Medical Career Fosters Mystery and Compassion for Parneet Grewal, M.D.
June 21, 2022
When Parneet Grewal, M.D., learned her father had to abandon his medical studies when emigrating from India to the United States in the 1980s, it “lit a fire” in her to consider the profession. Blending her desire to help others with a fascination for solving mysteries, becoming a family medicine doctor at JFK University Medical Center is a dream fulfilled for the 32-year-old.
The Jersey City, New Jersey, resident pursues a hodgepodge of interests during off-work hours, including Indian dancing and waterfront walking. But her career in medicine taps into her deepest goals.
“I always had the desire to help and care for others at a young age. With medicine, you’re trying to figure out why someone isn’t feeling well, dig further and help them overcome it,” says Dr. Grewal, who joined Hackensack Meridian Health in 2020 after completing her medical residency.
How does speaking three languages—English, Hindi and Punjabi—enhance your practice?
Though I was born and brought up here in the United States, my parents thought I should learn different languages so I could connect with others. I’ve noticed that some of my patients feel more comfortable speaking in their native languages. Being able to do this with them allows me to connect with patients on a higher level emotionally and medically.
You’re not a fan of breakfast, opting to start the day only with water. Do you sometimes share this information with patients?
I’ve mentioned it to my patients if they bring up their own habits. I just like drinking water in the mornings and going straight to a healthy lunch, which is often called intermittent fasting. I think it’s a good approach if you’re trying to cut down what you’re eating throughout the day, but you need the right education. It also depends on your body—you can’t necessarily force your body to do certain things.
If you could have dinner with a celebrity, past or present, who would it be and why?
I’d have dinner with the British Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton. She has a certain mystery to her. Her status makes her more reserved, which is expected, but I’d love to hear her viewpoints and how she adapted to her role as duchess. If I were really lucky, I’d get a chance to peek into her closet, too.
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