Proust Q&A: Kelly Grow

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Proust Q&A: Kelly Grow


Name:  Kelly Crawford Grow

Family: Parker (spouse), Crawford (12), and Caddie (10)

Hometown: Marietta, Ga.

Current Town: Athens, Ga.

What Years at UGA: 1990-1994

School/Degree: Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, BS with Honors in Biology

Profession: Gastroenterologist, Gastroenterology Associates of Athens

ACCOLADES: President of Mercer Medical School Class of 1999, Chief Medical Resident, Emory University 2002-2003, Chief Gastroenterology Fellow, Emory University 2005-2006, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Emory University, Partner, Gastroenterology Associates of Athens, and thanks to Rebecca Lang’s recent “boatgating” article that included my “Bulldog Caviar,” I’m a contributor to Coastal Living

What life lessons did you learn while at UGA?

There are too many lessons to name, but the most important must be to “humble yourself.”  The second would have to be “work hard, play hard.” Growing up in Marietta, I was very used to large classes with a lot of people, but nothing can prepare you to come from being a big fish in a smaller pond to a small fish in a huge pond. That is not to say that working hard to achieve your goals is not possible, it certainly is. UGA opens your eyes to what amazing talent we have in the state of Georgia.  Competition can be fierce, especially in applying to medical school, but with hard work, and a little humility, anything is possible. I certainly spent a lot more time in the Science Library than most of my friends at UGA, (do students still even study there?) but I still managed to have a great time and create life-long friendships. I wouldn’t give up my time at UGA for anything.

What professor did you most admire?

 Dr. John Pickering was my favorite professor. He was the first professor who I had in a sea of science classes who actually took an interest in my career. He always gave an amazing lecture, and his labs were actually fun to attend.  A great professor is someone who truly inspires others. Although I was not going to pursue a career in entomology, I wrote my honors thesis with Dr. Pickering on hymenoptera. We actually discovered a new type of wasp. I spent hours sorting through insects, but my reward was to be able to defend my thesis in front of the Honors Committee.  This is one of my fondest memories at UGA, and “Pick” made this happen for me.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My wonderful family is definitely my greatest achievement. Parker is an amazing partner to navigate this crazy life that we have chosen. Raising children is no joke these days, but I would like to think that I have two special children who will hopefully do great things one day.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My parents, Susan and Ray Crawford, are my heroes for sure and not because they both graduated from UGA (my dad was on Coach Dooley’s first team!). The older I get, the more I appreciate everything that my parents did for me.  I can only hope to be half as good a parent to my children. They made amazing sacrifices for my brothers and me, and my mom continues to be a rock every day. My dad passed away 13 years ago. I miss him every day, and my only regret is that he was never able to meet my children. It takes a special dad to be as involved in our lives as our dad was. He never missed a game or important event. He was usually the coach and fiercely competitive.  He certainly taught me to love the Dawgs. There are often times when I do things or make decisions that I know is because of his influence. He loved life, and everyone around him knew that! He was a DGD!

Quote to live by: I love Winston Churchill and so many of his famous quotes, but one of my favorites is, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

What is your idea of perfect happiness?  

It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. I love to travel, and discovering new places and meeting new people always makes me happy.  I am also perfectly happy, and maybe the happiest, drinking a good glass of wine at sunset while looking for sharks teeth on the beach with my family.  Finally, attending almost any UGA sporting event On gameday Saturdays, my favorite thing is to start off the day with a morning run with our running girls group.  Nothing beats a crisp fall run through campus while being greeted with a “Go Dawgs!” from the bulldog faithful setting up their tailgates. Living in Athens is such a treasure.  We are able to attend almost any UGA event from equestrian, softball, baseball, volleyball, and tennis to name a few. There is always a Dawg to cheer on!

What is your most marked characteristic?  

I think most people would say that I am a hard worker and I don’t give up. That perseverance is why I am here today. My biggest challenge and my goal to make my most marked characteristic is balance. Anyone who knows me has heard me say during a particularly tough week, that I was really only able to give 50% to all four areas of my life…mother, wife, friend, and physician. Trying to balance all of these facets of my life continues to be what I work hardest to achieve.  One of my good friends recently told me, “Well, at least you gave 200% this week.” That is a good friend!

What do you most value in your friends?

I am so fortunate to have an amazing group of supportive friends.  The things I value most about my friends is their loyalty and unwaivering support for each other.  I have other friends who I don’t get to see as much, but I love to be able to see a friend I haven’t seen in years and to be able to pick up right where we left off.

Who are your favorite writers?  

Southern female writers tend to be my favorites. What I usually have to read is medical journals, so when I read for pleasure, I want to be entertained. Anne Rivers Siddons used to be my “go to.” I now enjoy Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner.  I am also a huge fan of historical fiction, so I love anything by Phillipa Gregory. A good friend hooked me on Liane Moriarty, so I have read a lot of her books lately. Currently, I am reading Where’d you Go Bernadette by Maria Semple on loan from another friend because it has been on my list for a few years.

Fave social media and who to follow?

I am only on Instagram.  I try to keep up with friends and family who I don’t get to see too often. I also like to follow Southern Living, Garden and Gun, Luke Bryan, Bubba Watson, The Royal Family, all things UGA, and wearebulldawgs of course!!


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Cheri Leavy is a connector, cheerleader and marketing consultant for fellow entrepreneurs. Constantly on the lookout for the newest talent in the South, Cheri has a passion for helping entrepreneurs create and share their brand storytelling through her endeavors - The Southern Coterie • guide2athens • Bulldawg Illustrated