Saturday, March 08, 2008

List #8 - My Patients

In case you didn't know, I am a registered dietitian. I work for a small community health center that runs two clinics, one adult and one pediatric. Lucky for me, I get to work with both populations. Yesterday I counseled my 300th patient at the adult clinic bringing my overall total up to 498 patients. Can you believe that?! 498 people. So I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about:

My Favorite Patient Moments

  • The majority of my patients are Latino, and by majority I mean probably close to 80 or 90 percent. Although I speak Spanish I am not Latino, I am English. I have had a handful of patients now who, when telling me about their diet, pause to make sure I know what they are talking about. "Tortilla? Sabes?"
  • I had one adult patient who showed up with her child. During the counseling session she kept telling me that she doesn't eat junk food, doesn't keep it in the house, and makes sure to eat lots of vegetables and fruits. All the while, her child is sitting there munching on Cheetos.
  • I had a mother of a pediatric patient give candy to her rambunctious child in order to get him to sit down and listen during the counseling session about his weight.
  • Recently I had an adult patient who had just been told by his Doctor that he was pre-diabetic. He turned to me and said, "I guess I won't be eating that cupcake in my car."
  • I always start each counseling session with a dietary recall. It gives me a chance to see how often a patient eats and also what kind of foods they like. Many patients tell me about the healthy things they eat. "Well sometimes for lunch I eat a salad with grilled chicken, and drink water." Unfortunately for them, the next question is always, "And on other days?" The response of my patient yesterday, "Oh, you mean what do I eat on the days I'm off the wagon?"
  • One of my all time favorite patient comments was, "Man. Now that I've told you what I eat in a day I'm not surprised I'm overweight."

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