I can see The Light

Tiffany Yang

Pre-graduate school, I remember hearing  stories about what grad life was like (work piles on the desk, no sleep, pale skin, crazy schedules, distractions galore) but was confident that I would be in total control of my life and schedule. As evidenced by my lack of posts, I clearly don’t have a solid grip on everything. So many things have happened! I’ve been through a variety of dietetic rotations, am writing my first first-author paper, went to my first conference, taught a workshop for Rackham Graduate School, and managed to survive another (admittedly pretty weak) winter of biking.

I’m currently at my last rotation of the internship: UM Diabetes. I’ve only had two days on rotation at UM Diabetes but have already been in a group diabetes education class and sat in on several patient appointments. It’s been really interesting to see how these individuals deal with their diabetes, especially those with Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. I have never been so cognizant of my functioning pancreas; the intricacies of insulin and blood glucose control are amazing. Since my last post I’ve also rotated through UM Bariatrics, UM Investigational Weight Management, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), Forest Health Bariatrics, UM Children’s Intestinal Rehabilitation Program, Michigan Clinical Research Unit, and UM HomeMed. Whew! That looks like a lot once you write it all out. As you can see, I’ve been able to experience both community as well as clinical nutrition settings. I’ve learned a variety of skills through these rotations and all of them have their pros and cons. I’m kind of lucky in the sense that I don’t have to figure out what setting I want to work in as an RD right now. Some of my friends and (now, former!) interns would prefer clinical or community, but the job market right now seems a little tight so most of them are applying to every feasible position.

I’m looking forward to the end of my internship because juggling that and my research, plus classes, has really taken a toll on my time and mental capacity. Switching between everything makes me feel like I can never really do anything up to my standards, and that I’m not adequately engaged in them. Sometimes it feels like I’m just skimming the surface in order to stay afloat. It can be really frustrating and discouraging.

However, one can’t feel glum for long with this amazing weather we’ve been having! The early spring (compared to the U.P.) is definitely a perk of living in Ann Arbor. I encourage everyone to take a walk (get your move on!) during their lunch in the Arb, or bring some papers and work by the river!

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