Olivia Fidler is part of the 2016-2017 Dietetic Internship class at UC Davis Medical Center. Olivia hails from Ashland, Oregon and completed a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition along with a minor in French from Oregon State University. During her time in college Olivia served as President for the Nutrition and Dietetics Club, volunteered for organizations such as the Healthy Cooking and Meals 101 at the Moore Family Center, and completed an intensive language program in Angers, France. Olivia is interested in clinical nutrition, particularly pediatrics and women’s health.
Interviewer: Why did you choose the UC Davis Medical Center Dietetic Internship?
Olivia: The biggest factor was that I believed my experience at UCDMC would prepare me for my goal career in clinical nutrition while providing a well-rounded experience. Another factor was UCDMC's teaching hospital environment. I knew that the environment would foster learning opportunities, and the professionals I would engage with would support my learning. Finally, clinical pediatrics is a unique attribute of this internship. As I would like to explore pediatric clinical nutrition as a career option, this was an important factor for me.
Interviewer: What is the greatest lesson you have learned so far during this internship?
Olivia: This internship provides ample support and opportunity to participate as a member of the interdisciplinary health care team. The greatest lesson I’ve learned thus far is the importance of being an integral and active member of that team. Being a participating member of the team is important to ensure your nutrition recommendations are adequately expressed and that you advocate for patients. Taking the time to verbally communicate with doctors, nurses and others is also rewarding as they will come to you for future recommendations. I would strongly encourage interns to take every opportunity to participate in rounds, call other members of the team, and get to know them on a collaborative, professional basis.
Interviewer: What have you found to be your greatest challenge?
Olivia: My greatest challenge has been finding my own “style” as a future dietitian. Every practitioner is different—they have different strengths and different styles when it comes to charting, giving educations, interacting with the interdisciplinary team and patients, and everything in between. I believe every intern is challenged in one way or another to find a style that is effective and works for them as they learn and grow. Working with different preceptors provides opportunity to get feedback from different perspectives, and ultimately I’ve found bits and pieces from each perspective to use in my personal style. I know that this is a challenge that I will continue to have moving forward as I dive into new experiences. I look forward to identifying my strengths and areas of improvement so I can continue to improve myself as a professional. This has been one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this experience.
Interviewer: What has been your greatest accomplishment during your internship year?
Olivia: My greatest accomplishment thus far has been seeing how much I have learned. It is amazing to put everything I learned about in school into hands on practice and see how my recommendations can improve patients' health. Also, looking back at my first few days as an intern, I feel like I have really grown and learned so much in just a few short months.
Interviewer: Prior to starting your dietetic internship what were your career goals and have they changed while going through the internship?
Olivia: Career wise, I’ve always wanted to work in clinical nutrition, specifically pediatrics. As my pediatric rotation comes to an end, I have to say that my goals have not changed. It has been an enriching and exciting experience. That said, I am open-minded and look forward to all the experiences to come.
Interviewer: If you could give any piece of advice to future interns, what would it be?
Olivia: I would advise future interns to trust their gut and be confident. You have worked so hard to get here! Respecting that you still have a lot to learn, don’t be afraid to discuss your ideas with your preceptors. Instead of looking to your preceptors for their ideas and recommendations, try your best to use your knowledge and resources to come up with recommendations even if the information is difficult to find. Preceptors will appreciate your ideas and thirst for knowledge, plus it gives you more opportunity to learn.