Since I haven’t an RDville post for a while, I decided it was high time. It’s a way for me to periodically document what’s going on, for myself and for anyone curious about what becoming a dietitian entails.
While my summer hasn’t been as intense as the regular academic year was, in terms of delving into the nitty gritty aspects of human biochemistry, metabolism and physiology, it’s been pretty darn busy. Grad students don’t get summer vacation, I’ve decided. Not only have I been working for my regular job as a healthcare copywriter (which I’ve had for the last 8 years, and thankfully turned into a telecommuting position a few years ago), but I’ve been plugging away on pre-thesis work as well as two 40-hour fieldwork projects that are required for MPH (Masters of Public Health) students. And blogging and writing my Seattle Times columns, of course.
I had one class this summer (Nutrition Management) and just finished a three-week community internship with a Registered Dietitian who works at a public relations firm. I got to do a lot of scientific literature reviews for various projects, which was pretty much like catnip to a cat, for me.
The rest of this summer means more thesis work, and finishing one of my MPH fieldwork projects, writing some patient-friendly materials on polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which I find totally fascinating. But more importantly, I enjoy producing written materials that will help women make sense of a health condition that can be fairly confusing, in part because not all women have the same symptoms. Because many women are diagnosed with PCOS after struggling to get pregnant (PCOS can affect fertility), it can be a pretty traumatic time in their lives.
Anyway, that’s this summer. Next year, I have one more term of classes, mostly courses that are designed to prepare us for dietetics practice. Then I have nine months of supervised practice experience. I’ll do 10 weeks of “core clinical” (aka hospital inpatient care). I’ll do a 10-week public health rotation that does double duty for my MPH requirements and my dietetics requirements. Wrapped into that is 3 weeks of advanced management. I’ll do seven weeks of ambulatory care (aka outpatient care) and three weeks of food service. I recently heard that some dietetic internships involve a whole semester of food service. I’m glad mine doesn’t.
So yeah, I’m busy. But I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be doing some of the amazing, interesting things I’m doing, so I rarely complain about not being able to remember the last time I read a work of fiction, or participated in one of my on-the-back-burner favorite hobbies. I may have to set a more conservative blogging schedule for next year (like, three days a week), but we’ll see how that shakes out.