This marks my final post as a Dietetic Intern. It is hard to believe 7 months went by, just like that.
This was such a fantastic rotation, and I could not have asked for a better way to end my dietetic internship. My last big project with UK Health & Wellness involved assisting with the Kids Can Cook class, which is offered to UK employees, spouses or retirees and their children. Participants look forward to this each year!
A majority of my time last week went into developing a 30-page cookbook for our participants. You can find the finished project at this link. Here are a few photos of our teams learning how to cook 14 new recipes.
As our last week of meetings is now upon us there are many experiences which we can reflect back upon. While every experience during these 7 months was a lesson to be learned, the most valuable lesson from my perspective was believing that I am the expert. This was one common piece of advice from all of my preceptors, but I had a terrible time believing it until very late in the game.
The truth is that having hundreds of small experiences does not make me feel like an expert in any one facet of dietetics, which we have all learned is extremely diverse from our varying experiences. However, hundreds of small experiences can make one great overall experience, which in the end makes us all the newborn experts in our field.
Along the way, people will challenge our expertise but it is crucial that we persevere. To borrow a few words from a mentor of mine, "Many endeavors don't work the first, second, or even third time. The problem-solving process often leads to the soft spot." Grace, professionalism, and flexibility will serve you well.
While I am typically the type who factors potential regret into my decision making process, there are some things in the universe that are beyond control. If I were to begin again knowing what I now do, then I would make a concerted effort to meet my preceptors in person prior to the beginning of each rotation. Whether it is a formal meeting at their office, or more informal over a cup of coffee, I would make it priority to find somewhere to bump into them. There is such a short amount of time to get to know your preceptor, and having an amiable work environment can make an immense difference in the quality of your experience.
Some equally applicable advice for next year's internship class would be to use your common sense.
"Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes."