News » SMHS Physician Assistant Students Take Follies Online 

SMHS Physician Assistant Students Take Follies Online 

Dozens of George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) physician assistant (PA) students logged into Zoom on April 10 to participate in a virtual Follies, the annual skit-filled show usually held live near the end of the spring semester.

First-year PA student Matthew Schwartz was the MC of the event, which featured five different skits watched through YouTube links shared in Zoom, a video conferencing platform.

The event allowed students and faculty to connect with one another and laugh during a time when social distancing is changing the way many beloved end-of-year activities are held. 

The first part of the PA Follies was a presentation of the annual Golden Apple award. This award each year goes to faculty members chosen by each class for their exceptional teaching and mentoring. The PA award this year went to Leocadia Pietrowski-Conlon, PA-C, MPH, adjunct assistant professor of physician assistant studies at SMHS, who was described by the PAs as “brilliant, approachable, supportive, and a phenomenal teacher and role model.”

Following the award presentation, participants viewed a series of skits recorded and upload to YouTube by students and faculty. 
“Overheard at GW PA” included quotes and comments overheard in the classroom and around campus about life as a PA student, while the “School Days GW PA” skit featured photos of the Class of 2020 looking much younger in their undergrad days.

Faculty also go involved, with Nicholas Shworak, MD, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and physiology at SMHS, starring in a skit called “Bad Medicine,” which featured a collection of fake pharmaceuticals that did not receive FDA approval. 

The final skit was filmed in Ross Hall before social distancing began and featured some of the more vocally talented PAs, who belted out the popular Rent song “Seasons of Love,” only with a changed song title and lyrics to represent the “Seasons of Debt” students can face.

As the event wound down, the students’ smiles could be seen across the many screens in Zoom, any troubles and stress forgotten, at least for a moment.