Communicating Food and Health: Insights from a Future RD
The first day I walked into my nutrition internship I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was having a private practice was a dream for the future. The thought of building a long-term relationship with patients and helping them in their journey to health was more than an ideal path for me.
My last 5 weeks interning with Susan have allowed me to expand on my experiences and knowledge in multiple areas. I have a much better idea of what it takes to run a private practice, and seeing patients all day long is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Private practice requires knowing cutting edge research and being able to communicate that knowledge to patients, and with social media and writing.
My main project was compiling “tweets” on multiple nutrition and other topics for various health awareness months. In this process I learned about research, credible resources, and how to draw a reader in with solid nutritional information without wavering on your integrity.
I realized the importance of branding and sticking to one’s philosophy in all arenas. Susan’s brand revolves around diabetes, insulin resistance, and the importance of eating a diet that prevents and manages inflammation and chronic diseases.
In addition, the importance of how to communicate those nutrition messages is vital.
Motivational Interviewing is a method of communication that lies in the philosophy that clients carry the capacity and potential for change within themselves. I was able to participate in these trainings with Susan and saw how Motivational Interviewing creates positive thoughts and real growth for clients in an environment where they are affirmed and encouraged.
I now realize private practice is multi-layered and to be successful you have to sacrifice a lot of free time to create that type of career. However, those sacrifices come with great rewards of helping others live healthier lives.
I developed skills that will help shape me into a well-rounded intern for rotations to come as well as prepare me for the professional world of connecting food and health.
This blog was co-written by Susan Dopart and RD intern Jessayra Tarrio
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