My Mass General Experience

The internship provided a good foundation for my clinical skills and I got to learn from some complex medical diagnoses that you really only get to see at large teaching hospitals. The food service rotations helped me to understand and work with the food service at the hospital so that even though I am not directly involved in food service I understand about purchasing, cost centers, sizing recipes, and about cycle menu systems versus room service systems.

I have many great memories of the internship: working with Marvin in the kitchen making giant vats of mac n’ cheese; standing on the receiving dock at o’dark thirty in the morning with Al checking deliveries against purchase orders; meeting my first patient who had cystic fibrosis during my general medicine rotation which fostered my interest and my current specialty; and making panini recipes with Angel at the café.

I also have great memories of living in Boston for the year of the internship and apple picking in the fall, explore the surrounding states, witnessing the seasons in Boston Commons and Garden, and running along the Charles River.

My Life Beyond the Internship

I was hired straight from the internship as a clinical dietitian at Stanford Hospital and Clinics in California. I had spent just shy of two years as a cardiology RD before transitioning to my current role as an RD with the Center for Advanced Lung Disease, specifically the Adult Cystic Fibrosis population. 

I am currently pursuing an MBA through Santa Clara University where I can take classes at night and continue to work during the day. I am doing a concentration within the MBA in Food and Agribusiness. 

Each year during Heart Health month, two other RDs and I work with the cardiology clinic from Stanford doing community outreach by teaching heart healthy education to elementary and middle school students.  It is a great way to educate about healthy eating at an early age.  I also volunteer for the Family Medicine clerkship at Stanford Medical School teaching a general nutrition course for third and fourth year medical students on a monthly basis. 

I talk to a few of my fellow interns a couple times a year and am still in contact with some of the preceptors.  About once or twice a year someone from my internship year will start an e-mail thread with all the other interns from our year just to allow everyone to update each other on our lives.

My Words of Advice

The internship was a great learning experience and your first real exposure into the different roles of the RD.  It is great to have an internship that focuses on different aspects of dietetics because you never know what jobs will come in the future or the breadth of skills you will need.  Also, stay in touch with your fellow interns and preceptors, you may have to work to maintain the relationships but it will be worth it.  If you can walk away with at least 3-5 people who you will remain in contact with, you will have started to build your own professional network.  You never know when you will need to reach out to someone or what opportunities may arise.

Lara Freet RD (Class of 2008) 

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