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The Road to Becoming a Registered Dietitian

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

I've had a passion for a fit lifestyle since I was in high school. My parents got me a gym membership when I was Junior and I was hooked. I also played many sports throughout the years but fell in love with tennis and volleyball. I became a certified Personal Trainer while studying Human Biology at the University of Michigan-Flint. It was a position I held for 4 years but had to leave to give my attention to being a full time student in order to successfully graduate. I eventually earned my Bachelors of Arts degree in Human Biology as a fifth year senior because I switched my major from pre-physical therapy to pre-med. My passion for health and the human body led me to believe that being a physician was what I was called to do. I took a 6-month study course to help me prepare for the hardest exam I'd ever take, the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

The MCAT is a 7.5-hour exam that consists of: Biological and Biochemical Foundations; Chemical and Physical Foundations; Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. WOOF*

I got a part-time job at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital working as a phlebotomist. I nearly passed out my first day and was terrified that I'd fail at this but I knew this was a stepping stone to my future so I stuck with it.


In a few short months, I took the reigns and felt more confident drawing blood than I did personal training. I was able to make my patients comfortable with the procedure, I advocated for their health by reducing the number of draws they had daily, I prioritized critical labs and stat draws, and even helped out in other departments where I didn't typically go like the E.R. Here, I was able to see various medical professionals' careers and what their jobs entailed. It was so insightful that I eventually learned that I did not want to be a physician assistant at all anymore. I discovered the need for quality and accurate nutrition coaching/guidance due to the insufficient advice I saw given out by medical professionals. For instance, I entered a room for a blood draw and overheard a nurse reading the heart healthy guidelines to a patient. This information was contradicting, confusing for the patient, and was just too much all at once. I knew I could do better. After working in the hospital for 5 years, I left to pursue a Masters Degree in Public Health and Nutritional Sciences from The University of Michigan School of Public

Health. I graduated in April 2021 with my Masters in Public Health - Nutritional Sciences Degree. From there, I applied to the MATCH which is how dietetic interns get placed at their internship programs. The program has to accept and choose YOU, not the other way around. Some students don't get chosen, thus don't get matched and have to wait for the next cycle to apply. I was fortunate enough get to matched with Central Michigan University's Dietetic Internship 8-month program!


I was able to complete the program and graduate, making me an RD eligible candidate. There was one more thing to do in order to become a Registered Dietitian (RD)… Take the credentialing exam.


Yes, another exam.

So, I found resources and studied for 3 months, felt decently prepared, took it and failed BY ONE POINT. In order to pass, you need a 25 or better. I scored a 24.

I went back to the drawing board and knew what I needed to do in order to pass. I studied for another month, felt more prepared, and way less stressed since I knew what to expect going into the second exam.

I passed with a 28 and was finally able to call myself a Registered Dietitian!


I then got hired into McLaren Health System as a full time RD and it feels AMAZING to finally be in my career, finally be done with school (for the most part), and finally be on my way to living the rest of my life!


This is a testimony to anyone who is struggling to find their path in life, their purpose in their career. It can take time and that can be frustrating. You can feel like others are passing you up and creating their lives while you're still figuring everything out for yourself. But I promise you, if you never give up on finding your passion, and what you truly want to do everyday for your career, you will find it. It just might take longer than someone else, and that's okay. You'll most likely learn more along the way!

KEEP GOING.

 

To add to my educational career, I've had a lot of personal health experiences that have contributed to my knowledge surrounding wellness.

  • I've competed in bodybuilding for an entire year which required strict adherence to a nutrition and fitness protocol. This resulted in metabolic downregulation and forced me to upregulate my metabolism back to a healthy place. The process was emotional to say the least.

  • I've had to heal my gut post-competing which required full dedication to a supplement regimen, rest and recovery while giving up the things I loved in order to heal.

  • I've had to modify my typical diet to an anti-inflammatory diet to assist with chronic illnesses and injuries I have.

Put all these things together and I couldn't be more excited to be a trusted nutrition professional and share my knowledge and experiences with other people struggling with their nutrition, health and wellness.

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