reading!

Maybe not so much my required textbooks, but there is nothing like getting lost in a really good book! Before I could read, my mom and dad made great efforts to read stories to me every night before I went to bed. Even when I learned how to read, my parents absolutely loved how we could bond over books and would read me a chapter of a Nancy Drew book (my favorite) every day. My mom also made sure to get my brothers and I to the local library on a weekly basis. I remember being so excited to go to the library, and I always ended up going home with a stack of books that was almost too heavy for me to carry. The one bummer about being in PA school is that I haven’t had nearly as much time to do leisure reading, but as soon as I graduate I will be running over to the local Barnes and Noble and finding some new reads in the discounted section (because second-hand books are the best kind of books)!

9. Expressing myself through photography, writing, and art.

Beyond the scrubs and studying…I love to get lost in my creative side. Whether it be taking photos of the world around me, spending a couple hours painting on a blank canvas, or embarking on my newest creative idea: my blog, I find it refreshing to have a hobby outside of the scholarly and medical side of my life!


10. Having the privilege of working in the healthcare field.

I don’t think you pick the medical field, I think the medical field picks you. There is something unique about healthcare professionals, as it takes a special kind of individual to go through the rigorous and stressful schooling that we do in order to make someone’s life and health better through our careers. For me, there was really no other option as a career but to work in the medical field. While working as a CNA, I saw people at some of their most vulnerable moments. Even in my role then, I knew that my care and compassion made a huge impact on these individuals. Being a PA means that I can make a positive impact on a patient's life every single day. Not many careers can say that, and that leaves me awestruck and humbled every day. I know that PAs make up only a small part of a bigger healthcare team, and I am so incredibly lucky that I will be given the opportunity to collaborate with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and a multitude of many others in order to bring healing and hope to our future patients. Although I have not officially stepped out into the world as a certified PA yet, I look forward to posting Ms. Hepburn’s quote above my desk one day as a reminder that this career is more than just a job, but an opportunity each and every day to make a positive impact on others.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one of helping yourself, and the other for helping others”— Audrey Hepburn