My RD Journey started at Michigan State, circa 2007.
I was a freshman at Michigan State, and I had just spent my first semester working at MSU’s Animal Hospital/Vet School. I loved my job, but after seeing the workload and process it takes to become a vet- I didn’t want that for myself (it’s the same process as being a doctor: 4 years undergrad, 4 years vet school, intern year, resdiency, etc).
This was a hard process for me, because I was so sure for so long that’s what I wanted for myself, until it wasn’t.
So my spring semester schedule was filled with electives and 1-2 required classes – so I could figure out what I wanted to do with my life. One of these electives was Intro to Nutrition.
In that class I had a professor who hated teaching. So most weeks we had guest lecturers, and I was amazed at all of the different jobs that a dietitian could do! So by summer – I had a new major.
To become an RD you need 3 things
1) Complete a Didactic Undergrad Program that is recognized by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
2) Match into and complete a supervised internship program
3) Pass your RD exam.
This process is what separates “nutritionists” from Dietitians, well that and the fact that RD is an actual credential.
When you’re a dietetics major – probably the same when you’re a pre-med major- the goal of completing that program is not graduating, the goal is to get into medical school – or in my case match into an internship.
I matched at my first choice Benedictine University – that is what brought me to Chicago, and where I lived from 2010 to 2015
Your supervised practice is where you essentially learn how to be a dietitian by practicing (with supervision) with patients, clients, and doing real world stuff you would be doing if you were working as a RD.
I was fortunate because I had very unique sites and rotations, and got a lot of fantastic exposure of various populations, religions, ages, diseases etc. I went to sites in Chicago, as well as the suburbs. With each internship there are certain objectives that need to be met in order to “approve” you to sit for the RD exam.
In addition to my acutal internship I also pursued my Masters Degree – so I would go to rotations all day 4 days a week, then some nights go to class right after. It was an exhausting but exhilarating 15 months.
Finally in March 2012 I sat for my RD exam, and passed.
Since that time I worked as a clinical dietitian, did a brief stint as a clinical nutrition manager (no thanks), and went back into clinical.
I specialize in several areas:
Advanced Diabetes Management: Pattern Management, Insulin Pumps, CGMs
Weight Loss/Bariatric Surgery
Food Intolerances & Elimination Diets
In addition to being a Registered Dietitian, I am also a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I sat for this exam in 2014, to sit for it you need 2 years of working experience and approximately 1,000 diabetes related contact/education hours.
I currently work as a Diabetes Educator, and work with insulin pumps, and CGMs daily.