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The business of being a dietitian

What's like to be a dietitian? This is one question that I got asked all the time. Do you tell people what to eat and what not to eat? Is chocolate okay?

I have been in front line clinical work for the past 16 years. As a health professional, you see people when life is a little challenging at that moment for them - suffering from an acute illness or their long term health issues are catching up on them, sometimes they are experiencing physical and emotional pain, some may have just come out of surgeries or treatments, and sometimes flare-up of uncomfortable conditions.

To me, being a dietitian is not just about food and nutrients. Of course as a dietitian, we keep up with the bodies of evidence and science behind our dietetics recommendations. But often making decisions about food choices and therefore our nutritional intake has nothing to do with science. What we KNOW and what we actually DO can be two very separate things. For instance, I know clearing my front garden now will be awesome, but what I ended up doing? Typing this blog post.

I hope whatever I know, in terms of technical nutrition knowledge and dietetics counselling skills, and my own life experience may be able to help others through their own journey of life. It is the understanding and appreciation of why we make certain choices that we do that helps others to start changing theirs. And yes I am going to clear up my front garden now. Until next time.


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Shirley Chan

Consultant Dietitian 

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Shirley Chan Consultant Dietitian ABN 41 009 192 602