My name is Brenna, and I am a Region 4 dietetic intern based in Philadelphia and am also completing a Master of Science in Dietetics degree at the University of Rhode Island. I’ve officially started my internship, completed my Patient Services hours, and am now working through the basic portion of my clinical rotation at a trauma center in NE Philly. It’s been an amazing learning experience so far! Every day brings new insights and valuable knowledge, and I am absolutely soaking it all up like a sponge. The team of experienced dietitians at this hospital are incredibly encouraging and supportive and will without a doubt be instrumental in helping me grow both personally and professionally. I’m having so much fun working alongside this talented group and applying what I’ve learned in undergrad in real-world situations. From medical nutrition therapy to patient counseling, every moment is a chance to make a positive impact on someone’s health and well-being.
I’ve already experienced more complex cases and traumas than I expected to have had the opportunity to learn from this early in the internship and am excited to continue building on my clinical skills. I enjoy the involved process of assessing and working with complex patients as I get to put my problem-solving abilities to the test. Most recently, I began consulting patients on my own after having discussed the case with the dietitians as well as completing the EPIC flowchart, required notes, and supplement/diet orders mostly on my own for each patient I consult with.
I leaned on advice from my mentor and peers to help reinforce my confidence in times of self-doubt as I began this journey. Some wise words that I’d like to pass along to anyone beginning the internship are to make sure you sleep, eat breakfast every morning, and thank your preceptor(s) a million times for their time and patience during your rotations. Additionally, stay curious and eager to learn, be open to learning from your preceptors’ and colleagues' experiences, and take time to build strong professional interdisciplinary relationships while starting to develop a network.
I’m genuinely looking forward to the rest of the year, the specialty rotations (I’m looking at integrative wellness, leadership, and weight management), and all the incredible experiences that lie ahead. This internship is a really enriching experience, and I’m grateful for every opportunity I have to learn and grow.
Remember: embrace the challenges, stay committed to your goals, and enjoy the journey!